How to Date in New York City: Do Laundry, Eat Cupcakes, Drink!


Have you heard about It’s basically a matchmaking site based on what you want to do (on your date) rather than who you are in terms of any online profile. Or, as they put it, “Just say ‘How about we…’ and fill in the dots with a date you want to go on,” (allowing people to say yes or no based on how your date idea suits them) as opposed to going through “a tedious, job-search-like process.” Anyway, HowAboutWe has gotten into some dating analysis. We always find this sort of thing interesting, because it’s about us, and it’s about dating. Specifically, how do we, as New Yorkers, date? Who doesn’t want to know that? (This is where those of you raising your hands click to the next post.)

Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 dates proposed on their site, HowAboutWe has found some global, or at least, national, truths. For instance, Wednesday is the best date night. Make your request specific rather than general for more yeses. Ladies have a good positive response rate when they ask guys. Don’t try to be too fancy, a/k/a, don’t try too hard.

And this important nugget:

The No-Fail Formula for a Great First Date is a combination of all of the above: 1 part alcohol + 1 part activity + 1 specific location. Example: “How about we … play ping pong and enjoy a craft beer at the Standard Hotel’s outdoor beer garden?”

Judge it if you will (personally, we’d sub “ping pong” with “sit and talk”; “craft beer” with “some drinks”; and “Standard Hotel’s outdoor beer garden” with “anything but that, please” — but then, we’re notoriously fussy. The booze + activity + location seems otherwise pretty solid, as a base!

The HowAboutWe-ers then get into some specific New York dating stuff. For instance, there has been an upswing in gin dates, while whiskey dates are decreasing! (New York Times trend piece, comin’ right up!) Gin is, in fact, “currently 4x more popular than whiskey dates.” (Why? We have no idea. We despise gin due to that incident in ’03, but, like we said, notoriously fussy.)

Also popular dates in NYC: Bowling. Eating sweets (a cupcake tour of Manhattan is apparently “one of the all-time most popular dates on the site,” God bless). Backwards dinners. Doing errands on dates. Wait…what?

Says HowAboutWe:

Errand dating is one of the trendiest New York City date ideas. Doing laundry, grocery shopping and otherwise running errands are in the top 3 most often responded to dates in the city. Elsewhere in the country, errand dating ranks in the most unsuccessful categories.

This is because New Yorkers are efficient, and the rest of the country is lazy! Obviously.

New Yorkers also like sightseeing dates (okay, some of these suggestions seem pretty good, if corny, but then, dates are):

• “How about we explore abandoned subway stations in NYC, like the original City Hall subway station.”
• “How about we find the old Shea Stadium bases in the Citi Field Parking lot and then head across the tracks to see what’s left of the ’64 World’s Fair?”
• “How about we buy brand spanking new “I <3 NY” T-shirts, put then ride the Staten Island Ferry past Lady Liberty?”

What this all goes to show, of course, is that your date (meaning the activity) should be like you. If you hate cupcakes, don’t suggest them. If you hate booze, don’t go on a date (kidding). Whoever responds to you will ideally be as much up your alley as possible — and, honestly, props to you for putting yourself out there. Which is another reason to only suggest what YOU like. Hey, with all this romance in the air, it could happen!

• How about we write on our respective blogs all day, tweet about it, and then get drunk somewhere [specific] in the out-of-doors?



This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 29, 2011

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