While attempts to resolve this distinction by asserting that in number-one-ranked New York City, “financial stresses have brought a shift in priorities for singles,” who are “taking advantage of generous severances and enjoying the spoils of the city … metro region stretches deep into Maryland and Virginia and counts 5 and a half million residents, the dating scene plays out in a relatively small sandbox.
with dates they’ve met online.” In reality, these big cities are sheltering more broke singles with stoked anxieties and broken creative dreams. District residents lack the car access of Angelenos and the extensive subway system of New Yorkers.
(How much subway time are you willing to invest in one date, when every platform appears teeming with other options?
) Meeting a potential love interest halfway for a nightcap means being stranded in a no-man’s-land that can prove both inconvenient and awkward. “That means nobody's picking anyone up, nobody's dropping anyone off—you meet there.
present volume of daters as a positive, but the research of Sheena Iyengar suggests otherwise.
Back in the ‘90s, Iyengar noticed something odd about her local luxury grocery store.
Though the shop was “renowned for its huge selection of produce, packaged foods, and wine,” Iyengar “often walked out empty-handed, unable to settle on just one bottle of mustard or olive oil when she had hundreds of options.” The experience fueled Iyengar’s research into the psychology of choice. means only that the single person’s wasteland is that much more vast: New York City’s 305-square-mile expanse offers over 8 million people to pick over.
’” Less awkward is saying goodbye forever—the city’s geography is “more conducive to breakups” when you likely never have to see one another again.They spend more free time hustling than they do staring into one anothers’ eyes. One night at a low-lit Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles, the man at the table next to me asked his bored date, “Have you seen my reel? C.—where federal jobs have been relatively insulated from the recession—a weighty business card pressed into a palm is enough to relay a dater’s social standing. The city’s 600,000 residents are packed in to 65 square miles within the District line. Every evening when happy hour hits, suburban prospects come to them—the city’s population balloons by a million extra workers during the day. But there in the middle of 500 miles of sprawl, it was all of a sudden strange to be sitting too close on a couch with the clock ticking down. Sometimes, it’s good to have some space for yourself.In New York or Los Angeles, the high proportion of singles can feel overwhelming. C., it’s intimate—these people bump into each other on the metro, caffeinate at the same cafes, and unwind at the same bars, week in and week out. Some online daters have responded by devoting profile space to announce their refusal to date at points too far east or west. After scrolling through thousands of profiles of age-appropriate dates with socially acceptable character traits, your pool of potential future mates can start to look like so many faces stalled in traffic behind the glass.And young people in New York and Los Angeles aren’t just competing for dates—they’re elbowing each other for a shrinking pool of jobs, too.