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How To Date In Investment Banking


So, you’ve just landed your dream IB role at Morgan Stanley. You parents are proud, your friends impressed (or jealous), and you feel on top of the world. 

But then, as you start the investment banking hustle, you realize that your dating life is still at ground zero… You don’t date, you have no romantic “opportunities”, and you feel lonely. Perhaps your greatest friend is a certain website with an orange and black color identity…

Well guess what: you’re not the only one! A lot of young investment bankers have this burning frustration that consumes them every day – the secret frustration of not finding any partner they can share fun moments with. 

Some just want something casual, while others are looking for a long-term girlfriend or boyfriend. 

But regardless of their dating objectives, the problem is the same: they really want to date someone, but they don’t have any “leads”. And in case they have, they don’t even have the time to go on dates. 

They cannot talk about this frustration with their beloved IB colleagues (doesn’t feel it’s the right place to talk about that). 

If they talk about it with their non-IB friends (who have three times more free time than they do…), they get BS advice that doesn’t apply to their circumstances.

“Just go out and meet people bro!” 

“Oh my god you’re such a genius, I would never have thought of this! I wonder why… Oh that’s right: that’s because I’m working until 1am every single day.” 

As a result, we have an entire generation of young, smart, ambitious investment bankers who can’t find their other half. 

And no matter how focused they are on their career, there is always this recurring thought in the back of their mind that says: “you must solve your dating problem ASAP, or you’re going to end up lonely and miserable in a 1,000-acre castle”.

In this article, I’m going to explain why it is so hard to date an investment banker or to date as one (when I say investment banker, I mean every person who’s working in IB, including interns). 

I’m also going to share several no-BS, practical pieces of advice you can apply right now to meet and date people easily, even with a hectic investment banking lifestyle. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a girl, these tips will help you improve your dating life substantially. 

It measurably improved my dating life back in the days, and also helped many of my friends who were struggling to find a balance between work and relationships.

Why on earth is it so hard to date in investment banking?
Hard to date

You already know the answer, but it’s always good to verbalize the problem in clear terms to be able to find a solution. 

Dating in investment banking (whether you are dating an investment banker or trying to date as an investment banker) is HARD, because:

  • The hours are brutal, which leaves almost no free time. When you’re constantly hitting 80 hours a week, it’s hard to find the time to go out and meet some cuties. Sure there’s Tinder and other online dating sites. But who has the time to spend hours flirting over text, when you consider yourself lucky to be at home before midnight? The only time you may have is during the week-end (and it’s not even a guarantee) but after a week of working like a savage, you’ll be most likely to watch Netflix in a blanket with a cup of Ben & Jerry’s… NOT go clubbing, NOT text for hours. 
  • The unpredictability of the work makes it very hard to stick to plans. Even if you managed to have a date with your dream girl/boy, there’s a high likelihood you’ll have to cancel the date last minute due to unpredictable work demands. You can plan a date at 9pm (which is quite late for “normal” people who don’t work in IB) and cancel after your beloved MD sends you some work to do at 8.30. It’s not like you would be in a position to say to him “I’m not doing it man! My date’s waiting for me. Thanks but no thanks. Bye!”. Not only is it hard to stick to plans you’ve made with potential mates, but also if you have to cancel several dates at the last minute, the person may get mad, which will decrease your chances of ever seeing her. 
  • Low energy due to extreme hours. I can assure you that when you’re going home at 2am for three nights in a row while getting grilled every day by your MD for stupid reasons, your number one desire will be to lay in bed and sleep for ages. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 21-year-old student-athlete with the life energy of Tom Cruise at his peak. You’ll most likely have low energy levels most of the time, and you probably won’t have any desire to go out, dance, or even scratch your mind to find a smart line to open your matches (assuming you have any)…
Where can you meet and date people as an investment banker?
Where to meet people

The question you’re probably asking yourself now is: Where and how can I meet people given the insane IB lifestyle that I have?

Why you should avoid flirting in the workplace at all costs…

First, meeting people in the workplace is a terrible idea in my view. I know that it’s pretty common to see couples forming within the same team or division. After all, when you interact with the same people every day of the week for several years, you are bound to develop affinities with some of them. 

But in today’s environment, where presumption of innocence barely exists anymore, and where one unfounded allegation against you can get you fired, it’s very dangerous to try to flirt with your colleagues. 

If a male or female colleagues accuses you of sexual harassment (even if it’s not true, and even if they have no proof), your employer may get rid of you just to protect their reputation. 

That’s what happened to one of my former classmates. He was romantically involved with a girl he met in his IB team. Both enjoyed a consensual relationship that lasted over one month. 

One day, he told her that he wanted to break up with her. She was very mad. So mad that she accused him of sexual harassment, with zero evidence to support her claim. 

A few weeks later, he was laid off, despite the complete absence of proof. It is extremely sad and revolting. But unfortunately, that is the society we live in. 

Presumption of innocence is a thing of the past. Companies prefer to ax employees rather than taking the risk of being perceived as a firm that tolerate sexual harassment, even if no harassment has taken place in reality. 

Firing someone when harassment has been proven with evidence would be fair. But without any evidence, this is complete nonsense. 

For that reason, flirting with your colleagues is usually a risky endeavour, at least from a career development perspective.  

Aside from the risk of receiving sanctions from your employer, it is fairly obvious that your dating options will be limited in the workplace. If you work for a team of 10 people and you interact with 10 more people outside your team, you have a pool of 20 people. 

Assuming you are heterosexual and that there is an equal split between men and women, that means you have only 10 people you could potentially date. Of these 10 people, more than half will probably be out of your desired age range and/or will already be in a relationship with someone. 

Out of the 5 remaining, maybe only one or two will seem attractive to you. Assuming you find these two people attractive, you wouldn’t be even sure if they like you! 

And even in the fortunate event where one of these two people is a good match for you (you like them and they like you back), you would basically be living a relationship “by default”, since you would both choose one another under the constraint of a lack of choice. 

I’m not saying it would be a bad relationship. I’m saying that when we want to find a romantic partner, it’s always better to meet as many people as possible to see what kind of person we resonate the most with, and with which we could be the happiest. 

The workplace doesn’t offer a lot of options, unless you’re working at a mega start-up with 2,500 employees, all in their twenties, throwing corporate parties every single week… Here you would have options! 

Clubs: good or bad idea?

Bars and clubs are also a popular option for those who want to meet people with the hope to find their soulmate. But is it really the best option when you work in investment banking? 

It can be for some, assuming you have the energy to go there and be “effective”… 

First, we’ll all agree that it’s hard to find the time to go to bars and clubs when you’re staying at the desk until 1am, and when you know you have to be at the office relatively early tomorrow. 

Now, even in the rare cases where you do have more time, you’re unlikely to have enough energy to talk with strangers, flirt, dance, and other things “normal” people do when going out. 

If you’re a complete mess physically and emotionally due to your infernal IB lifestyle, it’ll be hard to show your best side to your potential “targets”, whether you are a man or a woman. 

What about dating apps?

Another option is of course: Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and the others. Here are the main pros and cons of using dating apps to meet people.


  • You can speak with several people at once and organize dates relatively quickly IF 1) you have a good dating profile and 2) you’re good at flirting over text. 
  • If you’re living in a big city, there are thousands of potential good matches for you, which means you have an abundance of options (reducing the risk of entering into a relationship by default).
  • Texting on dating apps takes arguably less energy than going to the club, which makes it more suitable for busy and physically exhausted IB professionals. 


  • You need a good profile to obtain matches, especially if you’re a guy. 
  • You need good texting skills to arouse a desire in the other person to meet you. Most people are terrible at this.

Although dating apps are not perfect, I think online dating is the most time-effective way to meet and date people when you’re working in IB, due to the sheer quantity of people you can interact with, the speed at which you can plan dates, and the relatively low amount of energy you have to spend on it compared to other dating avenues (bars, clubs, etc.).

6 pro tips to skyrocket your dating results as an investment banker (from a former investment banker)
Tips for dating
Tip #1: Choose a dating app with your target demographic 

Bumble may be a particularly good dating app for you, just because of the demographics. There are many young, highly educated, ambitious students and professionals on this app, at least compared to other apps. As a result, you are more likely to meet people who are similar to you and who can understand your time constraints. 

Tip #2: Plan your dates during the week end

Scheduling dates during the week-end is better since there is a high chance you’ll have to cancel or postpone a date last-minute during the week due to unpredictable work demands. 

Planning a date on Tuesday at 7 is suicide. You know you’re never going to make it, and the person might not receive it well. 

Tip #3: Take the time to get great pictures 

You don’t have to be a Calvin Klein model to get lots of matches. But make sure to have at least 3-4 pictures that put you in your best, most attractive light. And have at least one picture that conveys a fun vibe (ex: you cuddling a cute puppy). 

Also, don’t take the pictures yourself. Ask a friend who is good at taking pics to take multiple shots, or, even better, hire a pro photographer specialized in dating apps, to make sure you get attractive, high-quality shots. 

The benefit of hiring a photographer is that they will take hundreds of pictures, and give you a selection of the 10-30 best ones, according to them (and the good ones have an eye for it). 

Pro tip: if you have a selection of several pics and you don’t know which ones to use, you can use a website called “Photofeeler” to get feedback from real people. 

The way it works is very simple: you post a picture on the website (anonymously), and people you are interested in (ex: women under 29 years old) will rate your level of attractiveness, from 1 to 10. Once you have enough votes (typically 20 votes is enough to have a reliable score), Photofeeler will give you your average attractiveness score for each pic. 

For example, if you have one pic that scores 8.2 out of 10 on attractiveness, and another that scores 7.1, you can reasonably assume that the first one is likely to perform better on Tinder and other dating apps. This is not a perfect tool, but it can definitely help to select pics for your dating profile. 

Tip #4: Don’t eat trash 

I know how tempting it can be to order double cheeseburgers on Uber Eats as your “evening consolation” after a rough day, but bad eating habits compound over time. 

If you’re out of shape and look unhealthy, needless to say that your chances of attracting those you want to attract will be diminished… 

It’s ok to treat yourself from time to time, but if you want to be the most attractive version of yourself, eat well. Eat healthy. You will not only look better but also feel better – both of which will help you on the dating side.

Tip #5: Practice high-intensity exercises to stay in shape

The biggest constraint you have in investment banking is time. And when you don’t have much time, it’s hard to go to the gym and work on this killer body of yours! 

Some bankers do manage to squeeze in a few gym sessions, but they often have to wake up very, very early (not easy if they worked until 2am the day before) or workout very late (probably the last thing you want to do after a 15-hour day at the office). 

So what can you do then? Give up on exercising and have the body of a slug? Fortunately, there are certain high-intensity, short-duration exercises you can do to stay in shape, without having to spend hours at the gym. 

One of my favorite workouts is interval sprint: you run very fast for 30 seconds (at near maximum speed), you then jog very lightly for two minutes, and you repeat this cycle 5-8 times, depending on the time you have and current stamina. 

In just 15 minutes of interval sprinting, you can get the same health benefits of 45 minutes of normal jogging. Same health outcomes in one third of the time.    

Tip #6: Work on your text game 

This one is perhaps the most important one if you want to go on dates with cuties despite working like a savage: beef up your text game skills! 

Text game is the art of flirting over text. Most people are terrible at it. Usually, when the average guy starts a conversation with a girl on dating apps, it goes like this: 

“Hi, how are you”

“Good how about you” (assuming they even answer to your extremely boring opener…)

“Doing alright. What do you do in life?”

“I’m studying law. You?”

“I work in investment banking”

“Oh that’s cool”

And then you wonder why the girl never wants to see you, or ghosts you… Well that’s because your conversation skills suck. And you need to level up if you want to have multiple dates with the people you like. 

When you’re a girl, it’s much easier. Since 80% of dating app users are men, women have an abundance of options and can obtain dates very easily without having to do much effort. But even for women, it can be hard to get dates if all the men suck at moving the conversation forward. 

My goal here is not to deliver a seduction class, but to point you in the right direction. 

There are many resources online to improve your communication and seduction skills over text. For example, Louis Farfields from TextGod has been providing useful advice on seduction and text game for several years, and his content is generally on point. There is also a lot of free, good quality content on YouTube on the subject.

If you don’t want to train yourself online, find a friend who is particularly good at handling dating conversations and ask for advice. 

Becoming good at texting can take months, but if you learn from the best, you can speed up the process.


A word about the author

Aurelian Tran is the founder of Alpha Lane and an ex-Goldman Sachs analyst who has spent 4+ years working in the investment banking industry.

He founded Alpha Lane to help students and young professionals achieve their highest professional ambitions, by securing offers at top-tier financial institutions.