How to find your Valentine in the city


@lizdrosema on IG

Hayden Miller, Contributor

Whether we like it or not, Valentine’s Day is upon us, and like any other single person in this day and age, I have to fight the urge to go anti-Valentine’s Day. But, as we prepare for the global display of shared love and affection, I encourage us not to declare war on this holiday but embrace it. I say this because if I were to go through with my original plan to spend Valentine’s Day curled up with my pint of Cherry Garcia fro-yo, I would be substantially less satisfied than if I were to work up the courage and meet someone. Anyhow, you find yourself reading this article for a reason. You’re here as a hopeful sweetheart pondering how to find a Valentine in a city like New York. 

My first and obvious answer is dating apps. Swiping right on a cutie could be your answer to companionship this Valentine’s Day. There are countless options in the app store with so many different types of profiles and swiping features to find yourself a date! Meeting someone on a dating app is fun and easy because your date has no premeditated thoughts or feelings, so being yourself is the way to go. But whether you match with someone and bond over your favorite TV shows or your answers to their Hinge prompts, I advise you to meet your Valentine’s match in a public space, and if you are feeling uncomfortable at any point during the date, kindly leave. 

I cannot stress this enough, but if there is any easy topic to start a conversation about, it’s dogs. At a dog park, dogs are typically allowed to run and play freely in the fenced area, so almost every dog is a free game to pet, especially when they have an attractive owner. There are so many dog parks in the city, including Little West Dog Run in Battery Park and Tribeca Dog Run at Pier 26. Finding a dog to play with is simple, and meeting its owner can be effortless. Spark up a conversation, and somehow, the conversation could go from “what breed are they?” to “do you come here often?” 

Whatever you enjoy, do it, and enjoying whatever you are doing will be attractive to others. I recently discovered Meetup, a platform that helps people locate and establish groups in their local communities. Meetup allows individuals to meet new people, learn new things, step out of their comfort zones and pursue their hobbies in a group setting. The meetups can be anything from a beginner’s pottery class to a themed bar crawl! Meetup is a great way to meet someone if you are not as comfortable meeting people one-on-one. Apps like Meetup are excellent for finding a Valentine and making friends too!

Don’t be shy about going out to have experiences on your own. Wander around a museum, see a show or eat alone at the bar of that restaurant you’ve been dying to try. English Professor Gregory Crosby says, “Go to a poetry reading. That’s how I met my wife.” Crosby was more than willing to tell the story of how he and his wife of ten years (both poets) fell in love at a poetry reading. He went on to explain the concept of “meet cute,” which is a situation in a film where the love interests meet in an adorable way. He also noted that “if you don’t put yourself out in the world, you’re doomed,” which could not be more comedically true. People who accomplish things alone exude confidence, and who doesn’t want to be friends with someone who is noticeably confident? Make friends with the servers at your favorite restaurant or the employees at your gym; they will introduce you to other regulars. It’s an excellent method to create a little community in your area and possibly make a connection with. 

The most crucial thing to remember is to be open-minded. If all you do is sit about in your apartment, you’ll never find a Valentine. Hang out with someone if they want to get to know you better. New York City is a melting pot of diverse relationships and origins; there’s no reason to pass judgment on someone based on your preconceived notions or what you’ve heard about them. Being open-minded applies not just to finding a lover but also to making friends. Give anybody attempting to build an authentic connection a chance, unless they give off a creepy vibe, heed your instincts and flee. 

Whether you spontaneously take a single cooking class or are swiping for love this year, Valentine’s Day can also be a day about self-love. So if you’re up for it, get out there, be yourself and people will love you for it. If not, staying curled up and watchingSex and the City” is also acceptable if that’s what you’re into.