Generally speaking, New Yorkers move fast. That means that a New Yorker can decide lightning-fast whether or not you’re invited up to their apartment for some of yesterday’s Chinese. While this city is filled with an infinite number of potential companions, there are certain dating make-or-breaks many might agree on. Here are some things to avoid doing when dating a New Yorker:
1. Show up late.
Automatically plan to arrive at least fifteen minutes early. Being on time just means you’re already late. Showing up late for the first date typically means one of two things: you see nothing wrong with slacking off, or you’re so new to the city that you haven’t yet learned that you always factor in an extra twenty minutes for our public transportation system. Either way, that’s strike one.
2. Choose a chain restaurant for dinner.
There are approximately 24,000 dining establishments in New York City, including family-owned eateries, world–renowned restaurants, and chefs. Dragging your date to a chain restaurant is a fast turn-off. Put in the legwork, ask friends, grab the most recent Zagat, and read reviews. Save the late night TGIFridays runs for after the honeymoon phase when you’ve had one too many drinks at McFadden’s Saloon.
3. Not knowing what topics are off limits.
Remember when you were younger and enjoyed tormenting siblings but found no enjoyment when anyone else bad-mouthed them? That’s pretty much what happens when a non–native talks smack about things like the Yankees, New York bagels, New Yorkers, and essentially New York in general.
4. Expect to be the top priority.
The average New Yorker has a tier system when it comes to priorities. Themselves, their career, coffee, and the city score highest on the board. Nothing scares a New Yorker away quicker than someone whose sole purpose in life is finding someone to call “baby” in their iPhone contacts.
5. Discuss your lack-of goals, ambitions, or hobbies.
There’s something about growing up in New York that makes you feel like achieving anything is the normal mindset. It’s hard to not develop this culture when you live in a city of people constantly pushing their limits. It’s a huge turnoff when someone responds to a, “What do you like to do?” question with, “You know, chill.” Whether you’re talking about wanting to start your own start-up, run a 10k by 30, or how you’re working towards figuring out your goal, any dash of passion will get you very far with a New Yorker.
6. Put no effort into dates.
Dinner and a movie is always a classic, but considering that New York has endless things to do, you’ll need to ditch the movie for something a bit more exciting. This summer there was even a 270-foot waterslide installed in Midtown for a day. There will always be something memorable happening in this city. Bonus points if you can keep the date at a two-transfer transportation maximum.
7. Put no effort into your appearance.
You by no means need to stroll out of your house looking like you’re about to walk Fashion Week but put at least some effort into your appearance. If there is anybody you don’t want to be, it’s the girl wearing sweats in the office or the guy wearing the neon yellow bubble coat in the first snowstorm of the winter.
8. Expect them to fall in love with you overnight.
New Yorkers may walk fast, talk fast, and eat fast, but when it comes to relationships, things might move at a more glacial pace. This could be from being emotionally cautious to pride, to being completely swamped with work. Remember that when it comes to New Yorkers, they tend to do things a bit different and just because they don’t call you up for a second date the very next morning, doesn’t mean they’re not interested. With some time and effort on both your parts and an understanding that sometimes you have to check your cell phone at the dinner table, you may just end up being the one they want to keep around.
9. Order them a decaf coffee.
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