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I knoooow that love and attraction are based on timing and magic and Cupid and glitter and that you definitely do not have a checklist in your head about what constitutes the perfect mate. (You’re not shallow at all.) But just in case you maybe, secretly, kinda sorta have criteria that you consider when choosing who you allow into your heart (/back to your bedroom), let me share with you mine. And before you call the judgment police, let me preface this by saying it’s all hypothetical. Love really is all about the timing. And the glitter.

10. Future goals

This isn’t even a deep question. It doesn’t matter to me if you have a 401k. I don’t have an interest in if you want kids or even if you want to get married. I really don’t care where you want to be in five years... unless that place is any of the places I list in #7. Don’t make me go there.


9. Dating apps

Seriously, how many do you actually have? One is standard. Two is acceptable. If you have three or more, then I suggest you really try socializing with the three-dimensional world. It’s not THAT bad.

8. Subway etiquette

This actually says a lot about you. Be the dude who lets people off before he gets on. Respect the “spread zone.” Let the old lady sit down. Do NOT lean against the pole or give change to whoever just did that unlistenable version of "Wonderwall" on the accordion.

7. Background

As in... where did you grow up? As in... did you grow up in New Jersey? If so, you need not apply. Unless you’re a self-loathing Jerseyan. Then there’s hope for you. (Westchester and Long Island can also leave their applications at home. And Connecticut. Just because.)

Flickr/Ed Yourdon

6. Your apartment

Let’s say you live within a respectable distance and now we’re having habitual sleepovers. I need to know what we’re dealing with here. A walk-up really is not ideal for all of those nights that we’ll be out late doing all the things. But walk-ups are the norm, so I’m comfortable compromising. Having a roommate is also less than ideal, but unless you are a Vanderbilt, I expect that a roommate is part of the package. Pets? Absolutely not. What are you doing? Your apartment is the size of a phone booth and it’s covered in dog hair, not to mention the wildly rambunctious creature that should be in a backyard somewhere. That said, if you have a rooftop and/or balcony, I could probably make my peace with Fido.

5. Looks

This is actually not as important as one might think. I mean, sure, we live in NYC. There are a lot (a LOT) of hot people here, so let’s start with something we can work with. There’s gotta be something that gets you in the door. But the first four items on this list can bump you up a solid number and a half on the hot scale... or down.

4. Job

This city has artists, activists, researchers, writers, musicians... and Google! (But we really have no idea what anyone does there aside from play foosball and eat sushi.) Point being, New York has some of the coolest jobs in the world. Do you have one of them? Or at the very least do you genuinely love what you do? Because that is pretty cool, too. Or are you dragging yourself out of bed every morning and coming home every evening to complain about bad coffee and lame pleasantries with the marketing department? That’s not my idea of dirty talk.


3. Interests

I really don’t need to list for you the thousands upon thousands of things that we could do together in New York, so let me just ask if you’re fully taking advantage of this city. Have you snuck into a rooftop pool, raved until 6am in some warehouse in Gowanus, eaten something (ANYTHING) from a truck, taken the bus to the Catskills for a day of hiking, hit the Tribeca Film Festival... or are we watching SportsCenter and ordering in Papa John’s EVERY night like they do in... Akron, OH or anywhere else that is not New York City?

2. Personality

Do you have a sense of humor? New York is hard, so I hope we can laugh as much as possible. Do you have a thick skin? Someone will usually always be better than you at something so either get over it or try harder. Are you driven? Everyone hates their job sometimes. But how long will you endure it before you go do something you love? Are you spontaneous and do you have a passport? Because JFK is like... right there. Just saying. Is everything in your cupboard pickled and do you build all of your furniture? (These two are not necessarily positives if it means we can NEVER drink domestic beer or have a romantic night assembling IKEA furniture.) Do you have a beard? DO YOU HAVE A BEARD?!

1. Location

Yep, that’s right. In New York City, it’s all about location. Even when it comes to dating and sex. Nay, especially. I live in Astoria. I will not date you if you live anywhere that takes me more than 40 minutes to get to. Hell, I will not date you if you live anywhere else in Queens. Transferring trains? Forget it. If a bus or the G train is involved then I’m pretty sure we will never see each other naked. I can see you rolling your eyes, but are you traveling more than 40 minutes on a Tuesday to the depths of any outer borough (or Inwood...) to sleep in a bed that is not yours? Didn’t think so.
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Meagan Drillinger is a freelance writer for Thrillist. Like she said, this is all hypothetical. She carries glitter wherever she goes waiting for “the moment.” Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at @drillinjourneys.



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