BIG cities like New York are both deeply convenient — two steps to the deli for milk in the morning — and deeply inconvenient. It is possible to live in the same city as the person you are dating, and have to travel an hour, or even two, to get together.

Those long subway rides are so annoying that they shape not only dating patterns, but real estate choices. And interborough dating has become more common with the dispersal of single New Yorkers throughout the city.

Peter Horan, for example, sometimes tells his girlfriend, Afton Vermeer: “You live in Delaware, and I live in New Hampshire.” The trip, he said, “is a hike.”

Actually, it just seems that way. Mr. Horan lives in the Hamilton Heights section of western Harlem and Ms. Vermeer lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

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