NYC's all coupled-up! Help!
July 9, 2006 4:05 PM   Subscribe

I seem to be stuck in a middle age range/income category that is making it difficult for me to find a new group of people to hang with/date in NYC (more inside)...

I'm 28, single, straight, female, and very social/friendly. I have lots of friends in New York, but slowly people keep dropping away as they get into relationships, or their relationships get more intense. Plus, in most of my groups of friends, there isn't anyone for me to date, no matter how many parties I go to etc--they're just not my type. I'm always the lone single girl in any group.

In the past I've just hit bars with single girlfriends (but right now I don't have single girlfriends) or attended social/networking events to meet people. When I do so now, I find that people are either too young/immature to establish friendships with (like the sports social I went to last night), or I go to events where everyone is a 40-something single woman clawing for the one dinky guy in the room (depressing!).

I'm open to joining sports leagues, taking classes (i've taken improv, drama, and running in the last two years). I want to meet people close to my age who are smart, athletic, and making enough to go out and have fun, but not so much that they only hit the super-exclusive lounges. Tips, anyone?

Oh--and I am trying the OKCupid thing, but would prefer face to face stuff. Volunteering suggestions are fine, but there too I have mostly met younger/older women.
posted by sweetkid to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (25 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Really... the internet thing has a very good rate of return in the long run. Sure... you'll have to "weed through" a lot of weirdos and scammers, but ultimately you'll meet some really great girls. I'm celebrating my two year anniversary this month to my wonderful boyfriend whom I met online.

My only other suggestion is to go to outdoor music shows. It seems that there are often eclectic, diverse crowds and the atmosphere is mellow. Whether I've gone with friends or alone, its easy to start up low pressure conversations with folks.
posted by kimdog at 4:25 PM on July 9, 2006


Oh, for clarity--I'm not trying to meet girls. I'm trying to meet men/new groups of friends (straight, female, 28), and finding when I go out to social activities that I am surrounded by other women.
posted by sweetkid at 4:32 PM on July 9, 2006


I don't know how NYC is for cycling (real, road cycling, not bike communiting), but cycling groups would be a great way. They're almost always mixed, there's a huge range of ages, and rides are so long you'll talk to everyone for hours each week. Go to a couple small/independent bike shops; they'll know the available clubs.
posted by devilsbrigade at 4:36 PM on July 9, 2006


I'm 28, single, straight, female, and very social/friendly. I have lots of friends in New York, but slowly people keep dropping away as they get into relationships, or their relationships get more intense. Plus, in most of my groups of friends, there isn't anyone for me to date, no matter how many parties I go to etc--they're just not my type. I'm always the lone single girl in any group.

wow. I couldn't have said it any differently (except that I'm a straight male living on the left coast). I feel your pain. My only saving grace is that I'm still in grad school so there is some turnover from time to time.

Things that have worked for me recently:
a) I moved into a really diverse house where everyone is in my age range (27-30), doing interesting stuff (creative writer, progressive law student, med student, and a phd student). My social network has vastly expanded and I've met tons of single women in all these different fields.

b) Volunteering with things you find interesting (on preview, seems like you've already tried it).

c) How about some other activities like pottery, dance lessons etc? I'm going to give that a try soon.
Good luck!
posted by special-k at 4:53 PM on July 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


sorry... i misread!
posted by kimdog at 5:21 PM on July 9, 2006


Have I got the solution for you!!
posted by Decani at 5:32 PM on July 9, 2006


I recently started working at a new company that just set up here, so there wasn't really a social culture yet. So I just decided that, since the majority of the people working there seemed to be prematurely marrying and getting dull, that I would just send an email to all the single / loosely coupled (i.e., dating someone but not boring yet) people and invite them out to a pub quiz night.

It's been a huge success so far, and the prevailing attitude of most of the people who come means that the dullards who want to talk about work are out of place and either loosen up or stop coming.

It's a tech company so there aren't really any relationship opportunities to speak of, but it's great for the lot of people who find that it's hard to meet new people when just moving to a place.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:44 PM on July 9, 2006


I have a really good friend who moved to NYC a few years ago not knowing anyone at all. I met him through our work, but since his first arrival into the City, he's met a lot of new people mainly through the various coed sports teams he joined.
posted by Juggermatt at 5:52 PM on July 9, 2006


These are good suggestions--what sports teams? I went to a Zogsports outing and everyone seemed really young. Are there others that might be better?

Space Coyote--your post cracked me up. "It's a tech company so there really aren't any relationship opportunities"--ha!

I work at a tech company too, with a pile of men, but there are only 12 of us so, no dice.
posted by sweetkid at 5:58 PM on July 9, 2006


I will happily introduce you to my non-creepy thirty-something male friends in the NYC area. They are:

- a copywriter for a large national upscale department store chain who mooonlights as a stand-up comic

- a nearly-done law school student with internationalist family roots and ten years of experience as an internet creator

- a five-year veterean of live as a member of NYC's finest, midwest-bred, Irish heritage, soulful, reflective and sweet.

Let me know!
posted by mwhybark at 6:15 PM on July 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ummm . . . no. NYC's not all coupled-up, even though I'm sure that it might seem that way right now. What you're describing is a pretty typical progression. People get into their late twenties, early thirties and decide to Get Serious and follow the cultural imperative to put on a ring. And the people who stay single feel left out, left behind. It sucks. I hear you. But please bear in mind that you live in one of the best cities in America, if not the world, for single people.

but not so much that they only hit the super-exclusive lounges.

I don't know much about the velvet-rope club scene but people seem to get sick of it around your age. So I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Plus, in most of my groups of friends, there isn't anyone for me to date, no matter how many parties I go to etc--they're just not my type

So what is your type? Have you given this some thought? Do you know where you might find this type? Maybe you might want to focus your search a little bit.

and I am trying the OKCupid thing,

OKCupid is not terribly diverse; the majority seem to be in their early twenties. I'm thinking about ditching my account for that very reason. I'm in my mid-thirties and I don't think 22-year-olds want to date me or hang out with me.

So . . chin up. You'll find people. I think that you've definitely got the right attitude. Keep at it. I know it can be very difficult but the rewards are incredible. There are people here you would never meet anywhere else.

Good luck!
posted by jason's_planet at 6:50 PM on July 9, 2006


Learn how to scuba dive with a personable, small dive shop that has a group of regulars. Go on local--yes, local, yes, off New York--dives.

You're building a skill, and enhancing vacations. And meeting a ton of people. And seeing fishes.

If you into the shop I dive with, say hi.
posted by Phred182 at 6:52 PM on July 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


...I'll be the guy who forgets to include verbs. Should be "If you walk into the shop I dive with..."
posted by Phred182 at 7:02 PM on July 9, 2006


I second Phred182's suggestion; scuba diving is a very social hobby, in that most of your time is spent above the water, and that's necessarily with other people (unless you're one of those crazy crusty guys who dive alone).

Phred182, don't want to derail, but what's your dive shop, and where in New York do/would you go diving?
posted by gentle at 8:01 PM on July 9, 2006


Yeah, I am into the scuba diving suggestion. Where's a good place to start?

I'm totally non-crusty.
posted by sweetkid at 9:34 PM on July 9, 2006


You kinda have to scale back a bit with your social ambitions, as there isn't a group strictly for twenty and thirtysomethings in NYC. Find your basic attributes and activities, and then join groups that do that stuff. Some people overlook the most basic things, like cooking and book reading, and forget that there's dozens of social groups out there in NYC alone dedicated to casual participants.

Cycling groups are good examples of groups that do basic activities that most people tend not to take as a serious hobby for group participation... but these groups are generally open to people of all levels of cycling skill, so it's a great way to meet people who are casual participants in a social group, simply because you have one thing in common with them (you have a bike).

Photography groups are a good example of this too. There's an NYC Social group on flickr.com (among many groups) who do social events all the time. And while there are photostrolls, sometimes there are just drinking meetups or movie nights. Other photography groups meet in the city all the time. You don't have to be good, you just should be a fan of good photography (and it's convenient to have a digital camera too, even if it's basic).

It may also be a good time to reconnect with your faith. Haven't been to church/temple in a while? You may meet dozens of people just by showing up to a 20s/30s group meeting.

Scuba diving was also mentioned. I'm 2/3rds on the path to certification (need an open water test) and I haven't exactly found any scuba facilities in my Manhattan travels, and the hobby costs a bit of money to keep up with if you don't have the equipment already... but if you've got everything taken care of, it sounds like another great way to meet people.

The MeFi group idea leads to another suggestion: do any of your other frequent websites have group meetups in NYC? Fark.com has them occasionally. Nerve.com has parties for their writers on occasion.

On that note, many media companies have open parties. Whatever industry you're in, they probably have networking groups and social group meetups in the city. NYNMA, when it was still around, was a good place to check-in with dot-com social events. Ed2010 has parties for magazine editors. Mediabistro has parties for all kinds of media professionals.

If you went to a big enough university, they probably have alumni get-togethers in NYC. Hopefully often enough to break the ice with some people in a meaningful way.

The sports groups are also out there. Zogsports and NYC Social Sports Clubs (www.nycssc.com) have events all the time.

Want just general social activites in NYC? Try The Lunch Club. They do bar outings, scavenger hunts, trivia nights, etc. They do up to 4 events a week. Plus, they frequently have newcomers nights to get you started.

Party scene? Misshapes, Motherfucker.

Or maybe you just like drinking cheap - myopenbar.com.

Or maybe you just like events in general - www.whatsupnyc.com (seriously, they send events to your cell phone. for real. and speaking of mobile connectedness, have you tried dodgeball.com yet?)

Volunteering is also a great way to meet people. New York Cares is about to open up registration for New York Cares Day in October, and you'd meet a ton of people by volunteering with their events. Only problem is that, for the big social events, the registration gets full pretty quickly... so keep checking with them often and get on their mailing list pronto.

And finally, you could read Gawker and Gothamist to keep up with general city events and trends. One of my friends writes a bar-hopping column for Gothamist; they're actually having a big event on Tuesday (July 11, 2006). Check in with them.

That's all I could come up with off the top of my head. There's really SO much to do here. I've been here for about a year and a half, and I know hundreds of people from all kinds of stuff - online dating sites, Friendster, the party circuit, media, sports, creative interests, etc. I have too much going on at any one time. I'd be more than happy to send you off to dozens of events per week to meet people, because I can't possibly go to all of them myself. (I have a profile with a website link, containing a bio page with my email address if you're interested)
posted by brianvan at 10:12 PM on July 9, 2006 [2 favorites]


I'm all about Meet In. It's like Meet Up, but not hobby specific.
posted by willmize at 3:45 AM on July 10, 2006


I find all these references to joining groups and taking up hobbies specifically to get dates to be rather bizarre. Why not think about how you want to spend *your* time (what your interests are, what you enjoy doing), joining groups to pursue those things and then you will meet people who are into similar stuff?

There is nothing more attractive than someone who is totally into something, and few things more off-putting than someone who is just there for the boys/girls.
posted by pollystark at 4:13 AM on July 10, 2006


Yeah, I am into the scuba diving suggestion. Where's a good place to start?

Take a diving course. Look for a PADI-certified diving shop and sign up. I have not done any diving in New York yet, so I can't recommend anything specific, however.

I find all these references to joining groups and taking up hobbies specifically to get dates to be rather bizarre

I don't think the poster was implying that she would join a group she weren't interested in, just to meet boys. Rather, she recognizes that random social interactions lead to serendipitous opportunities.
posted by gentle at 8:08 AM on July 10, 2006


I don't think the poster was implying that she would join a group she weren't interested in, just to meet boys. Rather, she recognizes that random social interactions lead to serendipitous opportunities.

I second that notion. And besides, sometimes you get so wrapped up in your own independence - which is a good thing, to an extent - that you forget the joy of communal activities. For example, everyone should learn how to cook for themselves, but sometimes people (especially during a slow or depressive period) forget that it's fun to do it with others when possible.

Also, re: cooking, cycling and scuba diving: some activities are common but involve a certain level of developed skill, and people are often reluctant to explore a group activity if they think they might not be at the appropriate skill level to participate. And we're here to remind them that "all are welcome, even novices, go ahead and give it a try".

And finally, the Internet is a big scary place, and I for one would not trust my social life to the results of a random Google search. We can provide information more useful, specific and reassuring than what's floating around in the various TV/online ads. (example: if I didn't know Lavalife from online and print ads, I would be creeped out by their late-night commercials.)
posted by brianvan at 10:06 AM on July 10, 2006


Sweet and Gentle and other reassuring usernames: IANAHuckster, but I was thinking specifically of this one.

Erp. It's the first Google result for "small, personable dive shop." Well, it's true, even if I used the same phrase above.

Local dives include wrecks, quarries and the Gulf Stream.
posted by Phred182 at 7:40 AM on July 11, 2006


Phred182, thanks; I just realized I walked past there the other day. Unfortunately, it looks like their dive trips are hideously expensive -- way beyond my budget. Their courses also seem pretty expensive compared to what I'm used to.
posted by gentle at 8:14 PM on July 11, 2006


Gentle, wow-I'm surprised. Can't comment on your budget of course, but I haven't found that to be the case at all--unless you're comparing the prices to dive resorts in less devloped countries (as divers do) or to an intro course at the Y.
posted by Phred182 at 5:56 AM on July 12, 2006


We are hijacking the thread, but: In Norway I have been used to going out on a boat once or twice a week; I pay around $20-30 for this, which includes crew and divemaster and often free snacks. Wreck dives, wall dives, anything. I see that the village dive shop has a "Village Divers Day" trip in August for $25, but their usual trips range from $90 to $200 (plus $20 mandatory tip to boat crew). Their Open Water course is about $150 more than I paid for mine.
posted by gentle at 11:03 AM on July 13, 2006


I just have to add that as the original poster, I'm pretty amused at my thread getting hijacked for scuba diving purposes, and would also like to thank everyone for their contributions!
posted by sweetkid at 8:57 PM on July 14, 2006


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