I was chatting with a friend of mine — we’ll call her Tameka — about her dating adventures in New York City. She’s a good person that takes care of her appearance and knows how to converse. But she regularly runs into an issue that my other female friends in NYC run into: Men that fall off the map when they find out they’ll need to put in effort.
I was trying to explain to her why men in the Big Apple approach dating so lax, then started thinking about my experience as a single black male that’s lived in two northeastern hubs. It was when I drew that comparison that I realized I used to be just like the men she comes across today. I tried to soften the message, but there was no way of getting around a truth that many men take advantage of.
Women make it easy for single black men in big cities like New York. I can tell you this because I spent five years living in Boston, a much smaller city,where I had to claw and wit my way to a phone number and a first date. It required actual work. The pickings were slimmer (no pun). And the women that were available flaunted advanced degrees, confidence, and an exceptionally high self-worth. Boston forced me to question a lot about my approach to chicks and, at times, even my looks. The women there were interested in whatever they perceived to be the best of the best. It took more than a fresh shave and an edge up to show you wanted something that lasted longer than a night.
I had to step my game up if I wanted to have a second, third, or forth conversation with a woman that peaked my interest. The margin for error was low. The cost of poor follow-through was high.
Then I moved to New York and things changed. As soon as I arrived with a single status, six feet of height, and a complexion that didn’t scare white people in elevators, things got easier — MUCH easier. One night out in the city resulted in more interest and phone numbers than I’d gotten in my last three years living in Beantown.
It’s ironic. People think big city equals more people, which equals more opportunity, which can equal more competition. But as a man moving to New York, it meant less competition and the opening of doors — amongst others things — that I didn’t even know existed. I got phone numbers without asking. I met women that intentionally asked every question under the sun except the ones that mattered. And even if I lost the interest of one, there was always an easy second option even if it meant I had to go out the same night.
And with that, my attitude, approach, and “win” percentage changed inversely with the size of my apartment. Losses became wins. Aesthetic 10s became deficient 6s. My doubts turned into entitlement. The question of “what do I need to do to get a good woman” turned into “is this all I have to do to get a good woman?” Working for it became simping. Calling became texting. Conversation with one became missed opportunity with the easier options — well, sometimes.
It got to a point that I decided if I wanted something serious, I’d look out of state. That’s where I’d find mystery, intrigue, and something I had to work for. In the mean time, why would I buy the proverbial cow when I could get the whole farm for free? I’m not saying the attitude was right, but that’s how I thought.
New York wasn’t only the greatest city in the world, it was also the most toxic to my character. I got drunk on favorable ratios, aggressive women, and, at times, desperation. There were moments where it felt like the opposite sex had swapped their worth for the possibility of something that would never be. And though it may have bothered me in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but to enjoy living a vacation in front of me.
It’s funny. Even today I hear women in NYC today talking about how there aren’t any “good” men out here. The thing is we’re here. We just don’t have to show up. Why would we? There’s too much free sex in the city. Maybe one day women will stop letting us write the script.
Do you think there’s a difference in the way men and women approach dating in big cities like New York? Are men lazier? Are women more aggressive? Is it the same in smaller cities? How about where you are today? Why do you think there are such significant differences? All other thoughts are welcome!
Challenge Us. Please,