The typical drill when I’m catching up with someone I haven’t seen or talked to in awhile goes something like this:
- How are you doing?
- What’s new?
- How’s your job?
- Are you dating anyone?
Although it can feel quite stale going through the motions, especially if you don’t have anything new or exciting to report, it’s that last question that makes me cringe the most. Reason being: no, I’m not dating anyone. Reason for that: dating in LA is annoying and finding someone here is basically impossible.
A recent e-mail I got from my fave snarky news site, Thrillist.com, touched on that very truth – very accurately, I might add. It reached out to professional dating coach (is she a professional at dating? or a professional at coaching?) Laurel House to share her insight on why it’s so hard for us singles in LaLaLand. The following is her article with some thoughts from a long-time bachelorette, yours truly.
Everyone is always “on”
Runyon Canyon is supposed to be the kind of relaxed type of place where people should have their guard down, but instead everyone is in full hair and makeup, and unnecessarily sexy athletic wear, just in case.
My two cents: For theses reasons (i.e. beautiful “on” females) is why Runyon Canyon is my single male roommate’s favorite place to hike. These reasons are why I hate it, combined with the ridiculous amount of time it takes to drive there from Santa Monica.
Age is truly just a number
Thanks to age-confusing plastic surgery and makeup, it’s not uncommon to go from dating someone who could be your parent to someone who could be your kid.
My two cents: That’s what the age filters are for on dating sites, but I guess that’s only if they’re telling the truth…
Is it a date, interview, reality show taping, or networking opportunity
On the rare occasion that you are actually asked out in person, the purpose isn’t always clear. Do they want to hire you or screw you? Or both? Or… neither?
My two cents: More often than not, I’m finding myself in that “screw you” boat, that I then quickly want to get off of as soon as I am clear on his intentions.
You’ll date someone who’s an entrepreneur, producer, writer, actor, director, or model
A.k.a. someone who’s under- or unemployed. Or both…
My two cents: Ain’t that the truth! Unfortunately… A dating site profile that reads “I work in the industry” or “self-employed” is an immediate No (or left swipe for you Tinderites) as far as I’m concerned.
Accidentally meeting someone on the street or in passing is rare
Lots of us work from home, leaving little time for in-person social interactions. And for those of us who have real “jobs,” unlike in cities where public transportation is the norm, we sequester ourselves in our cars, only to deposit ourselves at the office. Bumping into that person you were flirting with last night? Not gonna happen.
My two cents: I don’t work from home and I don’t commute, so this one doesn’t really apply to me. But those factors aside, I don’t agree with this item entirely. Within my Westside bubble, I run into people a lot while out and about.
Each town has its own type
Santa Monica, Venice, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Hermosa, Silver Lake, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, or Downtown… more than being a driving distance apart, each area is an attitude apart, too. From hipster to highfalutin, beach bum to buttoned-up, where a person resides can say a lot about their personality, profession… and tendency to be on time.
My two cents: I definitely agree with this, but more than using the town’s “type” as a gauge for date-ability, I use its distance. Anyone 10-plus miles away in Los Angeles means a long-distance relationship.
Divorced with kids? That’s a turn… on?
In LA, having a kid can be even more of a turn on: it shows that you know how to be responsible, nurture, and care for another. And in a town filled with flakes, that’s seriously sexy.
My two cents: I’m not turned off by this, but I’d rather the “kid” be a dog 🙂 It still says he’s responsible, but doesn’t mean I’d have to be a stepmom.
Absolutely everyone is online
Because of the urban sprawl, workaholic hours, and number of work-from-home entrepreneurs/actors/writers/directors/models, online dating long ago shed itself of any stigma. Sometimes it feels like another form of social media as you are matched up with your neighbor, co-worker, best friend, best friend’s ex, and even your own ex. Awkward? Sure. Part of the deal? Yup.
My two cents: Totally seen the same people on Plenty of Fish, Tinder, Hinged and Happn. Annnd, I guess now I’ve just admitted that I’m on all of them…
“Do I know you?” “Oh. Sorry.”
You have to be careful who you smile at, wave to, or approach and ask “do I know you?” Chances are high that you know them from either seeing them on the big screen, little screen, or online dating scene, which is particularly unfortunate if you’ve repeatedly ignored or turned them down.
My two cents: Well that was awkward.
There is literally someone more beautiful and richer (or so they claim to be) at the next table
You will never be the prettiest, richest, most successful, or most famous person in LA (sorry) – there will always be someone better than you in all superficial departments, which makes dating a constant merry-go-round if you’re just in it to have fun or be arm candy. It’s way too easy for anyone to turn their head to the left or right, and see something more tempting.
My two cents: It seems everyone in LA is simply waiting for the next best thing. And the merry-go-round cycle continues when you try to find someone who doesn’t care about those superficial things… Because in LA they don’t exist!!
Expectations are exceedingly high, thanks to a few truly wealthy guys
Sorry dudes, once a lady’s been treated to the tasting menu at Melisse or box seats at the Hollywood Bowl, happy hour drinks seem a bit… dismal.
My two cents: How do I get a date with one of those guys?!
But just because a dude pulls up in a Porsche, it doesn’t mean he can pay his rent
And just because he drives a “regular” car, it doesn’t mean he’s barely getting by. Tons of wealthy dudes have low-profile cars specifically to find out whether they’re dating a gold digger.
My two cents: I try to pretend a guy’s car doesn’t matter, especially when my car is rundown and as old as the hills, but I have to admit I prefer riding in style.
Thanks for a great piece Laurel and Thrillist!
Laurel House is an International Dating Coach, online dating expert, and author of Screwing The Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love. She is also one of the few born-and-bred West Angelenos who has prolifically dated in LA.