Home > Dating and Relationships, Discover People, Goto New York, Personal and Thoughts, Women > Dating in New York: Did you set your bars too high?

Dating in New York: Did you set your bars too high?

There are a lot of single men in New York. Good looking, well-educated, capable, fun, and single. You know what we have more in New York? Good looking, well-educated, capable, fun and single WOMEN.

There are many reasons and even theories developed surrounding why it is the case as it is today. But it all comes down to this question: what do you want to get out of your dating life and/or your relationship?

If you consider these factors separately, it is obviously not that hard to find someone who is 25-32, who went to a top 20 university (just think about how many Ivy leaguers there are in the city), who has a 100+ paying job, who is at least 5’9, who knows how to play an instrument, whose parents are not separated, etc…

The hard part is: you want a combination of everything above, and there are 48 other items on your extended list.

People say, yes you will have your own “requirement”, but when the right person comes along, you will throw away all of your “requirements” and just fall in love. So I couldn’t stop but wondering: why do you want to have those “requirement” in the first place? Is it the case that you will run a security check on someone’s age, height, degree, occupation on your first date and will ditch him/her if they don’t satisfy even just one of your criterions?

Blame the word – “ideal”. Just imagine, what other options you may have opened up for yourself should you never had such a list. The fact is: I thought I would definitely be dating someone older than me, and someone at least 5’9, and someone Asian if not Chinese – the truth is I am dating none of the above, and I could not be happier.

One of the most memorable conversations I ever had with my clients is with this really senior MD lady from one of the biggest SWF in the world. To my surprise, her son went to only a second tier college back home, I mean, you would imagine the children of someone like her to be much more ambitious.

Her response surprised me more. She said, yes he would easily get into one of the top universities. But he chose not to. He said to me if he does get into one of those top ones, he will spend the rest of his entire life trying to get ahead of other people. It’s like the beginning of a life where you have to consistently reach out to even higher bars. He said he is not sure if this is the life he wants for himself. And he is not sure if this is the life I want him to have for himself either. 

I was impressed, and also deeply touched. All our parents want the “best” for their children, and we want the best for ourselves, and the ones important to us. But how many of us have really considered what “best” means. It’s an easy decision between “success” and “failure”, but what about “stress” versus “happiness”, or “constantly meeting new deadlines” versus “freedom”?

It is not that different for dating. Do you want to set your bars too high and constantly worry about not meeting your bars so you have to constantly push yourself as well as your loved ones? Or you want to loosen up a little bit and try to enjoy life more?

It’s always a good combination that wins. What do you think?

  1. August 16, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Great post! It’s so easy to fall in to this “meet or raise the bar” thinking (and I bet especially so in NY!). That really IS a lot of stress..as though any of us need more of that today anyway! how much more peaceful to just meet someone satisfied with where and who they are and satisfied with who you are..and then share space and see if that space is even strangely more fulfilling merely by that person’s presence in it?

    • August 16, 2010 at 11:31 pm

      haha, thanks. Yes I agree it’s hard, and a lot of pressure. But probably exactly because of this, you will be so thrilled when you finally found the one! Right? The interesting part is sometimes you don’t even know you’re already dating that person, or he/she has already come to your life.

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