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What I learned from my 40 first dates in NYC

Opal Pyr, MBA Class of 2017


Call me excessively selective, call me a serial dater, but in the first two months since I moved to New York I –unknowingly- conducted my very own experiment on the “art and science” of first dates.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t date just for the sake of dating; all the invitations I’ve accepted have come from people I have genuinely been interested in getting to know better – I don’t pretend to seem shallow, but most of them even had similar physiques!

These are some of the things I learned by dating 40 new people in The Big City:

New Yorkers are choosy… because they can be. Never have I seen the phrase “plenty of fish in the sea” to be more real than in New York, not even while I was abroad, living in a city twice as big. Most people are aware of their unlimited options, and they won’t settle if they think they can still find someone better (and so shouldn’t you!)

Plans and times are flexible. “Don’t accept Saturday dates after Wednesday” was my aunt’s rule of thumb, but in a place where everyone is always busy, where trains and traffic are always unpredictable, and where work schedules are never a given, it’s almost impossible to be that rigid.

Online dating is not frowned upon. Using dating apps is a fairly common method to meet people outside of one’s usual circles, and a lot of couples who have met this way feel no shame in admitting it. But don’t forget to be cautious and use common sense if you do choose to go down that road (more about this in a future article).

Any night can be date night. Up until moving here, I would have never considered to stay up late on a weekday to go clubbing or bar hopping, but take a stroll around the Village any night and you’ll find yourself wondering “Don’t these people have work in the morning?”

Dates are great networking events. Forget about coffee chats, first dates are the ultimate networking opportunity. Think about it: Two people with similar interests in a relaxed environment, with plenty of time to talk about each other’s goals and histories… even if things don’t work out, they sure can get you in touch with at least one person in your dream job or company!

Have questions about dating you want our new dating columnist to answer? Submit them to or twit them to @Opal-Pyr.

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