Dating in a big city verse a small one

  • nvd211

    Posts: 15

    Feb 18, 2012 4:13 PM GMT
    I've currently been having this debate with my friends and I'm just curious to see how people in other cities feel. In short, i've lived in new york city for 6 years, went to undergrad here and have subsequently been living and working here.

    In my own experience, while I think new york is an amazing place to come and learn, hone your craft ( business/art whatever) I'm starting to feel it's overwhelmingly an impossible place to build a long term commitment. Now I have a friend who is gay and "married' but he is one out of like 30. I guess i feel like there are just too many people, too many distractions. As one friend put it to me, " you can just go out every night and meet someone new, why settle down?"

    does anyone else find this to be true? I've thought about moving to austin, denver or california ( not to find a man) but just to live someplace a little slower.

    I'm not bitter or mad at all about the gay "scene" i guess i'm just frustrated because it seems to circle round and round again in the same cycle.

    Where do you live? do you have gay friends that are "married"? or have dated for more than 3 months?
  • HollywoodHist...

    Posts: 403

    Feb 18, 2012 4:40 PM GMT
    I live in an EXTREMELY small town, just 1,500 people, and I am "the only gay in the village" as they say on Little Britian. But luckily I am also just a 45 minutes drive from Hollywood. I've been in three great relatoinships with great guys. The first for six months, a high school friend that ended because he was more straight than gay (now married with a daughter), the 2nd for three years ended because we were just on different paths, still great friends and the 3rd for five years ended when he had to go back to Brazil when his visa was up (wanted to get married but not legal). The last ended a year ago and I've been single since.

    The point is, I don't think the town really makes a difference one way or the other. I think it's the location in the town that makes the difference. If you're looking for guys at the clubs or through circles of friends that primarily go clubbing, you're probably not going to find someone who is serious about a relationship. It's just not the primary goal in that environment. Look for new circles of friends, in addition to the ones you already have, that consist of guys that are a bit more low key. Serious students, art lovers, theater goers maybe.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 18, 2012 8:27 PM GMT
    I've only been out in mid-sized to small cities where the pool was fairly shallow. But I do wonder if "too much availability" does create a culture of disposability in the larger cities. However, logic would dictate that two people who aren't suited to one another aren't going to stay together, whether the city is big or small. I guess the only way to find out is to get into the deep end and see icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 18, 2012 8:33 PM GMT
    I'll take a metropolis and polygamy over podunkville and monogamy any day.
  • a303guy

    Posts: 829

    Feb 18, 2012 8:34 PM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidI used to live in Denver ... now I live about 35 miles away .... I had an awesome in Denver in my younger day. I would move back in a heartbeat if I could, but it's not in the cards right now.


    I hear yah buddy - lived in Denver 8 years, and freaking loved it. Got a job out here in the high country, and while i DO love the job, being 3.5 hours from civilization is tough.

    On the plus side, and more to the OP's original question, are that my longest lasting, and most intense relationships have all occurred out here in Steamboat, a city of roughly 10,000 permanent residents.

    While the group of potential suitors to select from may be smaller, I think that without the 'noise' of the big city, we are free to develop relationships that are more balanced and loving.
  • a303guy

    Posts: 829

    Feb 18, 2012 8:37 PM GMT
    bryanc_74 saidI've only been out in mid-sized to small cities where the pool was fairly shallow. But I do wonder if "too much availability" does create a culture of disposability in the larger cities. However, logic would dictate that two people who aren't suited to one another aren't going to stay together, whether the city is big or small. I guess the only way to find out is to get into the deep end and see icon_smile.gif


    This is exactly what I was alluding to in my previous post - I always felt that either I was disposable, or that I would be lured into disposing of a mate, by living in the city. Denver has a relatively large gay community percentage wise. Given that Denver's population in general is an intensely fit and healthy group, the eye candy is rather generous in number, which just leads to distractions, some of which can be potentially damaging to all but the most committed relationship.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 18, 2012 8:49 PM GMT
    I've noticed that as well, but in small towns in the Midwest, considering that not even the big cities have anything to do, we're pretty much limited to doing church and each other. icon_lol.gif Sluttiness happens everywhere in the grand scheme of things- even in small college towns and hamlets of <150 people in the midwest.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 18, 2012 8:53 PM GMT
    Nothing is more akward then going to a party or some other social gthering in a small city such as Charleston WV and realizing your date has been in bed with half of the guys there. I am sure it happens in all small cities but it is a huge turn off to me to think the guy with me is little better then the a member of the musical chairs fuck buddy club.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 18, 2012 8:56 PM GMT
    But by the same token, you'd see the same differential proportionately in heterosexual relationships, no?

    While it might be easier to allow yourself to think that another Mr Right is around the corner in a big city, I'm not sure that an individual who has the ability to think or feel their way to deciding a relationship doesn't fit for them is going to be any different? The mindset of abundance might make someone less tolerant of issues that could be worked through/negotiated, but someone who is inherently eager to jump ship at the smallest bump is probably just accelerated in a larger city.

    If anything, someone with the mindset of scarcity and the fear of never finding another relationship might be tempted to stay in a relationship that really isn't right for them.

    Either way, if you're not able to balance the two, it's probably not going to matter where you are--you're probably just not mature enough or in the right place in your life to warrant that relationship.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 18, 2012 9:17 PM GMT
    You new yorkers and assuming every other city in the nation is so quaint and laid back. Its getting old. Denver and austin arent exactly small. The reason you people cant find relationships is because you're too busy destroying the nations economy while being completely engrossed in your own lives. Nothing says you need to go out all the time, nothing says you need to hook up with sluts from bars.

    You arent going to find someone until you stop thinking about what is in it for you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 18, 2012 9:23 PM GMT
    Um well that pretty much depends on how you define "small town".

    Since the town I live in has about 500 inhabitants about 20 of them are in my age and male and no one of them is gay, I'd go for big city icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 18, 2012 9:43 PM GMT
    nvd211 said

    In my own experience, while I think new york is an amazing place to come and learn, hone your craft ( business/art whatever) I'm starting to feel it's overwhelmingly an impossible place to build a long term commitment.


    While that may seem like the case I'm sure it's not impossible to build a long tern relationship here. The number's are in your favor of finding a suitable guy for you with 8+ million people living in the city. I (and possibly other gay NYer's) have a LTR in the back of my mind when I go on dates, is every guy I meet BF material? No and in many cases that's a good thing for both of us. That's why I make it clear up front of what I'm ideally looking for so there's no confusion and just to make things clear.

    Sure having fun is nice but deep down I think everyone kind of seeks or at some point in their life, will seek a long term relationship. Even the guys who hookup every other night and view this city as a meat market.

    Big city, small town or wherever I think this issue has more to do with the delayed adolescence effect within gay community. Some guys don't come out till much later in life, have to play catch up and go through the various stages (that many straight people their age have already gone through and settled down) before they're ready for LTR's.

    I think while a lot of gay guys move to big cities to have fun or whatnot and don't take dating seriously there's actually fair percentage of guys who do and are seeking a BF. It's just matter's where you look and what people you hang around. Example: gay club vs joining a sports club. I'm not saying that you can't find a BF in a gay bar, it might be possible but there's usually different end goals with different places to meet guys.

    It may be a bit of generalization to say it's harder to date in big cities as there are more options of where and how to meet like minded guys and you need to stay focused on what you really want. In my mind moving to a large urban area only makes you more of what you already are.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 19, 2012 12:37 AM GMT
    The grass is not greener. It sucks just as much in smaller cities as it does in big ones.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 19, 2012 2:00 AM GMT
    I have no experience what city living is like so this might be a one sided opinion.


    Around here, you have two options for meeting guys.


    Gay bars

    Phone apps

    There are no gay baseball/softball leagues, or anything like that where you can interact with other gay men outside of a 'hunting ground"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 19, 2012 2:16 AM GMT
    Big city here (Vancouver). Disposability is probably the best word to sum the whole experience up. Too many gay guys. (did I just say that?)

    I have no frame of reference outside of my own though.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 19, 2012 3:06 AM GMT
    truenorth saidBig city here (Vancouver). Disposability is probably the best word to sum the whole experience up. Too many gay guys. (did I just say that?)

    I have no frame of reference outside of my own though.


    Do you think that if there were fewer gays that it would be any different though? I wonder whether guys who have a disposability mentality would be that way regardless of how many available guys there are; there would just be more of an 'incestuous, temporally-separated mixing bowl' overtone to the whole thing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 19, 2012 3:19 AM GMT
    I've only lived in college towns. One a small one, one a large city.

    Austin is no different from NYC in terms of disposability complex. Online dating is just as bad for the same reason.
  • HollywoodHist...

    Posts: 403

    Feb 19, 2012 5:00 PM GMT
    Ehanson said

    While that may seem like the case I'm sure it's not impossible to build a long tern relationship here. The number's are in your favor of finding a suitable guy for you with 8+ million people living in the city. I (and possibly other gay NYer's) have a LTR in the back of my mind when I go on dates, is every guy I meet BF material? No and in many cases that's a good thing for both of us. That's why I make it clear up front of what I'm ideally looking for so there's no confusion and just to make things clear.


    You should give Sao Paulo, Brazil a shot, my home away from home. Twice the size of New York City (16+ million) and the plastic surgery capital of the world. And while there are plenty of hookups going on - guys are still serious about the future and finding relationships. I think it all depends on the culture of the city and where you are looking in that city.
  • vintovka

    Posts: 588

    Feb 19, 2012 5:08 PM GMT
    I think that some people find a boyfriend "off the rack" (they see what's available to them and work from there) while most of us want to find a custom fit in an off the rack world (and end up single). The former will find a boyfriend at the arctic circle, the latter may not find one in NYC. Having said that, I have lived most of my life in small cities and the dating pool is shallow to say the least, but as you point out big-city dwellers may well suffer from "the embarrassment of riches".
  • Trepeat

    Posts: 546

    Feb 19, 2012 5:23 PM GMT
    There are definitely differences when it comes to the size of a city. When I lived in SLC, a medium-ish sized city, I found the proportion of gay bachelors to be pretty ideal. Enough guys around that you didnt have to worry that everyone has slept with everyone else, and never having to feel starved of available meat.

    Kelowna, on the other hand.. Jesus. Not even five hours from Vancouver, but its practically a gay desert. Pretty much every homo there is familiar with the local scene.

    Hopefully Ill get a chance to live in Vancouver at some point in the next decade for a while, and get a taste of what real big-city gaylife is like.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 19, 2012 6:00 PM GMT
    vintovka saidI think that some people find a boyfriend "off the rack" (they see what's available to them and work from there) while most of us want to find a custom fit in an off the rack world (and end up single). The former will find a boyfriend at the arctic circle, the latter may not find one in NYC. Having said that, I have lived most of my life in small cities and the dating pool is shallow to say the least, but as you point out big-city dwellers may well suffer from "the embarrassment of riches".


    Vintovka - you are quite eloquent, and insightful.

    NVD211 - What you say makes a lot of sense. Sometimes too much choice can detract. Add to that the fact that you are still fairly young, as I assume is your pier group. I would expect a fair amount of churn in relationships, given a lot of options.

    It's kinda like the Genovese syndrome in psychology. Should you get hurt, you are less likely to find help in a densely populated area then you are in a sparsely populated area. Seems when there are too many folks around, people feel they don't need to engage. The presence of a large pool of bystanders seems to decrease the sense of urgency to any one individual. Conversely, in less populated areas, folks recognize that if they don't engage, there may not be anyone else around to help. So when there are too many folks churning around you in the dating world, there may be this perception that there is no sense of urgency to settle down with someone. Whereas in a less populated area, the individuals there may be more acutely aware of the limited possibilities and the need to engage. Similarly, as you get older, the dating pool shrinks a bit and you become more aware that there is nothing wrong with taking something 'off the rack'.
  • adamhawks

    Posts: 54

    Feb 19, 2012 7:09 PM GMT
    Having lived in Toronto 2,600,000, London 350,000, Newmarket 80,000, and Ottawa 900,000 (All while studying at Uni). I enjoy the Mid sized city. I would choose London except its in southern Ontario and its not the most friendly to gays (Based on personal experiences). Newmarket was to small for a gay scene to develop. Perhaps that is because it was a stones throw away from Toronto. Toronto is a lot of fun... to visit.

    So in the end from I would like to date in a mid sized city. It has enough going to keep you happy and small enough to not get overwhelmed by it all. That said Ive seen a few people choose a Denver (550,000) sized city. Maybe there is something about mid sized cities.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Feb 19, 2012 10:38 PM GMT
    I think it's just as easy to experience misfortune in a smaller town as it is a bigger town. Gay men are the same no matter where you go - the flakes, douchebags, and creepers are practically interchangeable.

    I'd rather be in a bigger city however, for the sake of having more options. Even if you're not in a relationship, at least there are more people to interact with as friends and fuckbuddies. There's generally a higher tolerance and community for GLBT people, there's more to do, and you just have more people to meet and interact with.

    At the very least, in a bigger city you have more to offer you in terms of living. A smaller city doesn't have as much going on in general, which makes it more difficult to meet people and to entertain yourself when you're alone.
  • Teqkilla42

    Posts: 338

    Feb 20, 2012 12:42 AM GMT
    Unfortunately, the college gay scene in Boston seems just...bleak. :/
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 20, 2012 1:15 AM GMT
    Orlando has a rather large gay population, but it is also very transitional. Nobody seems to stick around for very long and there are so many people that not many are willing to settle down as they feel there is always someone better. Yet it seems that someone better never shows up and everyone remains single. icon_confused.gif