New York City

Love Amidst the Lamp Posts

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Urban Living and the Challenge to Find Meaningful Relationships

“Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink.” For many single adults in urban settings, particularly the NYC metropolitan area, this familiar phrase summarizes the quest for meaningful relationships (ie. love).

Drop into any bar or restaurant on any given night in the Greenwich Village, Williamsburg, Astoria, along the Jersey Shore or even on Long Island, and you’ll see a plethora of young adults socializing over dinner and/or a few drinks. In this part of the country, most of them would be single and among them, many aren’t even dating actively. Indeed, New York City and the surrounding area is home to a large single population. At face value, one would almost conclude that finding love here should be rather easy. Quite surprisingly, the reality is something very different.

Observing this phenomenon a little more than three years ago, Inna Mel, a working professional at the time, determined to help change the dynamic by attempting to help people identify reasons why meaningful relationships were so elusive among otherwise socially well adjusted people.

“Initially I started working with divorced men to help them realize the connection between quality relationships and the quality of life,” Inna explains. “Eventually, I started working with women as well, and now work almost exclusively with women, ages 28 to 40.”

Inna stresses that she’s not a matchmaker. “I’m a relationship coach, helping women to develop the tools they need to find healthy, meaningful relationships.”

She says that one of the challenges is that people idealize what such a relationship should look like, essentially compiling a list of qualifications required for an ideal mate. “I help people to break this conditioning by identifying factors in upbringing, values and beliefs that shape their ideal, while helping them understand and prioritize what’s important and what may be holding them back.”

She says there’s a whole host of other issues that can prevent people from finding love, and each person brings along a unique set of cultural, familial, and societal factors that need to be addressed in order cultivate effective approaches to healthy and fulfilling relationships. In addition to breaking down barriers, Inna stresses some more proactive suggestions such as identifying moral and value parameters early on. “These aren’t necessarily discussed on a first date,” she cautions. “But these are important matters that will determine the extent to which someone will pursue a relationship at a deeper level and find compatibility.”

Her website ( will be going live soon with more information on her and what she does, but she can be reached by email for inquires until then at:


Jack Raplee is a Queens native with over 20 years of journalistic experience covering industries as varied as entertainment, manufacturing, engineering and consumer electronics as well as hard news. Apart from writing, he has enjoyed additional exposure in radio work, standup comedy and modeling. While his career trajectory has brought him far and wide, living in places like Nassau, Bahamas; Sungnam, Korea; and Jackson, Mississippi he always seems to end up in his native NYC. Jack is currently working on a yet-to-be-titled book providing his unique perspective on his native Queens as seen from the table of a local diner.

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