Due to the fact that there's been enough confusion about what I mentioned on a Feministe thread, I feel a need to clarify what I said yesterday. The pushback I got was unexpectedly critical. To some, it was as if I was advancing urban legend as fact. Here is what I said. I sought to note that I had been told, numerous times, that young women in NYC were unsatisfied with the dating scene.
I was informed that men rarely were concerned with long-term relationship and instead wished to engage in frequent short-term relationships. Seeking to explain why this might be, I postulated that perhaps with so many available young single people, there might be a strong incentive to keep dating and not to settle down. It should be noted that settling into a lengthy partnership with someone does not imply marriage. It could, but it doesn't necessarily mean marriage.
The number of women who have told me about the same specific dating woes in New York City is probably somewhere around fifteen by now. A songwriter and musician even documented the problem in song. The lyrics concern a man she is very interested in who has abruptly ceased to call her. Presumably, he has now moved on to someone else. I live in New York City, she sings. You know I own a gun. She isn't serious about the threat of violence, of course, but is obviously annoyed at the way things have developed. And one also gathers that this isn't the first time for her.
Her songwriting partner told me she didn't date at all when she lived up there for college. If you don't sleep with him by the third date, she said, he's off to someone else. I couldn't handle it. I wasn't seeking marriage, but I was seeking something more permanent and lasting. And I kept hearing some version or another of this same story. I'm sure some women have no issue at all with a series of short-term relationships, but most that I've encountered, either as friends or lovers, are seeking something beyond the momentary. I know in my own life I had a swift procession of short-term relationships, and I learned from them. But neither did I go into them with the expectation that they would be time-limited.
Comparing NYC and DC is not especially fair or even possible. While both cities are full of presumably heterosexual men and women both who do not expect to be married until their early thirties, there are simply more single women than single men in DC. The ratio of male to female is more balanced in NYC. And, the latter city is about five to six times larger in population. Now, if anyone wishes to refute everything I've said, go right ahead. But know that if I didn't have a pretty good idea of the veracity of what I said, I wouldn't have said it in the first place.