Are We Running Out Of Men In New York?

The era of overlap.

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

It’s hard to say yes to this question while I’m on a 95-degree subway panini’ed between an investment banker with his almost-empty gym bag and a 23-year-old hipster wearing a dishtowel for a shirt, but in general the answer is affirmative. I am talking about single men, of course.

The actually datable, recently bathed, just-as-employed-as-I am set, the kind of men that don’t require disclaimers when you mention them to friends or family. I think they’re disappearing. They may already be gone.

I’m certainly not talking about fuckbois, those simpletons. That army of sex avatars powered by whiskey and the disappointment of others. I do require my company to be more than a dick with a Lyft account, thanks.

This topic arose in my mind with enough girth to write about it when I tallied up the odd dating coincidences that have recently presented themselves. All of the following have happened to me in the last 30 days:

  1. Over drinks, I spoke to a close friend who had gone on a Tinder date with a guy that a friend of hers also went on a date with the week prior. They realized it after some specifics about him came out.
  2. That same friend, during our same conversation, had this reaction when I showed her a cute guy I’d recently matched with on Tinder: “Oh I went out with him.”
  3. A member of my dinner group texted us all and said “Hey, look who I found on Tinder!” It was a chef from a restaurant we like. I’d matched with him a few months before.

Clearly I am aware that the single man to single woman ratio in New York has been askew since time immemorial. But this is not askew. This is bullshit.

Are we so low on resources that we’re all supposed to just like…share now? Is this the end? Have we exhausted the single guy stores within the city such that there are five left and we’ve all got to circle as closely around them as possible before the music stops?

A great guy in New York can’t swing a Herschel backpack without knocking over ten single, attractive, bills-on-autopay women in this city. But if I want to go on an actual date anymore first I’ve got to find a needle in Nebraska.

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Or should we just trade them? Like Pogs? Text each other once a week and see who’s got a spare? A spare she somehow didn’t want to keep for herself but totally thinks you should meet anyway? Mkay. The only time the leave one/take one model has ever worked in this city is with umbrellas, and even those vary in quality.

This isn’t a pride thing. I’d have no trouble at all dating a guy who used to date a friend of mine. Darling, don’t make me laugh. We haven’t had numbers to support that attitude since college, and back then it was all a big sexual square dance anyway. This is instead a shocking realization that a woman living in the most populated city in the country by double the 2nd most populated city is finding herself overlapping with the women she’s closest to. Not the women she sees for dinner every other month or at a new workout class when she’s got a free +1 pass, I mean my girls. Odds-wise alone, this is terrifying.

I get asked a lot for the “point” of my single gal grievance writings. It’s this: If you read something and identify with it, if you read something and laugh/cry at it, if you feel less alone for the 3-4 minutes it takes you to read this, that’s the point, because you’re not alone, no matter how alone society tries to tell you to feel. I write because I won’t let it. And if none of this applies to you, my work isn’t for you, grumpy old man who still uses a desktop computer and ethernet.

So to those who are thinking to themselves, “I knew this seemed strange, how can there possibly be so few datable single men in New York? This makes no mathematical sense! Am I doing something wrong? Am I crazy?” No, you angel, you’re not. You’re not doing anything wrong, and you’re not just making this up inside your head. I’ve noticed it, my friends have noticed it, and I think we’re right. You’re not crazy, but it’s okay to be scared.

Written by

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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