There was an interesting article in the New York Times this morning on the impact your apartment can have on your dating life. The article cites examples of men who were rejected by their dates on the basis of the contents of their apartment and/or their living arrangements.
The biggest difference I have found in dating (and even friendships) between New York and the Midwest is that you rarely spend time in each other's homes. 99% of the time you meet each other at the restaurant/museum/bar that you plan to hang out in and leave each other at the train station at the end of the night. Most of my friends have never been in my apartment and I not in theirs. In the Midwest things are much different, dates pick you up at your doorstep and friends are constantly dropping by to hang out.
By not seeing a person's home and the "stuff" one collects throughout a lifetime, you miss out on seeing the whole picture of who they are. My own apartment speaks volumes about who I am. It's filled with art and photos and hundreds of books. You can tell I'm artistic, well-read and obsessively organized the minute you set foot in the door. I get excited when someone sees my apartment for the first time, because in a way I feel like they are seeing me for the first time too.
I would like to think my apartment only helps my dating life, not hinders it. If you don't like what you see, then you probably have no business being with me anyway. I want a life filled with books and photos and art. If you can't see yourself living that way, then you definitely aren't the man for me. Good riddance. Don't let my signed copy of Anderson Cooper's Dispatches from the Edge hit you on the way out.