Dating in NYC in Your 30s

New York City goes by a lot of names—NYC, The Big Apple, The City. And if you’re a single in your 30s in NYC, you might refer to it as, well, terrible. Yes, it’s no secret that dating in NYC in your 30s isn’t the easiest thing on Earth. When you mix the career hungriness of your peers with the speed of the city and just how dang expensive things are, it can be a challenge.

How do you successfully date in NYC in your 30s without losing your mind or setting your wallet or purse on fire? Where do you find quality people to hang out with and get to know?

Well, we’ve got some good news. It’s possible. And with the right direction, it’s actually not even that hard! In this guide, our team is going to break down the tips, secrets, and resources you need to survive (and even thrive) while dating in the Big Apple.

New York City aerial cityscape.

Stats on NYC Singles and the NYC Dating Scene

  • NYC ranks 89th best city for singles in the U.S. (out of 90 cities; next to last).
    • In that study:
      • 90th for cost of dating (last place)
      • 86th for quality of the dating pool (5th from last)
      • 26th best for dating amenities (a shining light)
  • NYC has the 5th most interest in online dating out of the major metropolitan areas in the state.
  • In the New York-Newark-Jersey City Metro Area:
    • Median age: 39.1 years old
    • Population is 52% female; 48% male
    • 46% of females married; 51% of males married
    • 37.7 minutes mean travel time to work
    • 87.3% have a high school degree or higher
    • 41.8% have a Bachelor’s degree or higher

Where to Find Singles in Their 30s in NYC

One of the biggest challenges of dating in your 30s in New York City is not finding singles. It’s easy to find people. The problem is finding QUALITY singles who aren’t married to their work or heavily into the party scene. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a little fun and taking your job seriously, but when those supersede any thoughts of a meaningful relationship—it can be a problem.

Here are some of the places 30-somethings in NYC can look to find quality singles with the pros and cons of each.

Online Dating

You’ll quickly find that we’re huge advocates for online dating, especially in a city like NYC. Why? Because online dating helps busy people who live in areas where it’s hard to connect with like-minded singles. Sound like anywhere you know?

If you haven’t ever given technology the chance to help you out, it’s time to give it a go.

Pros of Online Dating in NYC in Your 30s

  • Easily sort through potential matches by things like age, goals, location, faith, and more
  • Hands-down the most efficient way for busy singles to maximize their time looking for love
  • The ability to qualify singles before meeting, so you don’t waste time or money with the wrong person
  • Options for people looking for casual dating or for serious relationships

Cons of Online Dating in NYC in Your 30s

  • Might be something new you’re not used to

The Local Bar and Happy Hour Scene

The chances are probably pretty high that if you’re here with us today, you’ve already given this route a try. The classic way to try and find people to date in the city is to hit up the clubs, bars, or happy hour. Now, if you’re looking for something serious, we’d recommend steering more towards happy hours and less to the clubs.

Pros of the Bar Scene for 30-Something Singles in NYC

  • Can’t get physically catfished (because you can literally see them)
  • Immediately see if there is a real vibe
  • Some people enjoy looking for love on the bar scene

Cons of the Bar Scene for 30-Something Singles in NYC

  • No way to qualify who is a good candidate or not
  • Lots of people exaggerate things about themselves
  • It can get expensive quickly
  • You can spend an entire night out and meet no one
  • Requires more confidence and the guts to start a conversation

The Challenges to Dating in New York City

We all know that dating in your 30s in New York City isn’t easy. And while we don’t just want to have a pity parade about why things are tough, we do think it’s important to look at the challenges so that we can be better prepared with effective solutions.

  • The Expansiveness of the City and Commuters – People who haven’t lived here think that NYC is this little tiny block, kind of like how people think Las Vegas is just The Strip. The city is big, expansive, and filled with lots of different boroughs. If someone doesn’t live relatively close to you, it can be a challenge to logistically get together.
  • The Price of Dating – As we already mentioned, dating in NYC is obnoxiously expensive. When you’re paying $20-$40 for a round of drinks (or higher), that adds up. This can be a big deterrent for a lot of people just trying to be fiscally responsible in the city.
  • People Are In Their Own Zones – When you walk down the street in NYC, people are on their phones, tablets, or walking with headphones in. This makes it near impossible to approach someone you might be interested in or to have those unplanned interactions that can lead to conversations.
  • Singles May Put Their Career First – The one stereotype about NYC that is 100% true is that it’s a town filled with driven people. And while there is nothing wrong with being driven, some people take it so far that they are basically married to their careers. We probably don’t have to explain what this can do to the dating pool, especially if you’re looking for someone who is going to make you a priority.
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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.