“When Love is a Schlep” (how great is that title by the way) details the irritating and oh-so-true fact about New York relationships: that often, dating in New York can feel like long- distance dating. This is enhanced by the insane work week, the spreading out of young people into the burroughs, and the fact that the subway takes freaking forever, particularly to go to places like Brooklyn and Queens.
My friend Sheila briefly dated a guy who lived in Washington Heights, while she resided in Brooklyn. He was also a workaholic. “Oy vey,” was all she said when I asked what happened to him. She didn’t need to explain any further.
Also, New York could be the worst place ever for “morning afters” in the case that a couple has decided to get intimate with each other (unless you live in the same apt building- and that’s just a bad idea). Particularly for couples who live in different neighborhoods, the idea of the morning after is enough to deter the night itself.
For guys it’s not so bad. They can hide their messy hair under a baseball cap and smooth out their polo. But for women, it’s the absolute worst. The subway is very public. Rather than being able to hop into the privacy of your own car, roll up the windows and put on a ratty sweatshirt from the backseat, the morning after in NYC means an embarrassing epiic of a subway ride home (see: black eye makeup smeared all over the face) or a very expensive cab ride, if your mate lives far away. Also, sometimes womens’ high heels are so high or skirts so short that it would be literally impossible to ride the subway home, for fear of death by tripping, or rape by well, raping. This guarantees a crazy expensive cab ride. A lot of the time it is easier to part ways at the end of the night, instead of going home with someone.
What does this do for couple’s intimacy levels who don’t live so close to one another in the city? Not a whole lot- because due to the inconvenience of getting to each other’s places, the couple always meets in a central location, as the Times article indicated. These types of central locations are devoid of space to have any sort of physical intimacy (PDA people aside…fyi, you are gross), and they are also simply impersonal. How can you truly understand someone if you have never seen the space that they live in? This space, and how they function in it, tells a lot about a person.
So is there an answer? The only thing I can think of is hanging out in your neighborhood when trying to meet people of the opposite sex, and particularly hanging out there during the week, when people are there just to chill and not to party.
So should you count someone out because they live in Astoria and you in Brooklyn? No. But you should be aware that it is going to be a lot harder to make things work than if the other person lived down the block.