Single in the City

By Erica Cramer, LMSW

Being single can be challenging (especially in a big city like New York).  Dating apps have made it easier to meet other people, but do not necessarily secure relationships.  Since dates are so simple to get with modern technology, most people do not invest the time and energy into creating a meaningful relationship. If you are no longer interested in going on infinite first dates, try the following tips and hopefully you will see improvements in your dating life.

  1. Don’t judge a book by its cover.  There is a difference between someone being attractive and you being attracted to them.  Sometimes a person’s personality can make them more attractive and you can like someone who does not necessarily appeal to you at face value.  When you view online profiles, you are seeing a very one dimensional picture of who someone is and what they have to offer. If you start a conversation with someone and like their personality, give them an opportunity to have a first date with you.  You may be pleasantly surprised and actually have fun.

  2. Give people a chance.  First dates tend to be very awkward and uncomfortable.  Most people are so nervous about saying the wrong thing and have difficulty letting their true personality shine.  I often hear clients say they went on a boring first date or did not have that much in common with the other person.   Give people a chance to get more comfortable with you and gradually discover similarities that you may have (Unless you find out something that is an absolute deal breaker and a reason why you would never have a future with this person).

  3. Make allowances for people.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Sometimes people say or do something stupid on a date. When you live in a large city, most people figure that they have many options and disregard someone when one thing goes wrong.  Just because someone makes a mistake does not mean that they are not the right person for you. When someone does something that you do not like, consider how serious the infraction is and if it was a one-time mistake or a consistent habit.

  4. Get your priorities straight.  It is unlikely that you are ever going to meet someone who is perfect, but an imperfect person may be perfect for you.  Identify your non-negotiables (things that are absolutely essential in a partner) and negotiables (things that are more flexible in a partner).  In addition to non-negotiables and negotiables, when you are dating someone who you have mixed feelings about it is important to think of things that can change versus things that cannot change.  For example, someone cannot get taller, but they can move apartments.

Erica Cramer is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support in prioritizing and taking care of your mental health, contact Cobb Psychotherapy and see how therapy can help.