Am I dumb for leaving NYC? / Dating / friends pool

Backround: 27 year old single male living in NYC (been here 3 years). Originally from a tier 3 city in middle America. Do not have an MBA. Currently in a toxic IB role I've been wanting to leave. Just landed a killer offer with a growth equity shop in Texas (where I went to college). I'm really excited about the opportunity & the team... BUT...

The fact that I'd have to leave NYC (likely for a year minimum) really bothers me – the sheer volume and density of high-caliber people here is unparalleled (everyone is smart, accomplished, and sophisticated; I was just never immersed in an environment like this growing up). These are the kinds of friends I have in NYC and the type of girl I'd like to end up with long-term (i.e., equally smart, ambitious, worldly, etc.). It's not like I won't get that kinda community in Texas, but it'll be WAY harder to come by / attain there (especially within the single community given that most people there at this age are already engaged / married). On the other hand, dating in NYC is so tough. It's been extremely hard locking down a girl I genuinely like because people are always looking for "better" (myself included) – I feel like if I keep going down this cyclical rabbit hole, I'll wake up at 30+ and be in the same exact place lol.

Ultimately, I don't want to go back to Texas and "settle" - it's candidly a lot more "Karen-y," and nearly all my friends there are engaged / married and love doing the same kinda "Chad" shit they did in college (i.e. golf, beer, sports betting, and fantasy football), which is only fun to an extent. And sure I can always move back to NYC, but that's so much easier said than done (and you never know what life circumstances will happen after a year). Look, if I already had a gf in this same scenario, I would shut up, take the offer, and move to Texas easily. But I'm simply not at that point.

Anyone else here been in a similar situation? Not a terrible problem to have, but the pros are really high and so are the cons (at least in my opinion). Any advice helps. Thanks kings / queens

I am country boy who moved between rural parts and the big city multiple times. In multiple countries.
It depends on the phase of life you are in, what your goals are (for each station), and whether you stick to your milestones/progress.

A city is excellent for many things, and the more quiet areas are perfect for others. There is a need for both. I have left NYC and London multiple times and also returned (and then left again). Both cities and the areas have limits to what someone can achieve, just because we work in NYC doesn't mean we will be CEO of that bank one day. Just because someone decides to move to their hometown one day doesn't mean he won't meet the love of his life at a farmers market.

The majority of people I know have moved to the big city, got the job, crafted a career, found the love they were looking for, and ultimately moved to a suburb far away or to a very quiet state to raise a family.

Personally I would prefer a country girl with strong Christian values and not a city/career girl. So moving away from a city would be the ultimate goal for me.

Most Helpful

I've lived in major global metropolises, regional large cities, and mid-sized towns. My last few moves have gone urban major city -> mid-sized town -> suburbs of large regional city -> urban large regional city -> urban major global city. NYC and Texas are both on that list. You really need to weigh what matters to you. It's entirely possible to give TX a shot and make your way back to NYC - I know quite a few who have gone through that precise loop. You're absolutely right that it can get harder as you age, but only if you let it. My parents relocated in their early 20s, late 20s, early 30s, late 30s, and again in their late 40s, and I'm tracking somewhat similarly.

It's not the same, in many, many, ways, but it's not like you'd be moving to Kinshasa - assuming you're in Dallas / Austin / Houston, it's still a large-ish US city. I do say large-ish, because despite being major population hubs the professional and social scenes feel much, much smaller, especially in finance. I think part of it is driven by the suburban nature of the state - Dallas and Houston metro areas have ~7+ million people a piece, but Houston only has 2 million in the city, and Dallas only has 1 million. Austin has 2 million in the MSA and less than 1 million in the city. People absolutely tend to get married and move out to the suburbs younger, which is a completely valid way of life, but also changes how they congregate.

There are, of course, successful, sophisticated, ambitious people in every big city in the world - but it'd be disingenuous to suggest there isn't an outsized concentration in certain hubs. That said, moving, or staying, for dating reasons seems a little shortsighted. I would suggest instead trying to build toward where you want to end up, and evaluating whether this step gets you closer to that goal. I've meandered a bit professionally and geographically, but always did so because the next step made sense based on where I thought I wanted to end up at that point in time.

I agree with a lot of this and also have a similar pattern of having lived across a pretty wide spectrum (i.e. I've lived in NYC, a city in the next tier (Boston / SF / DC / Chicago), and a city that is a ~50-100 US MSA in a red / rural state). However, I don't agree about dating not being a crucial consideration. I would argue there are two things that determine 90% of your happiness in life: who you marry and what you do for work. NYC offers a type of woman (sophisticated, ambitious, highly educated) that barely exist anywhere else in the US. We're not Europe where each country and even culture has 1-2 cities that act as magnets for such people. Eg., a Danish person wouldn't necessarily want to move to Berlin and lose their culture and/or feel like an alien therefore they move to Copenhagen. In the US, NY "crowds out" all the other cities by having a near monopoly on high achievers in their 20's / early 30's in various industries (finance, law, media & advertising, fashion). There is a degree to which the next tier of cities can compete but honestly there's a notable dropoff in depth of such people. I'm not saying that you need to marry such a person to be happy. In fact, I think a lot of people would be happier marrying a mellower, more beta, less ambitious person. But I personally am looking for such a person and you just won't be as successful finding such a person in the vast majority of the US, they're not around in ample enough numbers for you to meet. 

This was true pre-Covid but from what I've seen recently, it's slowly changing.

NYC is getting less attractive (the most attractive people are moving to places like Miami), more hipster (with the influx of people to places like Brooklyn and Harlem), and smart, ambitious people are slowly avoiding the mess of the city (places like Chicago, LA, Texas are also gaining).

No one smart and attractive wants to deal with sharing narrow pavements, tiny old apartments, and decaying subways with a million people, and trash on every street corner, with the lack of real, long term connections NYC offers.

I would not sweat moving to another city especially for a dream job. Dating in NYC is a hot mess and you'll have better luck somewhere like Texas or Chicago, or even Miami. That's been my experience.

I grew up in Texas and would love to move back, currently in New York for the opportunities. If you genuinely can't do another few months at your bank, and you can't find a comparable opportunity in New York I think moving to Texas is the move. There are intelligent people but obviously cultural differences. I found Texas a lot more wholesome and friendly than the east coast and west coast (I lived in SF and went to school in LA).

What city in Texas? Austin is pretty different from Houston.

Thank you for all these varying nuggets of wisdom - they're extremely helpful. If this helps:

1) my offer is in Austin

2) the job market is really tough rn - as much as I'd like to stay in NYC, I haven't had as much success making it thru the processes at NYC PE / GE firms (way more competitive than the TX gigs I've come across given the more robust talent in NYC)

I've also thought about using an MBA (i.e. CBS / Tuck / SOM) to get back to NYC / the Northeast, so that's also an (mind you very expensive) option.

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