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AM New York


The New Dating Game
By Karen Keller
Special to amNew York

Dating in New York has never been easy - so much choice, so little time - but has it gotten so tough that it's worth shelling out $377 for a three-day course?

It has for at least 122 men (and counting) who have signed up for a men-only dating tips conference this weekend near Union Square.

"It's amazing how many men come to me and are highly successful but are struggling with their dating and social life," said Chris Luna, 29, a dating expert who said he charges $4,000 for a 10-week training program at his Upper West Side apartment.

And in the New York of 2010, the appeal of such programs shouldn't be a shock. After all, the difficulty many face in finding love comes down to this: We're meeting far more potential mates than our grandparents did, said Robert Thompson, a pop-culture expert and professor at Syracuse University.

"There was a time when you grew up in a community and you knew everyone of eligible age and family connections," he said. And we often only meet that potential mate once, which makes acing that first impression vital.

Of course, not everyone is sold on the idea of using a love guru. You won't find Andrew Rugs, 28, of Greenwich Village, at the conference.

"Relationships are personal, experience is the only way to learn," he said.

Whitney Casey, author of "The Man Plan" and a "relationship insider" for Match.com, said that while dating via Facebook can be a bit "creepy," such sites can help you cultivate a personal "brand," which can be helpful if you present yourself according to your passions.

Above all, be patient and let chemistry develop, said Andrea Syrtash, author of "He's Just Not Your Type (And That's a Good Thing)."

People, especially in New York, seem to speed-date even when they're on a regular date, she said. Instead, they should bask in the fact that New York is one of the best places to meet a partner: Even a Starbucks here has romantic possibilities, Casey said.

"Try going to Houston, Texas. It's like serving time," she added.

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Read the original article at amNew York PDF.