Introduce yourself! Tell us a bit about yourself, where you're from, and what you do.

Hi! I'm Ariana Nathani, 25, born and raised in NYC. By day I work as a digital experience designer, but by night I run Drinks First- a NYC dating podcast and event series that allows people to meet and connect in a new way.

What inspired your dating podcast, Drinks First?

I've lived in NYC for almost all my life, so my community is here. Two years ago I realized I was having the same conversation with a lot of my friends who were smart, ambitious, attractive, funny, etc. and it always went something like:

 "Why is dating so hard in NYC?"

 "I'm tired of dating apps" 

"Why am I getting ghosted?"

So, I thought I had a better, more actionable way to connect people through a podcast. Now I interview anonymous singles and my listeners can match with them!

At Love Wellness and on The Love Club, we're all about community. Describe the Drinks First community. 

Hot, (duh) cool, interesting, diverse, intellectual, ambitious. The people who I have met through the podcast and my events have all been amazing. Drinks First has really tapped into what it is like to be a young, single person in NYC just looking to make connections. We are open to all races, genders, sexuality, etc. I love the community Drinks First has started to create and can't wait to keep growing it!

What is your pre-date routine or ritual? Is there anything you recommend others try doing to get themselves ready to meet someone new?

I will usually listen to Doja Cat while doing my make-up, maybe FaceTime a friend about the outfit, but I don't do anything too specific. There is something I don't recommend...don't get drunk before a date! I know some people get nervous, and alcohol can calm nerves, but when you go on a first date you want to represent your authentic self! You are trying to figure out if you like that person, not trying to make them like you.  

How can someone practice wellness while dating? (Note: This can be anything from self-care advice to practicing safe-sex, anything you're comfortable speaking to.) 

Well the first thing that comes to mind is physical wellness. Practice safe sex, get tested often, and communicate with your partner! Sex can be a big factor in dating for a lot of people, and being mindful about how you approach it (no, I don't mean how much or in what way) but in terms of your health, it is so important to make sure you and your partner are on the same page about what you're doing and how you're doing it. And if you're sexually active in any regard, I'd say get tested at least once a quarter. STI's are largely asymptomatic and can be really bad if gone untreated.

Based on conversations with your podcast guests, how can you stay true to yourself while dating? 

I think this actually plays into your last question and hits on the point of emotional wellness. The biggest emotional wellness advice I can give is to make sure you're prioritizing yourself while dating. If you start seeing your values shift, your mental health worsen, or any other drastic changes, make sure you check in on yourself and figure out your wants and needs in order to stay true to yourself. 

What are your favorite New York City date spots? 

This is so tough, and I actually make guides on my instagram @drinks.first about my favorite date bars in every neighborhood, but my absolute favorite is Katana Kitten in the West Village. Some other great places are The Little Shop, Rintintin, Nobody Told Me, The Penrose, Jungle Bird. There are really too many to count!

Valentine's Day is coming up and while we love love, we'd love to know: what is your advice for anyone spending Valentine's Day alone?  

It's literally just a day! If you are alone and feeling down, go do something for yourself. Be with friends, get a massage, go out dancing, do a face mask! You get to be single on Valentine's day which mean it's all about you!

What is your best piece of wellness advice? 

Talk about your feelings, do things that make you feel good, prioritize you.

What's next for your podcast, Drinks First? 

We've been throwing lots of events and getting the community together IRL. I also just released season 3 (streaming everywhere you listen to podcasts)! Drinks First is growing rapidly and I can't see where it takes me! 

Interested in connecting with Ariana and listening to her podcast, Drinks First? We've got you covered! 👇

@drinks.first

@ariana.nathani

Listen to Drinks First

More from Ariana Nathani