By Sarah Montclaire
This economy is affecting many important facets of everyday life. Jobs, healthcare, housing, energy. Of all the things negatively impacted by the recession, dating is not typically the first thing on people’s minds.
While perhaps not a matter of grave national importance, for thousands of single New Yorkers, dating in this economy is a relevant, prevalent concern. Thinking about dating, trying to get dates, going on dates, dating more people, dating new people – dating is still a priority. If forced to choose, many New Yorkers would pick dating over food and shelter. And of course by “dating” I mean “sex.”
But seriously, how has the economy affected the dating scene in the Big Apple?
The reality is that people are dating less often and less opulently. Dates are fewer and farther between, and less fancy. Guys are asking girls out for coffee instead of dinner. Girls are offering to split the bill more often. Couples are taking public transportation instead of cabs.
What used to be dinner at Pastis is now a lunch date at Europa. What used to be a carriage ride in Central Park is now a Subway ride to Target. What used to be a romantic trip to the Caribbean is now a weekender in Williamsburg.
My friend Liz put it like this, “You could call men cheaper. Or you could call them creative. This economy forces them to think more about what to do for dates.”
Everyone can do their part to make dating in this economy easier. Guys can plan fun yet low-cost dates that take the financial pressure off both sides. Girls can order the less expensive menu options to keep the bill down. Instead of going to a movie, couples could go visit a gallery or museum. Instead of going out for drinks, couples could have friends over to share a bottle of wine.
My coworker April observed, “It definitely means going out less. Dinners, drinks, movies, clubbing, shows…that stuff adds up.”
Although it is clear that dating has not escaped the wrath of this awful economy, it is also clear that both genders understand the financial situation and have adjusted their expectations. Everyone I spoke to about this demonstrated patience and empathy. It might mean a few more spaghetti dinners at home for awhile, but everyone’s in this together.
As my eloquent friend Natalie put it, “It sucks, but what can you do?”
On that note, here are some things you CAN do that may offer some financial reprieve:
http://www.network-twenty.com/events/free_things_new_york_city.html http://www.jazzhostels.com/blog/175-free-things-to-do-in-new-york-city/ http://www.thenewyorkcitytraveler.com/10-free-things-to-do-in-new-york-city/