Skip to Content

Why Dating In NYC For Singles Over 30 Is Not Easy

Modern dating isn’t easy. We know all this. It’s a whole new ballgame when you enter your 30s, too. There are countless books out there about being single in your 30s. But, they don’t even begin to cover the challenges of dating in NYC (New York City).

Then there are so many Buzzfeed and Reddit roundups all about people sharing the hardest part of dating in their 30s. It’s even harder when you’re navigating the new norm of dating post-divorce in your 30s.

Let’s examine the horror story of dating in NYC through a quick examination of the Big Apple downfalls. But don’t worry, we’ll leave you with some notes for hope if you are setting out to navigate even if as deep as the heart of NYC.

Dating in NYC In Your 30s is Hard

New York City Dating Over 30 Is Hard Because…

All of that is hard – super hard. But what makes this all even more difficult than it already is? Dating in a big city, like NYC. As a born and bred New Yorker, I know firsthand how difficult the dating scene is here.

You would think meeting new people for dating in NYC would not be hard due to the seemingly large dating pool. However, at the end of the day among all the single men and single women it is that much harder to find mutual matches.

At first you’ll find the younger men and younger women want to visit clubs, but as you progress in age you’ll discover that is no longer you comfort zone. Especially for ages 30 up, you’ll want more good experiences which can lead from first dates to a serious relationship. If you’re trying dating in NYC it won’t happen partying at a club.

Sure let’s say you find a nice guy during an exciting speed dating event. Good luck getting past a third date before the good times change to bad dates. Even with a lot of people to choose from, it is so hard to make new friends who align with your values let alone finding a love life in the New York City dating scene.

Is Dating in NYC Really That Bad?

Now, in full transparency, I will confess to you all that I have not had to maneuver dating in NYC in my 30s. But I have a lot of friends that have, so I chatted with them about it. Here are some firsthand accounts of how difficult dating in NYC in your 30s really is, some horror stories included.

“You know how on dating apps you feel like there are endless options? That’s how it feels here in NYC at all times – both trying to date online and offline. There are just so many people. There are so many options – both for you and the person you may be interested in. Why settle when you can literally play the field… and the field is so big? That’s what I’ve run into trying to date here.” – Christen, 35

“When it comes to dating in NYC, what I tell all non-New Yorkers is that it’s quantity over quality here. There are thousands that can swipe right on you through an app but finding someone that’s compatible or can carry a conversation (let alone even respond to your messages) is a hurdle within itself.

Sure, we can go and meet ‘the old fashion way’ but where go to meet someone besides a bar? The options dwindle as you get older while the bar crowds get younger, so as a woman in her mid-30s… I’m in a position where I’m not exactly sure what to do.” – Jocelyn, 36

New York City Dating

“One time a guy I met on hinge asked me for my roommates number. To me, that just sums up dating in NYC in a nutshell. Where else would the guys have the balls to do that? There’s just a such a sense of entitlement and BDE here that I don’t think you would have to deal with dating somewhere else.” – Mara, 32

“Honestly, I just gave up a long long time ago. That’s how bad dating in NYC is. I’m probably going to be single for the rest of my life, but after trying dating here for so long, it’s just not worth it.” – Lou, 39

“I’m a NYC transplant – moved here after college to live and breathe the NYC working life. Whereas in the small town I came from everyone’s goal was to settle down, get married, and start a family in their 20s… I don’t feel that here. Everyone is so focused on their career and growing their brand that that’s more important to them than dating.

I’ll admit it, I loved that in my 20s. But now I’m in my 30s and I still feel like people are focusing more on their careers than anything else. It’s a challenge for sure. I’ve had dates cancel on my last minute because they got stuck at work! It’s work before everything… and I’m kinda over that mentality now.” – Lisa, 31

“As a guy, I feel like all the girls I meet or try to date are very focused on your job and what you do. If you’re not in finance or working on Wall Street, they don’t want to give you the time of day. I’ve noticed that when I’m messaging with a girl on an app, the convo can be going well, but once they ask me what I do and I tell them that I’m a teacher… the convo starts to fade. I could be wrong, but if I were living somewhere else, I don’t think there’d be such a job stigma.” – Nick, 34

“I’m not sure if this is an NYC thing or not, but since the rent here is so expensive, dating’s more difficult because more and more 30-somethings are still living at home or with some relative! It’s not uncommon for me to meet someone who still lives at home, and honestly, if your parents have a nice place in one of the five boroughs, why would you move out and have to deal with these rent prices?!

But sneaking around parents in your 30s is not as cool or ‘fun’ as it can be in your 20s, at least in my eyes. It makes dating harder for sure – where are we supposed to go for some privacy?” – Claire, 30

New York City Dating is Not Easy

“Hot take – I’m enjoying dating in my 30s in NYC. I will admit that I’m not looking to settle down just yet, but I am enjoying playing the field. There are so many options for me to go out with and explore. And there’s so much fun for me to have! There are tons of successful and attractive men and women here, I think NYC is a beautiful place to date.” – Anna, 31

“I will say, the dating part in NYC is easy. Whether it be on apps or at happy hour after work, there are tons of single people here. What I found to be difficult is getting people to actually commit. That’s the hard part. IDK if that’s an NYC centric problem or not, but it is something I have noticed.” – Billy, 37

“Men in their 30s still party like they’re in their 20s. They think they can hit up the clubs like they used to. That’s not my scene anymore. I did it so much in my 20s I don’t want to do it in my 30s. There are just so many going out options here and people still have FOMO about it – that’s what I think makes dating in NYC so hard.” – Maria, 34

Suggestions for Dating in NYC In Your 30s

Be creative when ready to search the potential matches during New York City dating. Your next relationship could be right around the corner. There are plenty of friendly hosts from NYC speed dating options to various shops, businesses, and areas which better support a dating scene.

A great way to get started is to consider what makes you passionate in life and the hobbies you enjoy. Then socialize with others who also find these same topics interesting in a most efficient way to find an eligible man or woman.

Yes, you may have spent the last year, and likely more, filtering through numerous one-way matches of the New York City dating scene, but don’t give up. This is most important thing, keep the hope that the next person could be your serious relationship that stays for the rest of time.

Dating in NYC is not easy
Dating in NYC is not easy

About the Author

I had tons of fun in my 20s, but my 30s have been my favorite decade so far! From getting married and now getting to explore life with my best friend, I want to share my experiences and learnings with you. I've worked in both the nonprofit and corporate worlds and have freelanced all the way through. When I'm not working, you'll probably find me booking my next trip.