Is dating in NYC hard? Or Is New York good for dating? In this blog post, I will mention 9 reasons why dating in NY is hard for gay men.
Dating in NYC is not easy, especially as a gay man. Some may say that New York is good for dating because it’s such a big city and there’s so much to do and see here. There’s also the argument that there are tons of singles and so many places where singles meet in NYC which makes it easy to date in NYC. However, in actuality gay dating in NY is hard and I’ll give the 9 reasons why.
9 reasons why gay dating in NY is difficult
Dating is hard for several reasons. Here are the 5 major obstacles of gay dating in NY:
- People haven’t grown up. Many gay men will want to relieve their young adult years as gay men. This is especially true for gay residents of New York who weren’t raised in New York. They have moved here for one reason or another and ultimately are here for a better lifestyle. In my personal experience, I’ve met a lot of gay men, especially black gays, who have moved from small towns where homosexuality was extremely frowned upon. Furthermore, they were sheltered. And so coming to a big city like New York is a huge adjustment for them. New York has a huge gay scene with parties, drugs, and so many different cliques. Many of the adult gay men who never got to experience the social gay lifestyle try to relieve it.
- Big hookup culture. As men, we already have high testosterone. Put two men together and that it makes it very likely for sex to happen. Some of these dating apps reinforce the hookup culture. Although you can find some quality men on Grindr and Jackd you’ll find a lot of sex-crazed pigs. If any of you used those apps you know what I’m talking about: Receiving dick pics in your inboxes from men who have faceless pictures is so common
- The huge availability of men. Here in NYC, there are so many single men. And good-looking men of all types. Whether you are looking for masculine, street-smart, book smart you’ll definitely find guys of your type. As men, it’s our biological nature to hunt so if we see something attractive or enticing we’ll want to go after it
- Dealing with baggage. This is huge. So many gay men experience all types of trauma including physical and emotional. What defines trauma? Trauma is a past incident or negative experience that you can’t forget. Psychologists report that the effects of trauma are extreme anxiety, suspiciousness, and isolation. These problems make it easy to form healthy and long-term relationships. As a black gay man, I can relate to and witness these traumas. A lot of the older generations have experienced trauma through homophobia by loved ones. I myself experienced the fear of rejection and homophobia and didn’t come out with my father till I was 34 years old. Because I was in the closet I was only able to have about 1 long-term relationship with another man. In the article, “Stigma & Discrimination” by The Center of Disease Control it’s said that discrimination and homophobia make it very hard for gay men to have long-term relationships. The emotional baggage is even worse in black communities. So many black men, gay and straight, have experienced childhood trauma that still affects them as adults. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse happen against black men more than you would believe. Sadly, though these victims never get the help they really need which manifests
- Men are still on the down-low. This sounds like an outdated concept but there are still so many black gay men struggling with their sexuality. Because of society and black culture black men are taught to be very masculine. The idea of being gay puts an image of feminity and weakness in the minds of others. For this reason, many gay men feel the need to hide their sexuality. I didn’t come out to my father until I was 33 years old. Sadly, there are plenty of men in their 50s who are still struggling with their sexuality and are very secretive about it. This type of struggle causes many black gay men to be secretive about their relationships or trap themselves in marriages with female partners.
- A lot of us lack dating skills. There is an art to dating. And no shade but a lot of us have no damn clue how to date. So many of us don’t know to communicate and self-sabotage when we do meet a potential partner. We then blame other people when we really have to look at ourselves and realize what we’re doing wrong.
- Many New Yorkers live busy lives. New York is a very fast-paced city. Many of us are consumed by work and spend more time at our job than with our own families. And so, when it comes to dating a lot of straight and gay persons are not able to dedicate as much time to their dating lives as their work lives
- Dating can be expensive. This may sound crazy but I’ve spoken to several people who actually did say it. If you go out with another person for dinner you will at least spend $50. That excludes cocktails. You can avoid spending money by staying home but eventually, that will get tiresome and you would want to go out.
- Distance. Unless you have a car or Uber everywhere it may take you a while to get from one place to another. I have a friend who lived on Long Island that was dating a guy who lived in Brooklyn. And even though they were dating they hardly saw each other because of the travel time to each other’s houses. This is not always the case but I’ve met a lot of other gay men who would not travel from one borough to the next unless it’s a dire need.
NYC dating culture
NYC dating culture is difficult for many groups of people. I’ve heard countless men and women and everyone else across the LGBT spectrum describe dating as a battlefield. The biggest argument is that there is so much competition and that no one is really ready to settle down. Even though this applies to all groups of people I feel that in the gay world, dating is even harder.
Dating in your 20s is fun and usually more casual than in your 30s and above. More sexual encounters and random hookups are likely to happen during that period. In your 20s you’re still trying to find yourself and trying to find out what type of partner you want. This is especially true for gay men of older generations since we’ve had to hide our identity.
Another reason why dating in your 20s is fun and enjoyable is because you are still full of youth. In the gay community, there is ageism which is prejudice against older people. In my personal experience, I’ve met so many gay men 40 and older men who don’t feel very confident in dating because of the stigma of being older.
Dating in NYC in 30s
Dating in NYC in your 30s becomes much better because you gain a better sense of who you are. You know what you can tolerate and what you can tolerate. More importantly, you have better discernment so you can better smell a fuc@boy or a player from a mile away.
Dating in NYC during COVID
Dating in NYC during the coronavirus outbreak has made it even more difficult to date. For our safety, the governor has repeatedly encouraged social distancing even among our family members and loved ones. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Health Hygiene has even issued guidelines on safe sex and the coronavirus. These guidelines pretty much say that you should stay home and not date. They say that you should only have sexual contact with someone that’s close to you. And if you do decide to have a gay hookup you should still wear a mask. And a condom, of course!!!
Tips for gay dating in NY
I listed above the 9 major obstacles of gay dating. Even though dating may seem difficult you can be successful and meet quality partners. Here are 5 things you can do to make dating easier:
- Set high standards. If you notice red flags in a relationship like a guy being inconsistent or a guy not seeming interested move on. Do not try to change him or stay with him in hopes he will change. There are too many guys out here to deal with f@ckboys.
- Take your time. Get to know the person and see if you two click. What I see often is that gays rush into relationships without fully knowing the person. And then boom, the relationship ends up being extremely sour.
- Communicate what you want. What I see so often and I’ve done myself is not communicate what we in the beginning. If you want to get married or start a family say that in the beginning stages of the relationship. You don’t have to say it on the first date but mention those ideals so you won’t waste time later on with that person if he desires something else.
- Step outside your comfort zone. So often I hear single gay men say that most guys are horrible. If you feel that way you must be accustomed to dating low-quality guys. This means that you should step outside your comfort zone and find new ways to meet men. If you’re accustomed to meeting guys at bars and lounges try going to new places. Find something you’re interested in like sports and join groups around that interest like a basketball or football team. Even try using gay dating apps.
- Heal yourself. It took me time to learn that a lot of the guys are attracted to reflect who I was. Broken and scarred. Until I learned how to deal with my past traumas and inner issues have I been able to attract better men in my life? Through faith and speaking with others I’ve managed to do this.
Where do singles meet in NYC?
Singles meet all over NYC. The primary location for NYC singles is bars and lounges. If you’re a straight male or female you can go to places like Please Don’t Tell, Angel of Harlem, Mamajuana, and countless other places. If you’re a gay man looking to meet single gay men you can go to places like the Townhouse Bar, the Ritz, and Harlem Nights.
If you’re serious about dating I would recommend stepping outside your comfort zone and not only going to bars and lounges. As I mentioned find something that you’re interested in or passionate about and go to those places that involve your passions. So if you’re into sports go to sporting games or if you’re into art go to art galleries and museums. By doing this you’ll increase your chances of finding someone who’s compatible with you and share your same interests.
Another place where you can find a lot of singles is speed dating mixers. A lot of people frown on these events but you can also find good-looking, interesting, and amazing guys. I went to one a couple of years ago hosted by the Men Event, a social networking gay company, and actually met two of my good friends there.
What are some good date ideas in NYC?
There are plenty of good date ideas in NYC. You can go to the park, eat at a restaurant, or go to a museum, or an art gallery. There are even certain gay bars like Townhouse and Flaming Saddles which are nice spots for gay older men.
So I’ve outlined the 9 major obstacles of gay dating in NY and how to overcome them. There are many hurdles in dating but if you can over those 9 common ones you’ll be more dateable. If you’re a gay man of color and are seeking places to find dates download my guide of “70+ Hottest Events for Black Gay Men’. You’ll find out about cool entertainment for gay men in their 20s, 30s,40s, and even 50s.