It's been called the city that never sleeps, and well, the one that sleeps around, too. I haven't lived here for 10 years yet, but I'm up to six, and I claim the title of a New Yorker pretty proudly. Even though there is so much to love about this glistening metropolis, there are also a few things about living here that make dating and finding love difficult in New York City. From endless selection to hectic, busy schedules held by highly-motivated people, it's not only settling down that's tough, it's being able to sit still for more than a drink before you take another call.
I haven't given up on finding my future husband in this city, but I've also come to learn that the way we date in NYC isn't how everyone else dates across the country, and even the globe. We're a city that adapts easily to new technologies (minus our public transportation system, that is) and one that is always in search of the next big thing: like sundaes that cost $15 or of course, the newest dating app. That's why many new swipe-yes-or-not sorts of downloads pop up here (or San Francisco) before they're tested in other places.
Early adapter to online dating and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, Julie Spira chimed in on the best dating apps for city slickers. And like the Big Apple offers a cuisine or club for anyone, the same goes for love: there's really something for every New Yorker:
What it is: Ever loved someone's Instagram photos so much that you wanted to meet them? Glimpse gives you the chance. It connects to your Insta profile to help you find matches. While you fill in some info — like your sex, birthday and sexual orientation — your pictures really do the rest of the talking.
Why it's great for New Yorkers: "It's hard to find a New Yorker who doesn't love Instagram or isn't constantly taking photos," Spira says. "This really is a fast way to instantly connect with people who share your interests. It's insta-dating on the fly!"
Once you decide on the photos you want to highlight and select the age range and type of people you'd like to meet, you can start scrolling other profiles. You click 'smile' to show interest and if it's mutual, you can start double-tapping in real life.
What it is: This app is only on the main island of NYC — Manhattan — and it's based on your Facebook profile. The big added feature of Dapper is how it takes the insane schedules of New Yorkers and makes dates happen: once you connect, you input your schedule so you can both find a time your free — cutting out that not-so-sexy merry-go-round of when you're going to have a half-off beer at happy hour.
Why it's great for New Yorkers: "This app really helps people meet in real life and get off line fast, which for busy professionals can often be the biggest hurdle," Spira says. "Simply put, Dapper gets dates booked."
Spira also added that she likes Dapper because it requires heterosexual men to sign a 'Gentleman Pledge' which states the intention for using Dapper is meant to meet someone who might be a potential relationship, not casual sex.
What it is: Happn is just starting to pick up in NYC, Spira says, with 20 percent of their user base here. If you've ever wondered if you've walked past your soul mate 100 times before, Happn is trying to answer that question for you: when you pass by a fellow user, it notifies you and tells you just how often you've crossed paths. If you mutually connect, you ideally could meet right then.
Why it's great for New Yorkers: Spira says the app reminds her of Craigslist 'missed connections'— but modernized. Also, Spira says their new voice feature takes a lot of the anxiety out of a first date: you can hear their voice before you actually meet. This makes it easier for busy folks to weed through people before making a commitment to go out unless they're actually interested.
4. Coffee Meets Bagel
What it is: Each day at 12 p.m., women are given five new matches — that's it! And, these are matches who have already liked you. You have 24 hours to like the photo or pass it to a friend (connected via Facebook) who you think might be a match. You can also purchase more 'bagels' (matches) if you want to swipe more.
Why it's great for New Yorkers: It could be argued that New Yorkers have too many options and CMB lets you take a step back and focus, at least for that day. "Some singles get overwhelmed with the mere mass of online dating and all of the options on other apps," Spira says. "I think this app makes it easier and gives you something to look forward to each day at noon."
What it is: If you're looking for a hookup and don't want to get into anything serious, here's an app for you. Down helps you meet locals nearby and see what you're both in the mood for: swipe up on a profile for a serious relationship and down for sex.
Why it's great for New Yorkers: If you're single, it can get frustrating when people don't always reveal their intentions from the get-go. "Down hopes there's truth-in-advertising and so do I," Spira says. "Down bases your matches on your true intentions and calculates a 'down' score based on your views and swipes."
Images: Glimpse; Dapper; Happn; Coffee Meets Bagel; Down;