Today's exploration: New Yorker's anxieties around too much choice and making the wrong choice.
Here we don't have certain stores where you can get diamonds, we have the diamond district - and flower district and fashion district... This city is not about moderation; it's about excess - excess that breeds choice. New Yorkers have more options for more things than any set of city dwellers in the entire world. That's not an exaggeration or a brag - it's a fact.
That's the first issue you have to understand to unpack our dating behavior. This city is all about choice sans moderation.
The second issue is that everyone knows it. They knows what New York has to offer, why people come here, aaanndd that many of them are very good looking. No one comes to New York to settle down. They don't come here to contemplate life and take a breather and figure out who they are and what they really want. They come to New York to dive into a career because there are more career options here, to experience as much of the city as possible until they're ready to move on, to go balls to the wall while they're still young enough to appreciate bars open past 4am. They come to New York for the choice.
So you have a city in which choice reigns king filled with people who came here because they want as much choice as possible. It's not that New Yorkers don't want to date or don't know how to date or - frankly - don't have time to date. It's that what made them become New Yorkers in the first place is not the best recipe for stable, healthy, long-ish term, committed relationships.
The problem with dating in New York is that it's filled with New Yorkers.
When the New York mag article talks about "the anxiety of too much choice" and "the anxiety of making the wrong choice" it's not only tied to the sheer number of people we have at our disposal (sometimes quite literally). It's about how easily they can be gotten.
Yes, New Yorkers have an abundance of choice, but they also have the means to choose. Cell phones in our pockets 24/7 with numbers for options for dates slash sex. Facebook on those phones for instant access to what people are doing, when, and where. Cabs on every corner to hop into when after finding out via Facebook that ________ is out at X bar and "yeah u should come by!"
It's not that choice is an inherently bad thing. It's not that people who desire to live in New York are inherently bad partners. And it's not that having instant access to the technologies of modern dating is an automatic recipe for disaster. There are exceptions to every rule and every personality.
But on the whole we're working with a city that's all about it "get it, all of it, however you want it, now!" filled with people who hear that and go, "yes! I want it" holding all the means get it in their hands.
Dating, at its very core, is a numbers game. And in the case of New York - filled with all its fickle New Yorkers - more numbers does not necessarily mean more success.