Dating in the City
Chelsea protectively hugs her phone to her chest, eyeing Alyssa warily. "Yeah," she says slowly, watching for reaction.
"Oh my god," Alyssa returns, rolling her eyes and laughing, "There are so many weird guys on there. I swear, most of those profiles are fake. They don't even respond to the messages."
"Really? Most guys reply to me."
I watch this exchange from afar, wondering how Alyssa knows so much about an app she seems to be so against.
"It's just such a creepy app," Alyssa presses, beginning to wander away.
"But you've used it?" Chelsea realizes.
"Well," Alyssa spits out with a nervous laugh, "I actually met my boyfriend on there."
In New York, it's not surprising to find that a majority of romances began with profile pictures and "About Me" sections. While it's not exactly the old-fashioned idea of romance, it's not as taboo and desperate as it was, say, ten years ago. I've found in my stay here that most people find their dates through apps like Bumble or Tinder, and a good percentage of them are actually successful.
"My friend crushes it on Bumble, dude," Chelsea tells me, nodding her head fervently. "That's why I made one. She's fucking this super hot dude right now...he's like, crazy hot."
Okay, so maybe dating apps aren't entirely being used to find your soulmate, but different strokes, right?
Hookups aside, young adults seem to have found compatible matches by using these apps. A coworker of mine has been with her boyfriend for almost a year and they're planning to get married one day; yet another coworker just went on his fifth date with who he will soon be calling his boyfriend. Obviously you have to be careful, but don't you have to be just as careful when you meet someone in person as well?
"I mean, obviously make the first meeting in a public place," Chelsea says, rolling her eyes like, duh. "And my friends always stalk my dates. They like, show up and hide in a bush to make sure he's actually cute and not like a murderer or something."
In New York when everything is so fast paced and impatient, there really is no alternative. Meeting someone while you're hopping on/off the train? Not likely. And people in the streets are moving too quickly to even notice anyone is around them. It's a different world out here, but that doesn't make it bad. Just different. Where I'm from in California, you basically settle down with whoever you went to the high school prom with. In New York dating is a jungle; it can be terrifying and creepy, but maybe it's worth the risk.
Another difference between Southern California and New York is the way budding dates are perceived. Where I'm from, it's all about status. Not to say it isn't here, but in a very different way.
In California, your girlfriends ask you the following: What kind of car does he drive? Where does he work? Where did he go to high school?
Here, it's: What part of town does he live in? Where does he work? Suit or no suit?
What do you think about these differences? What kind of dating scene sounds more exciting to you? Leave a comment with your opinion and look out for my next chapter: Catching the Bug.