In recent months I have gotten some emails from readers wanting me to give them advice about dating in SoCal. After all, it is one of my categories on my blog! Most of these women have been between the ages of 28 – 39. I’ve been dodging it, but I think it’s time to speak. I have read their stories and they are frustrated, just like me.
Summed up, they have written me asking:
- How do I go about meeting a great guy in LA?
- I’m successful and keep meeting the wrong men. Any advice?
- What’s a tip for online dating?
Wow ladies. Where do I begin?
I was telling my girlfriends over dinner a few nights ago that this post I am about to speak on might turn into a “Kanye West rant” about SoCal dating. Originally I had it all typed out in 1 post but then realized it was so incredibly long that I needed to split it up into different posts.
Over the course of many weeks I am going to share my experiences with online dating and matchmaking to bad first dates and lies – and ultimately what I decided is best for me at this point in my life. I’m not bitter, I’m not angry, but I am beyond honest and blunt about what I am about to share.
Guarded and frustrated? Maybe a bit.
So in today’s post I am going to keep it light by advising you not to listen to the “dating experts” but the LA Times Affairs column and how those columns can make you feel a zillion times better if you are struggling and fed up with dating.
Don’t listen to the dating experts
If you were like me years and years ago, I read practically every dating article I could find. I thought if I studied them religiously that my chances would improve and I would be one step closer to meeting Mr. Right.
I no longer listen to them because practically everything I have tried hasn’t worked with what they recommended. Why? Because those “dating experts” are just theorists. They speak from what they have gone through or believe in and what they believe worked for them. Just like what I am about to type out. I can advise all I want, but at the end of the day, you need to do what’s ultimately best for you.
I also don’t think these “experts” really understand what it’s like to date in SoCal. Any normal, day-to-day person out here would tell you it’s a bitch. SMH. You will constantly see me in the coming weeks somewhat downplaying all of their advice with examples.
I am not labeling myself an “expert.” I believe I am a realist where I use my head as much as I can. Following your heart? I would not recommend 100% doing that, especially not in SoCal.
LA Times’ Affairs column
If I ever feel like it’s somewhat hopeless (because you seriously never know), there is one piece of literature that I do read every week where I crack a smile: the LA Times’ Affairs column. These are real, down-to-earth people who discuss what it’s really like dating in LA, not some so-called paid “expert.” I highly recommend you reading them.
It talks about horrible (yet funny) dates – from train wrecks to drug induced people – and any possible bizarre dating situation that could happen only in LA. There are even a few happily ever after stories as well. This is literally the only thing that gives me peace that I am “not alone” with all of the crazy, don’t have their shit together people in this city.
But there is one article that struck a chord with me that gave the best advice: give up. I want to share it with you below:
I had given up.
I was 38 years old, renting a guest house in Beverly Hills, and had tried for most of my adult life to meet the right guy. The final straw was a phone call with a potential suitor who admitted that he was married and believed in polyamory. At that moment, I just gave up. The life I had hoped for, the one with a loving partner and a big dog, was not happening. I needed to make other plans.
I started to make plans for this new life. I started putting out feelers for jobs in other states. After all, with no need to stay rooted in Los Angeles, I could go wherever I wanted. I could live somewhere I could afford to buy a home of my own, or where I could drive five miles in less than two hours. I could live in New York or Chicago and dump my car and brave the winter. The world was my oyster.
“Really,” our friend chimed in with the same dramatic stage whisper. “He’s awesome. Our friend just said if she was straight she would marry him!”
Previously, I would have jumped at the chance to meet a potential Mr. Right. But not this time.
“No, I’m busy right now,” I said. “Thanks for thinking of me though. And why are you whispering?”
“What?” my sister continued whispering, and I realized this poor guy was probably standing right next to her. “I’m telling you, you need to get over yourself. I took his photo and can send it to you if you want.”
My sister sent me the photo. My heart skipped a beat when I saw he looked like Michael Madsen. But just one. There would be no more palpitations over men. Those could come when I scaled Machu Picchu.
I stood firm. “No” meant “no.” To get them off the phone, I told them they could give him my phone number, or get his, or whatever. I didn’t care.
Later that day, my sister texted me his phone number with a threatening message to call him, “or else.” She continued to pester me until I finally broke down and called. Or maybe he called me and I called him back, I honestly can’t remember. When we finally spoke, the lack of enthusiasm on both our parts was evident. (I found out later he had no intention of meeting me but his friends had been nagging him every day since the party.)
We eventually agreed to meet on a Wednesday night. He suggested Starbucks.
“Oh no,” I blurted out. “No coffee dates. Do you drink? Let’s meet for a drink.”
I felt he was a bit taken aback by my blatant adoration of alcohol, but I didn’t care. This “date” just needed to be over and done with, and no way was I enduring it without a nice glass of red wine. And if he didn’t like it, so what? I was done trying to make the perfect first impression.
He suggested the Culver Hotel in Culver City. Not for romantic reasons, but because it was close to his place. Great, I said. I could hit Trader Joe’s afterward.
That night, I arrived and he was standing outside. He ordered a Manhattan and I had a glass of Syrah. He made me laugh. We each had a second drink. He hugged me goodbye at the end of the night and encouraged me to “drive safely,” (a.k.a. the kiss of death). But I wasn’t disappointed we didn’t discuss a second date or kiss passionately. I was sincere in wishing him a good night.
We were married three years later at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
We have a big spoiled dog and live in the Valley. I still haven’t made it to Machu Picchu, but we did go to Griffith Observatory.
I’m the happiest I have ever been and my heart still skips a beat every time I see him.
So, for all of you in this fair city who are looking for true love, I offer you this piece of advice:
And that is what I have done: given up completely and making other life plans.
But that’s just the thing: unlike the author, I have focused heavily on my career and other successes, my friends, family, traveling, enjoying life – you name it, I do it. I love what I do, of course I wanted to share it with someone and have someone encourage me back. But it got to the point over the past 5 months where I had to accept the fact that if it doesn’t happen and I have to go through this life alone, so be it. I don’t want to, but I don’t have a choice, it’s just me running this ship out here. That’s what gives me peace and no tears.
The only thing I disagree with the author is that in between the lines, she’s basically saying “it will happen when you least expect it.” In the coming weeks I will explain further, but it’s a statement that I am not holding my breath for nor do I live by.
In the next post I will be discussing my Midwest background and how I was raised because I think it’s important you know my mentality before speaking about the struggles I have been through in the LA dating world. I will also share how SoCal individuals think and why you should stick to your guns.
Stay tuned! 🙂