Your Complete Dating History As Told By The NYC Subway System

Daniel Landers
I'm a tri-coastal songwriter, but I spend most of my time in New York City. When I'm not performing, writing, or working in the studio, I'm playing the stock market and being fascinated by humans and their interaction — so I can write about it for 20Something. Oh, I can talk to animals.

The NYC subway system is one of the most impressive, extensive, and well known train systems in the world. With a total of 846 miles of tracks (in and out of use), in just over 300 square miles of 5 boroughs, travelers can get pretty much anywhere they want to go, as long as they have $2.75 (ugh) and some patience. The same goes for dating in New York. As long as you have the patience and are willing to pay the price, you can see it all.


E Train – The Good Guy

The E train is a reasonably consistent line that can take you from the World Trade Center, through the West Village, across midtown and out into Queens to connect you to a shuttle to JFK. All of these things sound pretty great — the convenience of a train that crosses the city, the fact that all of its stops are centrally located, the ease and timeliness of switching to an express A at any number of the stops.

Your E hookup is pretty decent as well. E might as well stand for, like, Elliott, and who doesn’t trust good ol’ Elliott who went to Tufts and works in marketing? E is the type of guy that knows his way around different parts of the city just enough to impress you, but not enough make you commit. If a faster, more exciting ride comes along, it’s easy to hop off. E isn’t the best, but he’s stable, safe, and will definitely drive you all the way to JFK, just because he’s a good guy.


D Train – The Super Freak

D stands for dirty, and for now, I’m talking about the train. Like the A, it’s an express, and can reach pretty high speeds.

The D is fast and the long rides can be tumultuous. If you forget to get off at your stop, you’ll regrettably end up somewhere you don’t want to be (aka the Bronx).

D, your hookup is just as dirty. Your D hookup is probably from the Bronx, and she does things no one else dares to do. The sex is always mind-blowing. D is a freak in the sheets, but, unfortunately, also in the streets. So, if you forget to get off in time, you might become permanently damaged (physically or emotionally) from your many wild rides together.


G Train – The Ghost 

The G train is the only train in the MTA that never travels into Manhattan. This stands for Ghost because of how infrequently one can catch it at a convenient hour. Your G train lover is exactly that. You and G only meet up at ungodly hours of the night, and it’s never when you want. If you’re in his part of town, he’ll say, “Yeah let’s chill. But gimme 2 hours.” You give in, because you need sex, and what else are you going to do at 4 AM after your friends have gone home? Unfortunately, just like the train, G ghosts you after sex, and you don’t communicate for months after. And by the way, you’ve never hooked up at your place because he refuses to leave Brooklyn.


L Train – The Good on Paper

The L train is great in theory because it’s clean, and travels through some of the greatest parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. However, due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, service in and out Brooklyn might be completely shut down for 3 years. This will render 300,000 New Yorkers unable to commute daily #wtf.

Just like the train, your L hookup is great on paper due to convenience and cleanliness. It’s likely that you and L had an instant connection, and maybe even consistently dated for a few months before deciding to just be friends. Which is fine with both of you — until a few months from now when you drunklenly hook up and one of you admits to the other that your unlikely friendship has blossomed into love, thus forcing you to shut down your love tunnel with them for at least 3 years.


Due to the closure, however, your G train hookup will likely benefit and become overcrowded.


Q Train – The Mama’s Boy

The Q train is a New York staple, and for years now, a large portion has remained unopened and under construction in promises of a 2nd ave Subway line (to open in 2016, yaaaasss finally). Your Q love interest is likely from New York and still has family in Astoria, where the Queens line begins.

While Q brings you to his mom’s house for the occasional Sunday brunch of bagels and lox, something is not quite right. Being a bit of a mama’s boy, Q doesn’t understand every dating cue, and is definitely a work in progress. That being said, if you hold out through the construction, or reconnect until after someone else does the heavy lifting, Q will be a total dime.


S Train – The No-Nonsense Girl

The S is a shuttle between Times Square and Grand Central Station. With no stops in between, there is rarely a wait for a train, if one isn’t already waiting for you on the tracks. Your S hookup is the same. She’s the Samantha of her friends, and is always DTF with no shame, regrets or nonsense. When you hookup, it’s always a quickie, it’s always easily orchestrated, and there’s never drama. She’s reliable, upfront, and always gets you where you need to go in a very efficient manner.


6 Train – The Fuckboi

The 6 train is always packed, since it goes through many commercial and residential areas in Manhattan. Unlike most local trains which stop every 9 blocks, there is a portion of the 6 train in Murray Hill that stops at 23rd, 28th, and then 33rd st, which can be grueling if you’re in a rush.

The reason for these quick successive stops is that the 6 train was one of the earlier lines built, when people perhaps had shorter legs, or didn’t have Sketcher’s Shape-Ups to help motivate them to navigate ye olde Manhattan. Since it’s so old, various cosmetic changes like new tile work and newer trains have been implemented to trick people into thinking their commutes are less shitty.

Your 6 train hook up is equally a sham. He is a complete Fuckboi, and lives in Murray Hill where every other washed up frat star moves during their summer job in I-banking. Just like the train, your hookup –who is coincidentally a 6 at best — looks good at first glance, but without his own minor cosmetic fixes (Ray Bans, boat shoes, Patagonia vests) is still a run-down, washed up college douche.


Ultimately, when the 2nd ave train opens, your solid 6 will become completely irrelevant and you’ll start riding the Q.


7 Train – The Clinger

The 7 train is notoriously crowded, since its goes from Queens through midtown, Times Square, and consequently suffers significant delays. However, a cool aspect is that the 7 train opened the first new addition to the MTA in 25 years — 34th St, Hudson Yards Station. Unfortunately, it was a late bloomer, and took 2.5 years longer than planned to open. And to get underground, one must endure the dangerously inclined escalators that make you think you’re moving faster than you should, it’s unsettling.

Just like the Hudson Yards station, your 7 train hookup was a late bloomer, and you were her *first*. And just like the escalators, your lucky 7 is a stage 5 clinger who is trying to take your relationship faster and deeper than you ever wanted. She’s doe-eyed, new to NYC, and her ideal date is to the three-story Olive Garden in Times Square, because it reminds her of home while simultaneously illustrating the grandiose glamour that is New York. The longer you ride this train, the harder it will be to get off.


1 Train – Your True Love 

I’ve never heard a New Yorker complain about the 1 train. The wait is fair, the stops are favorably located, and the general speed of the train is consistent, regardless of how many stops there are. It begins in the financial district, and runs up through the west village, through midtown, the upper west side, and eventually ends in the suburban town of Riverdale.

Suitably, your 1 hookup is the one. You and 1 met at a summer internship (or something) in the financial district during college. After work, you dated in the west village, but parted ways when you each had to return back to school. You kept in touch on Facebook throughout your senior year, and reconnected when you both landed your first jobs after undergrad in midtown. You began dating again, dealt with frequent but unobtrusive stops, and maybe separated once before getting back together.

Through it all, you admired each other’s stability and were both on the same track. Very casually, and not prematurely, you moved into your first place together on the Upper West Side, where one of you went to grad school at Columbia. Eventually, you made it up to Riverdale, got married, had some kids, and died of natural causes. Congratulations! You married the 1!