Nothing But Love for Gotham’s Singles

23Feb08

In case you’ve ever wondered how people find their match in this city of 8 million+, here is my rundown of some New York-brand dating options. In addition to the the tried and true (i.e. going about your business and pursuing your own interests), those hell-bent on finding a match are apt for the following activities. And as a sidenote, I still wonder how people find love in this city.

Online Dating. Stigma long gone, online dating has become the go-to method of finding everything from meaningless sex to marriage. In fact, online dating site J-Date has become so “hot,” that non-Jews are signing up as unaffiliated in an effort to get a piece of (the) action. Personally, I can think of more than one online dating success story (3 J-Date successes, including one marriage), but I generally equate online dating to playing slots. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and the value lies more in the diversion than in the quality of the experience or the likelihood of success. Is the jackpot a possibility? Sure, but it will probably require lots of luck along with hours and hours going through the same rote motions. What initially seems like an ideal dating scene for busy people turns out to be deceptively inefficient. My advice: if you have a lot of time to dedicate to lots of different dates with lots of different people, most of whom will probably make no impact on your life whatsoever, then online dating is for you. (But when performing this cost-benefit analysis, females should offset the registration fee, opportunity costs, and their time value by the value of the free dinners, drinks, and coffees they will likely receive. Like I’ve said, sometimes the double standard is SWEEEEET.).

The Speed Date. Ah the speed dating scene. What better way to spend an evening than interviewing for a date? How about — getting hammered with a bunch of friends (usually a mix of singles and spoken-fors) and THEN interviewing for dates just for the fun of it? That, in a nutshell, is what has become of the speed dating scene. FastLife has attempted to buck the trend by limiting the number of “buddies” that can register for the same event. I wish them the best of luck. Anyway, while there may be exceptions, for the most part speed dating is a drinking game. End of story.

Unless, of course, you’re fabulously wealthy or a power professional. The fabulously wealthy can contact PocketChange, the one-stop shop for the city’s *truly* privileged and pretentious. PocketChange hosts two speed dating events — one for rich guys looking to bag a hot chick and, for good measure, one for rich cougars looking to bag a young, male actor or model. Sorry, nothing for rich homosexuals yet. Power professionals, on the other hand, have It’s Just Lunch, which matches “‘normal’, well-educated professionals” over lunch or drinks at Midtown’s finest. Of course they have chosen not to list prices on their website, but I’m sure you’d have to cough up a pretty penny for dates with the “lawyers, doctors, [and] entrepreneurs” of your (white-bred, picket-fenced) dreams. I kid, but really if it were between It’s Just Lunch and a fertility clinic, I’d totally give it a whirl.

But wait! I saved the best for last. There are also EYE GAZING PARTIES. Just when I thought speed dating was on its last legs (see Sugamamahood), I read about another incarnation. This one involves gazing. No, not staring. Gazing. Granted, this isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s new to me and therefore may be new to others, as well. Let me break it down: in hopes of making a connection, lonely New Yorkers are volunteering to sit and stare gaze at other hopefuls for a total of twenty rotating, two-minute segments. Generally, I try not to bash things before I try them. Insomnia, however, makes me cranky and this shit is just fucking wacky. At least there’s a “rock-solid” guarantee that if you don’t meet someone you’d like to see again, Eye Gazing Parties will give you a full refund or 2 free eye gazing parties, your choice. But if it were between an evening of gazing and a fertility clinic, I’d totally go for the fertility clinic.

The Midtown Lunchtime Salad Joint. Chop’t stores were named (by some organization, in the not-too-distant past) as some of the best pick-up spots in the city. In my opinion, Metro, Digby’s, and just about every Midtown lunch place that serves chopped salad (which is most of them) should theoretically serve the same purpose. Maybe there’s an aura of romance at Chop’t. Who knows. Anyway, I’m not sure that I would put a lot of faith in this option; but “they” say Chop’t is the ish, so I thought I’d pass it on.

The “Singles” Boards of New York’s Religious/Cultural/Professional Organizations. And you thought people go to church to worship God … Well, maybe they do, but if they are single, there is a good chance that they are at least somewhat enticed by the organized singles events. In fact, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun is pretty much a meat market during Friday night services. I have to say that when single-hood was thrust upon me, I was floored when I learned of all the singles events offered by NY organizations and associations. There is everything from classes, to happy hours, to night club events, to charity work, to ski trips and nature outings … every day could be like singles summer camp if you wanted it to be. That being said, I’m not sure that I would attend any of these if the venue weren’t fab or if I weren’t genuinely interested in the activity; but hey, to each their own.

Central Park. But a dog, or at least a book, is required. Unless you’re sunning in Sheep Meadow.

Bars and Clubs. You should know better.

Social Networking Events and Websites. If you’ve heard “New Friend Request” by Gym Class Heroes, you would know that MySpace isn’t just for child predators anymore. And really, what better way to find love than under the guise of friendship? In addition to the obvious online options (Facebook, MySpace) there is also The Lunch Club, Club Free Time (check this out, even if you’re a spoken-for — it features listings of free events throughout NYC), and Meetup.

Feel better? See, single Gothamists, you may not die childless and alone after all. But even if you do, just keep in mind that it may be preferable to the alternative. So remember: no pressure, no stress. If you’re meant to have a run-in with your person, you will have it on a subway platform. Or when you run out during lunch to grab a Starbucks gift card for the friend whose birthday you forgot. Or when you’re sitting in one of the many chairs at Time Warner’s 28th and Park location, waiting to exchange your cable box because Time Warner fucked things up the first time and you don’t have an entire day to sit around and wait for one of their “service professionals” to grace you with a new one. You get the point. Deep breaths.

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2 Responses to “Nothing But Love for Gotham’s Singles”

  1. 1 Lindschaa

    So, what do New Yorkers do on a date once they meet that special (or not so special) person? Is dinner and a movie still the norm?

  2. 2 Queen Samantha

    I would say that coffee or a drink may come before dinner, although there are times when dinner may be more appropriate (i.e., if you and your date-to-be have had a particularly good conversation beforehand or if you know each other through mutual friends). I think that movies are not the norm, as they are passive and therefore inefficient if you’re spending time and money to get to know your date. Sometimes, the lamest things make for a good date. Like bowling, for instance …


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