Meeting People in New York City

In New York City residents tend to stay to themselves, so it can certainly be a challenge to meet people if you are new to the area. In fact, this is something both single New Yorkers and young couples notoriously complain about. You will hear that young women are guarded and unapproachable, dating is expensive and it is impossible to meet anyone never mind make friends in the Big Apple. However, it seems paradoxical that living in a city with millions of people, loads of activities and entertainment doesn't also lead to the opportunity to meet some of those people.

So in a city where eye contact or a casual hello can be considered very unwelcome how do you meet people? The answer is you may have to exert a bit more effort than you would in some other cities. Statistically, there are a large percentage of singles in New York City. In fact, over 1 million single men and women live in the city. Add that to the over 1 million couples that are young and without children and you have a huge group of people seeking social interaction. The good news is that New York City is absolutely filled with opportunities to meet others, but you have to join, attend, find transportation and make arrangements. Chances are you won't have friends or dates fall in your lap.

Your neighborhood is a good place to start. In a city where many people are still a bit wary, it may be refreshing to have someone offer to bring in your mail or pet sit. You can find out fairly quickly if a neighbor is open to this. You can also invite people over for dinner because you are new to the area. Residents may have lots of tips about meeting people or interesting things to do close by. Don't hesitate to visit a new neighborhood, talk to someone on the subway or attend church. The library is widely used in New York City, and it certainly opens the door for a conversation. Take your drawing pad to an art museum and see if you strike up a conversation. Plenty of organizations need volunteers, and this is a great way to meet people. You can get cards made up with your personal information or carry blank cards. This way you won't have to scramble to find a piece of paper when you want to give someone pertinent information or jot down their phone number.

While these places are certainly worth a try, you may need to narrow down your search for companionship. Focus on something unique about yourself as a single or a couple. For instance, your heritage - you and your husband are both from Ireland; visit an Irish pub and see what happens. Or you spent years as a kid taking ice-skating lessons. Get out there and ice-skate; you never know who you will meet. How about something as simple as you love to drink beer? Visit one of the exciting pubs in New York City (and there are loads) and take a beer tour; it is a great way to start a conversation with others. The greater New York Mensa members meet during the week, if you are looking for intelligent repartee. Attend interesting classes or seminars. You can always propose that others get together after class to discuss the issues further. Couple may have it a bit easier because there are two of you to start conversation or tease each other through an initial meeting.

Many New Yorkers use services for everything - dry-cleaning, working out, personal shopping, dog walking - so how about using a service to plan your social life? Many organizations will group people according to their interests. You will literally find everything from skydiving to wine tasting to urban punk rock music groups. Obviously websites, which have both positive and negative connotations for certain individuals, abound in New York; the nice thing is that with this number of people, others have done the work in narrowing down interests. You can actually find a vegetarian date or a date from a specific country or a date that is fellow dog-lover. There are truly an abundance of unique nationality clubs, from those specifically for Jewish young people to Hungarian residents to Chinese board game groups. New York City also has over 8,000 subscribers to a company which is a cell-phone compatible service that uses GPS technology to track others in your area that you are interested in dating. Singles Gourmet is an establishment that's purpose is to get singles together in a casual, fun atmosphere. New York City is also home to an excursion dating service that matches individual up according to their interests and then rather than dating, you do something like rock climbing or whitewater rafting.

If money is an issue and dinner is too conventional or just plain expensive, consider a free poet's battle, a free movie at MoMA, go bowling, visit a jazz club or just visit a New York City destination - stroll through Central Park, watch ice-skaters at Rockefeller Center or take a free tour of Grand Central station.

New York City certainly has a plethora of things that are going on! The key is getting out there and getting involved. In NYC, everyone tends to become your neighbor simply because you are all sharing in the same experience. Take advantage of this shared experience, and then realize it isn't impossible to discover some common experiences that you might also find in a small community. Plus, it certainly is possible to do things you never dreamed possible in other cities.


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