The State of Big City Dating in 2024

Dating in big cities like La La Land or NYC can be challenging, but we’re here to help. Our big-city dating guide offers expert advice so you can find your perfect match.

Is dating in a big city easier? It depends. Many people assume big-city dating  is easier than small-town dating, but the reality is that dating in a big city can bring its fair share of challenges. Sure, a lot of singles live, work, and play in the city, but how exactly do you meet them, let alone date them?

The good news is that you’re working with a huge pool of people, so it’s just a matter of learning where to find them and how to connect with them, and that’s where we can help.

Whether you live in La La Land, San Fran, the Windy City, or the Nation’s Capital,  we’ve rounded up the best big-city dating advice and some expert insight from professional matchmakers in Los Angeles.

Follow these tips if you’re searching for love in a big city.

Go Where the People Are

The beauty of big-city dating is that there are a lot of singles just waiting to be found! Unlike a small town where you might already know every single person, in a metropolitan area, there are opportunities to meet new people around every corner. Therefore, we recommend going to places where people like congregating, such as music festivals, book readings, happy hours, dog parks, sporting events, and volunteer meet-ups.

The more you put yourself in social situations surrounded by other people, the more likely you are to meet someone. 

Partake in Your Favorite Hobbies

When it comes to dating in big cities, try not to stress about finding your true love, and instead, focus on doing the things you enjoy. After all, when you’re engaging in your favorite hobbies, there’s a good chance you’ll connect with others who share your same interests. And fortunately, big cities often host classes, tours, activities, and outings that bring people together.

For instance, if you love taking art classes, join the art studio down the street and sign up for an oil painting class. Or, if you enjoy rock climbing, become a member of the local climbing gym and join their weekend excursions.

In a city as big as yours, we practically guarantee there’s a club or organization that aligns with your preferences and attracts like-minded people.

Go on Lots of Dates

Try and go on as many dates as you can (I aimed for 3/week when single in LA); it’s a number’s game.”

Professional Matchmaker Amy De Souza

All it takes is to find one person you’re compatible with, but in doing so, you might have to date a lot of people in the process. Be open to blind dates, group dates, and virtual dates, allowing yourself to meet anyone and everyone. This not only helps you see who is out there, but it can also help you narrow down what you want in a partner.

Be Open-Minded

Don’t be so quick to write someone off. I have a lot of friends and clients telling me if the guy doesn’t say something clever on a dating app (if he just says “hello,” for example), they won’t even respond. That’s ridiculous! He doesn’t know you, he’s saying hello! Say hello back.”

Professional Matchmaker Amy De Souza

The same goes for being open to their hobbies, interests, style, looks, and career path. Maybe they don’t look like the people you usually go for, or perhaps they don’t share your taste in music, but you shouldn’t consider these non-negotiables.

Try Something New

Yes, you’ve heard that trying something new is a great way to meet new people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do something completely elaborate like learn karate or jump out of an airplane.

In fact, when you’re living in a big city, trying something new could simply mean taking a different bicycle route home, going to that coffee shop a few blocks over instead of the one right next to your office, or volunteering on a Tuesday evening instead of your usual Thursday evening.

Because big cities are home to so many people, shaking up your schedule or routine is a great way to come across different faces and make new connections.

Ask Around

When you’re dating in a big city, it can sometimes feel impossible to meet new people. Yes, you run into hundreds of people every day, but how do you get to know them?

That’s when we recommend asking around. Tell those in your inner circle that you’re open to blind dates and ask them about prospects. Whether you tell your friends at work or your neighbors, this is a great way to infiltrate different friend groups and meet fellow singletons.

Your coworker’s sister’s friend might be newly single or your friend’s cousin’s brother might be your perfect match, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask around.

Consider a Second Date

“First impressions are usually the worst, the most magnified, and not always accurate. That’s why I always encourage second dates.”

“In some cases, the first encounter was so terrible you’d be grateful to never share the same city block with that person ever again. But other times, perhaps you were both a bit nervous, and maybe he/she didn’t handle that feeling as well as you did. If the thought of seeing him/her again doesn’t make you gag, and you realize that the minor irritants that previously clouded you from getting to know a great person weren’t that important — try again! You’ll be surprised by how things can improve once first-date nerves are out of the way.”

Professional Matchmaker, Moni Oyedepo

Practice Self-Awareness

At the end of the day, dating is more about you than you might think. What am I talking about? While you’re assessing if the other person is a great fit, you also need to learn about the different ways you present yourself and if you’re always bringing your A- Game.”

“In cities like LA, with so many options, I think it’s important to study your own dating patterns. For example, if you have a history of chasing people who are hard-to-get or emotionally unavailable, that likely means you need to conquer your own fears of intimacy. No one who is truly emotionally available can tolerate someone who isn’t for very long.”

“Truly take stock of your behavior. What works and what doesn’t work for you? You’ll be surprised at how many notes you’ll walk away with on how much you’ve grown as a person and potential match after going through this process!”

Professional Matchmaker Moni Oyedepo

Look for Single Events

While you might not find a lot of dating events for singles in a small town, that’s not the case when it comes to big-city dating. Metropolitan areas like NYC, LA, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Chicago are known for hosting matchmaking events, from mixers to speed-dating sessions.

Go to that singles happy hour event or check out that singles meet-up at the dog park. If you’re nervous about going to an event on your own, invite your fellow single friends along and make it a group effort to find love!

Let Go of Preconceived Notions

If you let go of all preconceived notions and anticipated results, you accomplish two essential elements of dating success: 1.)You’ve taken the pressure off of yourself to perform, and 2.) You’ve taken the pressure off of your date to perform. When the pressure is off both people on the date, they can be their best and most natural selves! Both parties feel comfortable, unrehearsed, vulnerable, adventurous, open and fun.”

Professional Matchmaker Gaby Aratow

Go with the Flow

“Your questions and conversations should be based on the person you’re with, not on a rigid list. Be present and listen to your date. Read between the lines, pick up on body language, and be engaged. Every person you go out with is different and brings out a different side of you, but only if you’re open to it.”

“This is why dating is fun and revealing! If it’s a blind date or an online date, think of it as going out with a friend you haven’t yet met. The less rehearsed you are and the more natural you are, the more attractive you’ll be — your energy will radiate over to your date and create a sense of ease. Dating is a dance; feel the beat and get into the groove.”

Professional Matchmaker Sherrie Adams

Sign up for Matchmaking Services

Despite there being countless singles in a big city, admittedly, it can be tricky tracking them down. For example, maybe you feel shy putting yourself in social situations or your busy schedule doesn’t leave much time for dating.

In this case, it might be time to turn to a professional matchmaker to help you sift through the singles in your city. A matchmaker will learn about you and your dating preferences, screen potential candidates, and only arrange dates with those whom you are most compatible with, helping you find love no matter how big your city is.

Get Started Toward Your Last First Date

Try Tawkify today. We only accept candidates we believe we can match.