Dear Single Women of NYC: It's Not Them, It's You.

The plight of the single lady

Everyone has to make choices. This isn't to say that if you want a successful career and to be a wife and a mom, you can't do it. Nor that you can't do it fairly well. But inevitably, you'll have to give up one thing for something else. Why should you settle? Because that's what all humans do when they make choices.

If Carrie Bradshaw were here and an actual person, she would say, "But what about the 'za-za-zoo'?" And after berating her for that corny terminology, I'd grudgingly agree that, yes, there needs to be something—call it magic, or a spark, or a connection—with regard to our romantic relationships. But the magic pales in comparison to the simplest, and yet most difficult, of things. Knowing what you want. It's timing, but it's more than that, because you dictate your own timing. You hold the cards.

If Carrie had wanted marriage and kids back in Season 4, she would have stuck with Aidan. Instead, she got panicked and neurotic and self-destructive and Carrie Bradshaw–esque, and started to have an affair with Big, who was clearly (until the unbelievable ending of the series) never going to marry her. Why do that to yourself? Because you aren't quite sure you want to get married, either. Because the grass is ever so mysteriously greener in the yard (does he even have a yard?) of the guy who doesn't want to marry you. And because it makes for good drama, or, at the very least, tragicomedy.

Still, at the end of the movie, or the TV series, everything gets wrapped up neatly and tied with a Tiffany-box bow. In the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly Golightly is eventually tamed by the love of a good man who has been there all along. In Working Girl, the girl gets her career-with-corner-office and Harrison Ford to pack her lunchbox. In The Apartment, Shirley MacLaine's character attempts suicide on account of Mr. Wrong, but in surviving finds her Mr. Right. Harry and Sally run through the relationship ropes course as enemies, friends, lovers, and enemies again, only to end up an old married couple. As do, of course, Carrie and Big. It all just seems to unfold, without anybody doing too much soul-searching or goal-plotting, much like a movie. A movie set in New York! This is what we're supposed to want.

People who have been married will tell you that it's not all butterflies and lying in the grass together clutching hands. It's actually work—not magic, and not the movies. Which means the dream we expect for ourselves drastically needs to be tempered with a dash of reality, a dose of self-reflection. As a thirtysomething New York woman said, "Ultimately, marriage has more to do with knowing what you're looking for. Sure, there are a lot of guys out there that suck, but I don't think that's a New York–specific issue. There are all of these successful, smart, workaholic women who have their shit together and strong views and senses of who they are. Their expectations are a bit higher. And in New York, there's not this worry about being the only single person; we all have friends who are married, married with kids, divorced, single."

Fewer people are getting married than ever. According to a Pew Research poll published at the end of last year, about half of all adults in the U.S. are married, down from 72 percent in 1960. Four in 10 people consider marriage obsolete. At the same time that fewer of us are getting married, more people are doing it for love—93 percent said it was the most important reason to tie the knot. Love is not something that used to factor into marriages; it's a relatively modern concept. You might say we're spoiled by even expecting it, and that it's entirely unrelated to a social "institution" that was really about property and taxes and making sure you had enough kids to work the farm or protect the homestead way back when—not to mention one of the only socially acceptable ways for women to have sex.

But if you confessed to someone today that you'd married without "being in love," because you'd simply wanted to get married or have the financial foundation to start a family (or buy more shoes), or maybe because you just didn't want to spend Sundays alone anymore, they would look at you with a horror akin to what you might bestow upon a person admitting to murder.

If there is a real and current plight of the single lady in New York City, it's not that New York men are so horrible. It's figuring out how to balance what you want and what you can get—in terms of love, marriage, and what each guy has to offer—against all of the options, including the imminent biological reality of your decreasing fertility. It's figuring out if you care about your fertility at all, and if you care about it in light of being—or not being—married. Because at some point, it will simply be too late to have kids.

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17 comments
annasadrian
annasadrian

I stopped reading this halfway, the writer sounds like she needs mental assistance. Good luck with this aspiration bullshit when you are old and no one wants a piece. 

jason1137
jason1137

Well with so many women nowadays that like sleeping around, it is really very hard for them to settle with just One Man.

melshutson
melshutson

It doesn't matter where you are, the demand for the most attractive women vastly exceeds the supply!

ppatricia221
ppatricia221

I honestly believe and stand firm on this that it has nothing to do with the amount of women ratio to men, nor does it have to do with where you point the finger to but everything to do with mis communication among any age group and the unfortunate mistake of meeting the wrong individuals during a point within your life which leaves you fear to commit to the next individual totally and unconditionally, yes we all would love to meet the movie character that men portray on television but in real life what every woman needs and dreams about is simply feeling the chemistry knowing that the feelings are mutual and feeling respected, wanted as well as needed.  Sex is something that we all need but it is not the binding ingredient that keeps two individuals together forever and it is not true that men will commit to those that do not give in, it does not really make a difference on how it happens or why, it is something that many have tried to figure out and are still baffled about the ingredients that are needed to make that special combination that pushes you to make the final commitment to that one and only.

It is not the money, the job, or what you can offer it is the sparks that we feel for the individual we are with and want to spend the rest of our lives with.

Yes once the sparks are there then of course having the other important factors in place make it that much better, but truly men and women waste too much time with games and lies and in the interim end up losing many great friendships, perfect lovers and future soul mates and all due to listening to stupidity that others tell us or how or why things happen.

When a real relationship is meant to be it will be against all odds and if it is not meant to be it is not.  I lived most of my life in New York city and I have met plenty of assholes as well as many wonderful and extremely respectfully, smart and successful individuals regardless if they were date or platonic friends these men do exist and they are real you just have to know how to get to know them for who they are and then let nature take it's course.

If a man asks you on the first date how many dates you need to have before you can have sex and constantly complains about their financial status then you know that this guy falls within the assholes category and that he is simply waiting to see what he can get out of a date and move on so according to these experiences that most women had men are being viewed under an extreme tight scrutiny as well as the one men are using in screening their dates.  So dating is not an easy thing to do at any age, it is easier to fall in love at a younger age only because we have experienced less heartache and have a more open mind to it, but true love is experienced regardless at what age and it can happen in a split second of your time taking your breath away without realizing and it can be done by an individual who is not famous or rich because love has no meter control at all and it has no pattern or rules.  New York City has always gotten a bad rap for having the rudest people, the least caring and the most problems, could it be that we get a bad rap due to the fact that we are a great city, we do have the greatest, smartest, wisest ,caring and creative individuals as well?

ppatricia221
ppatricia221

I honestly believe and stand firm on this that it has nothing to do with the amount of women ratio to men, nor does it have to do with where you point the finger to but everything to do with mis communication among any age group and the unfortunate mistake of meeting the wrong individuals during a point within your life which leaves you fear to commit to the next individual totally and unconditionally, yes we all would love to meet the movie character that men portray on television but in real life what every woman needs and dreams about is simply feeling the chemistry knowing that the feelings are mutual and feeling respected, wanted as well as needed.  Sex is something that we all need but it is not the binding ingredient that keeps two individuals together forever and it is not true that men will commit to those that do not give in, it does not really make a difference on how it happens or why, it is something that many have tried to figure out and are still baffled about the ingredients that are needed to make that special combination that pushes you to make the final commitment to that one and only.

It is not the money, the job, or what you can offer it is the sparks that we feel for the individual we are with and want to spend the rest of our lives with.

Yes once the sparks are there then of course having the other important factors in place make it that much better, but truly men and women waste too much time with games and lies and in the interim end up losing many great friendships, perfect lovers and future soul mates and all due to listening to stupidity that others tell us or how or why things happen.

When a real relationship is meant to be it will be against all odds and if it is not meant to be it is not.  I lived most of my life in New York city and I have met plenty of assholes as well as many wonderful and extremely respectfully, smart and successful individuals regardless if they were date or platonic friends these men do exist and they are real you just have to know how to get to know them for who they are and then let nature take it's course.

If a man asks you on the first date how many dates you need to have before you can have sex and constantly complains about their financial status then you know that this guy falls within the assholes category and that he is simply waiting to see what he can get out of a date and move on so according to these experiences that most women had men are being viewed under an extreme tight scrutiny as well as the one men are using in screening their dates.  So dating is not an easy thing to do at any age, it is easier to fall in love at a younger age only because we have experienced less heartache and have a more open mind to it, but true love is experienced regardless at what age and it can happen in a split second of your time taking your breath away without realizing and it can be done by an individual who is not famous or rich because love has no meter control at all and it has no pattern or rules.  New York City has always gotten a bad rap for having the rudest people, the least caring and the most problems, could it be that we get a bad rap due to the fact that we are a great city, we do have the greatest, smartest, wisest and most caring individuals as well?

ppatricia221
ppatricia221

I honestly believe and stand firm on this that it has nothing to do with the amount of women ratio to men, nor does it have to do with where you point the finger to but everything to do with mis communication among any age group and the unfortunate mistake of meeting the wrong individuals during a point within your life which leaves you fear to commit to the next individual totally and unconditionally, yes we all would love to meet the movie character that men portray on television but in real life what every woman needs and dreams about is simply feeling the chemistry knowing that the feelings are mutual and feeling respected, wanted as well as needed.  Sex is something that we all need but it is not the binding ingredient that keeps two individuals together forever and it is not true that men will commit to those that do not give in, it does not really make a difference on how it happens or why, it is something that many have tried to figure out and are still baffled about the ingredients that are needed to make that special combination that pushes you to make the final commitment to that one and only.

It is not the money, the job, or what you can offer it is the sparks that we feel for the individual we are with and want to spend the rest of our lives with.

Yes once the sparks are there then of course having the other important factors in place make it that much better, but truly men and women waste too much time with games and lies and in the interim end up losing many great friendships, perfect lovers and future soul mates and all due to listening to stupidity that others tell us or how or why things happen.

When a real relationship is meant to be it will be against all odds and if it is not meant to be it is not.  I lived most of my life in New York city and I have met plenty of assholes as well as many wonderful and extremely respectfully, smart and successful individuals regardless if they were date or platonic friends these men do exist and they are real you just have to know how to get to know them for who they are and then let nature take it's course.

If a man asks you on the first date how many dates you need to have before you can have sex and constantly complains about their financial status then you know that this guy falls within the assholes category and that he is simply waiting to see what he can get out of a date and move on so according to these experiences that most women had men are being viewed under an extreme tight scrutiny as well as the one men are using in screening their dates.  So dating is not an easy thing to do at any age, it is easier to fall in love at a younger age only because we have experienced less heartache and have a more open mind to it, but true love is experienced regardless at what age and it can happen in a split second of your time taking your breath away without realizing and it can be done by an individual who is not famous or rich because love has no meter control at all and it has no pattern or rules.

WestSide7
WestSide7

Bad news for you women in NYC ….it IS you. Too many women in this city are terribly impossible to please, gold-diggers, hypocritically self-righteous, and misandrists.

Absurdities I’ve encountered (BTW I’m 6’1” and pretty good looking, and yes single)

  • I make well over a $100k but still have been told because I’m not a hedge fund guy, they won’t be able to quit their jobs so I’m out.

  • Others are in their 40s and state they still want to have kids ‘someday.’ Ha laughable. You wasted your youth too focused on your career and not settling down with one of the 10 good guys you’ve come across in your dating over the years and in your 40s you honestly think it’s still a real possibility. Get a clue! Time is NOT on your side (or the man's...believe it or not some of us really do want to have kids soon).

  • Hygiene and grooming? Been out on dates with women who chew with their mouths open, have hairy moles on their face or arms (see a plastic surgeon already and get that eyesore removed already)! Caked on make-up! Oh and the overweight self-acceptance movement is absurd. Too many women in this city you can tell don’t work out or enough.

  • Girls who expected me to pay for everything and others who were insulted when I would let them pay halfsies. Which is it?

  • Constantly giving conflicting messages and then being mad at the guy for not always know what to do or so like the women who told me date 2 she wanted to straddle me but then date 4 lying in my bed became a prude. Stop being so asexual...enjoy your youth!

  • Lacking manners. Flaking out just hours before a date (has happened to every guy) and selfishly ruining that guys plans. If you make plans still to them. Take some damn responsibility for others feelings. Yes most men do have feelings.

BTW there is NOT more women than men in this city. The only place in NYC I’ve seen that honestly has more women than men is the UES. Go out in any other neighborhood and you see men outnumber women 2 to 1. Where are all these supposed surpluses of women!?

Stop blaming men for not being some fake movie hero and take a hard look in the mirror!

Shreya123
Shreya123

I think it is quite true, although choices are there if you want to meet single men , the difficult part is to search and find what you have in mind, while you may want to try what comes your way but in such a journey there may be too many ups and downs to your liking, I would say dating meeting sites like MeetOutside, do present a way to filter out and find the sort of men we want to date, so this can be looked into.

ariannahiggins
ariannahiggins

Some of us natives aren't obnoxious transplants with ego problems but nice girls born in the wrong place. The real reason truth, that no one will ever admit is that there arent enough hetero white men in this city. 

ariannahiggins
ariannahiggins

Why no discussion of the *quality* or treatment within these "dates". What is actually *going on* withinthese relationships we're all so desperate for?

Ask yourselves that first. 

jacap-mahboubi
jacap-mahboubi

I'm a men looking for relationship with serious women I don't want any kids for know I'm hard worker I live in New York City I'm looking for a nice women between 25and 31 we work to gather we can live better life

brooke194
brooke194

We should go out... Honestly that was damn refreshing! {*+*}

... I workout and am a happy gal.... Best blind date choice my friends say. Oh yeah!

industrialdiamonds
industrialdiamonds

@ariannahiggins Very accurate! i was born here and I am shocked at how the men act. They only check you out if your not looking at them or if they have on really dark shades. They are prideful and full of their large ego's, it stupid!

 
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