Thursday, November 29, 2012

Washington is for nesters, LA is for loners?

My friend Sylvia sent me this interesting article about why LA is a horrible place to be single. Certainly a great pick me up from an old friend! The article was written by Amanda Hess...someone who also moved from DC to LA and made some interesting observations about the difference of dating between the two cities.
She argues that Washington is for nesters and Los Angeles is for loners. Not because of the people in each city but because of the way the cities are scattered and laid out. Her argument- Because DC is smaller and more compact than LA or New York the number of singles doesn't seem overwhelming, but instead seems intimate. She says “Like a shelf stocked full with fancy mustards, too many potential mates makes it harder to settle on just one. The surplus of singles in New York and L.A. means only that the single person’s wasteland is that much more vast.” She makes some interesting points, some of which I agree with, but this game has to do with more than just numbers. I think it does have to do with the people in each city.

The problem with DC? Everyone seems like a good catch...on paper. Most guys I met in DC met basic criteria of being smart, educated, having a job, having drive, being close with their family etc. Since their were so many of these eligible guys, if there wasn't a “click” or extremely witty banter and intellectually stimulating conversation, I would usually just brush them to the side.
By the same token, DC is full of smart, beautiful, successful women. Everyone's educated, everyone's doing something with their life...most women in DC are also great catches. So what does that mean? More competition on both sides. As I could easily sometimes brush off men they could do the same to me.
In LA, its not always the same case. There is a lot of weeding out of men that you have to do. Who wants to date someone who is unemployed and can't even pay for their own shit? Not me. On the other side though, a lot of men don't seem to mind unemployed waste of life women, as long as they are hot. Unfortunate reality. And I know I could never compete with women that hot, not in LA.
Hess is correct in pointing out the vast layout of LA and saying that not everyone is willing to navigate three freeways for the chance to get laid. But what that ends up doing is making the larger metropolis of Los Angeles seem more like a small town because people stay in their respective neighborhoods. The surplus of singles that she mentions, kind of disappears unless you are willing to spend an insane amount of money on gas to drive across the city. I dont often leave a 10 mile radius (well why would I go more than 10 miles in the ocean? Unless I make more friends with boats) because I'm lazy and don't like to drive to go drinking. Even when I met a guy in Hollywood, I only gave him my number because he lived in the town next to me. There's no way I would drive to and from Hollywood all the time.
What I've found is that in LA there are two extremes of men. Guys who don't want to commit(which unfortunately seems like the norm); They just want to hit on you or hook up with you. They aren't interested in some sort of larger commitment for whatever reason. Maybe because they think they can be Clooney. But this type of guy seems more prevalent in LA than in DC. The other extreme-- the guys who want to commit and want girlfriends. The ones that actually do take you on dates are the ones that take things too fast. I haven't really come across a middle ground of guy who legimitately takes you out, treats you with respect and takes things at a reasonable pace. Maybe that's too much to ask for any city but that seemed like more of the norm in Washington. Here you're either (hopelessley) trying to make a guy realize that he should date you or you're trying to let someone down easily.
But this is not meant to be as depressing as it sounds. I know plenty of people in normal LA relationships and contrary to Hess' article, I would say it's actually been easier to meet guys in LA than in DC. At least outside of Hollywood, people are friendlier than they are in Washington. I've gone on more dates with guys that I just met at a bar, club or party in LA than I ever did in the nation's capital. So yeah, its a shame that LA is as spread out as it is because it seems like there are a lot of cool people out there, but chances are I'll never know them. 

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