Single In New York City? Read This

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
By Ashley Schneider

I've heard it; I've felt it; I understand the problem. Dating in the age of tech feels impossible.

How many OKCupid dates must one go on before finding something of an organic connection, or at least a moderately satisfying short-term relationship? Does Tinder even lead to emotions, let alone a second date?

Most importantly: Is it even possible to meet someone in real life anymore? Yes. Yes, it is.
Here's how to play the dating game even when it seems impossible to find anyone datable.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Change Your 'Tude
Get rid of your bad attitude and find a healthy dose of optimism. Too often, I hear friends lamenting the dating scene. "There's literally no prospects" and "this is f*cking hopeless" will serve no purpose other than to put some serious blinders on your eyes.

Changing your mindset, even so much as saying, "Okay, I don't see anything for right now, but eventually I will find something" will lay some important groundwork.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Abolish The "Type"
Nothing has ever been more harmful to dating than "The Type." I get that we often feel attracted to one kind of look over another; however, often The Type serves to seriously limit the dating pool. Hotness is not limited to Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Joaquin Phoenix, or Kim Kardashian (thank god), so you shouldn't limit it to dark hair and a slender bod. Find the hotness in everything. The world gets infinitely more exciting when you do.

Related: 10 Lessons You Learn From Living On Your Own In Your 20's
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Open Your Eyes
Now that you've got a positive attitude and your Type is All That Is Hot, look around. See that barista behind the counter? Yum. What about that friend of a friend at a crowded party? Hot. Start identifying all of the Hot Guys or Hot Girls (or Hot Anythings) around you, and then find more. Don't be gross about it.

Just remember that this is about looking around and figuring out that the world is filled with beautiful and interesting people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Wait — time out. Is hotness limited to physical appearance, you ask? Hell, no. Talent can be hot. Intelligence can be hot. Sincerity, kindness, and independence can be hot. All of these are crucial Hotness Factors.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Get Fearless
Now that you have realized the world is filled with beautiful people, you're revved up and ready to go, but we have one last thing to do before we let you loose on the world. This step is important, so listen up, f*ckers.

Get brave. Rejection is f*cking awful. We've all felt it, unless you're Chris Pine. Then probably not. But for the rest of us Earthlings, rejection is a real possibility. I know it. I've been turned down. Once, at a party, I asked a man if he wanted to make out, and he said, "maybe later." Maybe later?

To overcome the fear of rejection, remind yourself you are awesome. Name at least three positive qualities about yourself and repeat them. If you need someone to remind you what those qualities are, enlist a friend.

Related: What Every Millennial Must Learn To Live The Good Life
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Envision The Worst-Case Scenario
When that guy said, "maybe later," it felt awful. There had been vibes all evening. But about five minutes later, I moved on. Any dude who is going to tell me "maybe later" isn't worth my time because there are so many others who will say hell, yes. This is true for everyone. So, really, what rejection helps us do is figure out the duds. Every time you're rejected, you're getting closer to finding someone who's into it.

Stop staring from the corner. The only way that you will figure out if there are vibes is by talking, so get moving.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Make It Rain
Hand out your phone number. I mean it. Do it now, block later. Get other phone numbers. Some easy pretexts for doing so include something in your earlier conversation ("Amazing movie recommendations! I should get your number for the next time I'm in a rut") and also GOOD VIBES. We should hang out sometime. We should grab a drink. Here's my number if you're down to hang.

Once, I wrote my phone number on a piece of paper and dropped it on a table for a guitarist who had checked me out across the room. We went on at least three dates. As in, I real-life Tindered him, and it worked. It will work for you, too.
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Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Go On All Of The Dates
Everyone is worth at least one drink. You'll be surprised what happens when you adopt this rule. Trust me. Eliminate the "But he..." or "But she..." and go out. There you have it. Follow these rules. Be relentless about them.

Go on multiple dates with multiple people until you find someone who makes your heart skip and your stomach go sick with butterflies. Then take your time, tell any others that you're sorry and there's someone else that you need to figure out your feelings for, and let life take you down the road to romance. Who knows, maybe you'll get a real partner out of it.

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