The Singular Man

Dating in Los Angeles

February 18, 2013
By Carl Paradise

Dating in Los Angeles can be frustrating and exhausting, not only for single women, but for the single men who try to date them.

Dating in Los Angeles

dmbaker / 123RF Photo

Dating in Los Angeles is frustrating. As a single man in Los Angeles, I’ve been doing it for a few years now and have found some common denominators among my dates. Although you’re more apt to hear from single women – in blogs, on TV, on Facebook – complaining about how terrible it is to date in this city, I think it’s time that a single guy told the other side of the story.

Let’s start with the common courtesy of being on time. In all the years that I’ve been dating in Los Angeles, I have yet to meet a single woman in this city who understands that 7 pm really means 7 pm. My last date texted me 5 minutes prior to our agreed meeting time to inform me she would be 45 minutes late. Getting that call was better than most. The usual MO is to show up whenever.

One time, I arrived at the agreed time and couldn’t locate my date. I called and she responded, “Oh you’re there? Okay, I’ll leave my house now. I should be there in about 30 minutes.” My longest wait for a date was just under 2 hours. After waiting that long, it required considerable mental discipline to be in a cheerful mood during the date.

I like to bring a little gift on the first date. It could be flowers or chocolates, just to show appreciation and to make the woman feel special. But it’s rare to get a thank you; it’s mostly grab and stash, as if I might take it back. I have considered taking it back after waiting 45 minutes for my date to show up, but so far I haven’t.

I make sure I’m on time, why can’t they do the same? On a typical date I’ll look at Google maps for the estimated drive time, under the heaviest traffic, then add a half hour. That’s my target drive time. This lack of respect for other people’s time is rampant among single women in Los Angeles, it happens too often to be a fluke.

While dating in Los Angeles, another common thread is appropriate appearance. Doesn’t every woman own at least one mirror? Showing up for a date in Uggs boots, sweat pants and a torn top might convey you’re laid back and easy going, but shouldn’t some semblance of effort be made for a first meeting, even if it’s just for coffee?

On the other extreme, I once had a lunch date with a woman who showed up wearing 5-inch stiletto heels, a dress that barely covered her rear-end and over-flowing cleavage. We met at her suggested favorite restaurant, Marie Calender’s. I got some interesting looks from the mostly retired mid-day patrons on that date.

Then there’s the use of cell phones during a date. I once had a woman approach me while talking on the phone, sit down at our table and continue her cell phone conversation with her mother for what must have been 10 minutes, as if I didn’t exist. This was our first meeting. What an impression!

Not only do I turn off my phone when I’m on a date, I keep it out of view, stashed away in my pocket. I want to focus on who I’m with, no distractions, no multitasking. Yet, this policy has never been reciprocated on any date I’ve had. On the contrary, I’ve been on dates where she is constantly on her phone, making Facebook updates and tweeting nonstop. It’s unfortunate they don’t think of using their phone to let me know when they’re running late for our date.

Another interesting behavior is unrealistic expectations. I had a date berate me for not leaving a $10 tip for a two drink order at Starbucks. She claimed it’s her minimum tip, regardless of the tab and labeled anyone who doesn’t follow suit as “cheap.” Another woman presented me with her valet parking ticket, demanded I pay and give her extra for a tip and gas.

On a recent outdoor restaurant date, my date took her untouched sashimi plate and set it on the ground for the stray cats. She then complained that she was starving and needed to order more food, which again, was given to the cats. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals but $69 worth high-end sashimi being used as cat food makes me want to meow.

I once made a picnic lunch and invited my date to the beach. It was a beautiful sunny SoCal day. After lunch, as we lay on our beach towels, I applied sunscreen to her back so she wouldn’t burn. She lifted her head from the towel and said, “After you’re finished, make sure you put some on your own back.”

Let’s see, I planned a date, made lunch, applied your sunscreen and your contribution is to recommend do-it-yourself sun protection? I brought this up as we parted, her reply: “I did my hair and put on makeup for the date, didn’t I? I did my part.”

I once had a date show up unexpectedly with five of her friends. They all ordered food, drinks and we had a jolly time. I took the bill and paid for my date and myself plus a generous tip covering the total bill. The table went silent. They expected that I would pick up the tab for everyone. The temperature at the table dropped. I didn’t even get a good-bye, when seconds prior, I was their best buddy!

Yes, dating in Los Angeles is challenging and still, I find myself jumping into the fray, over and over again. I’ve had my shares of dates from Hell and it makes me wary of dates to come. One day I may finally realize that staying home to watch “Seinfeld” reruns is a better option.

Till then, I’m considering a new approach. I’ll offer my dates $100 to be on time, turn off their cell phones and to at least pretend to enjoy the dinner I’m buying for them.

Copyright © Carl Paradise/2013 Singular Communications, LLC.

Carl ParadiseSingularCity member Carl Paradise is a commercial airline pilot, avid world traveler, adventure seeker, explorer, vegetarian, yoga practitioner and observer of human and natural conditions and now also a travel feature writer for Singular magazine. When not traveling, he makes his home in Santa Monica.
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  1. Baz Wedlock says:

    That’s could be actually a problem to give gift on your first date, I agree with that but cannot agree with being late or talking on your phone, of course. I didn’t know that SingularCity has a social network itself, sounds good for a fresh start rather that using the online dating sites.

  2. Donna Sam says:

    First of all, you’re nice, waiting 2 hrs…now way Jose. I’d be gone after 30 mins…maybe 15.
    YOU paid the bill after she put food on the ground for a cat? Bye, bye
    I met a guy for dinner and he didn’t bring his wallet, I picked up the bill, but I never called or saw him again. I’m cool with equality, but just not bringing money. Same guy said he was 5’11 and was shorter than me (5’4″), when we met…really? LOSER.
    Dating ANYWHERE is tough.

  3. Jean-pierre says:

    After thirty plus years of living in this country, i still don’t really understand the concept of dating. Seems like the inherent rules (ie etiquette) attached to this activity just leads to all kind of mis-steps, awkward situations, and false expectations….

  4. Carl says:

    Thanks all for the good advise and encouragement. My roller coaster dating life has been bruising, we live in interesting times. The issues don’t seem to be age specific, the cat feeding sashimi date was a 39 year old nurse and the unexpected 5 come along friends was an early 40′s mom of two. I decided to follow Dr. Neder’s advice and instead of meeting my dates at a specific location, I would pick them up at their homes. Which is exactly what I did last week, however to my horror I realized I might be late, the traffic was at a standstill. It appeared that my estimated 1.5 hour drive time to travel 12 miles was in jeopardy, so I sent text messages to my date every 10 minutes with updates, giving GPS distances and times, reassuring her I would make it on time plus or minus a few minutes. My final text was at 7:19 PM, it read “I’m here”, I was 4 minutes late but it felt like 4 hours. As I waited curbside 5, 10, 15 minutes… with disbelief that my date was going to be late! I thought of Singular members who recommended setting boundaries, not allowing this behavior to be rewarded. Was I to get back in my car and drive 1.5 hour home? Write this off as an exercise in LA traffic driving technique. I stopped looking at my watch, she eventually showed up with no apologies or explanations… I said “sorry for being late”, her reply “you’ve got to plan better next time”… ya, as if there will be a “next time”.

    • Kim Calvert says:

      I was out last night at an event at the Improv in Hollywood and asked some of the guys (attractive, successful, ages 35-50) about these kind of experiences with LA women, and they ALL said that this is typical! It’s baffling! I really can’t wrap my head around why women would disgrace our gender by behaving with such a lack of common courtesy. One guy said he thinks women do this as some kind of “test” to see how the guy reacts. Carumba!

      • Amy says:

        Carl,
        How do you know your date got the texts immediately. They can take 10, 15, 20 minutes, a day even, to get to the person you sent them to. Your date might have left the house exactly when she GOT the text that you had arrived. So to her you seemed 20 minutes late and she was perfectly on time. It’s a shame you left her with that impression.

        • Carl says:

          Amy,
          My date replied emmidiately “I’ll be right down”, my text was acknowledged and she knew I had arrived. Not only did she responded to all my text messages emmidiately but we both have iPhones 5s and I’m able to verify if messages are received and read. Giving her a play by play of my progress made it even more difficult to comprehend how she could not be ready on time… but I’m not privy to her personal circumstances.

  5. Madison says:

    Omg, that’s so unfortunate of you! I emailed your article to my boyfriend! He’s the proudest guy in LA!! I am never late:) okay, just once! 5 minutes!!!, I’m the nicest girl in LA! Btw, he’s never ever late:) he’s always 15 minutes early! That’s where I learned good habits:)
    I wish you good luck on your next date?

  6. Beth Kramer says:

    How old are these women you’re dating? I have plenty of male friends, late 40s to 60, who are chasing after girls half their age, expecting true love. I suppose it can happen but more times than not, there’s a trade off involved with May December dating. The guy brings the wallet, the girl, her youth and supple body. The side effects would be incessant texting at the table and bringing along her Facebook friends for dinner.

  7. Beth Kramer says:

    I’ve been on the LA dating scene for three years, post divorce. Gender bashing isn’t exclusive to either men or women. There’s not much less appealing than people who show up at dates with a whole set of baggage from past relationships or dating experiences. Neither sex has an exclusive on rudeness. Heck, I’ve gotten mani/[pedi, facial and bought a new dress for a date who cancelled last minute and been invited by an equestrian attorney to a 2 am date in his tackroom b/c his :”kids were over and he didn’t want to wake them.”

    Still, when things don’t work out, I try to find a few laughs and move on. Bitter men and women need a hiatus from dating. Or maybe they can find each other!

  8. Don says:

    I’ve heard women at social events…mixers…mostly singles (whether or not it’s billed as a singles event) complaining, “Where are all the men?”

    I’ll tell you! At home, at the gym, working late, hanging out with their friends at the local sports bar – and purposely AVOIDING the single women in this town because they are such a pain in the ass!

  9. tom bunzel says:

    I’m sure that the “Men of L.A.’ is already in post production. And I have to agree with some of the women who have speculated that we (men) tend to go for younger women based on superficial standards — however, especially in the escalating age ranges of men, and in current economic conditions we are concerned about being unable to fake it. If women had a bit of empathy for our concerns and acted accordingly that would go a long way. I know a lot of men are jerks or worse — hence the issue of meeting at a neutral site but look — take the egregious example of the date who gave her sashimi to the cat and wanted to order something else. Did she at least express appreciation for the possibility of extending the guy’s budget for the date a bit?

    I really have no problem being generous. It is the EXPECTATION of lavishness (like the tip for the valet) that I get disturbed by and the lack of reciprocity. I even understand that being attractive is expensive — you spend money on clothes, hair, etc. But would it be too much to ask that you pick up the tab for an after dinner drink, buy an ice cream or at least say thank you in a warm and gracious way?

    I wrote a piece for Singular that also raised some hackles about the concept of “living life to the fullest” that is so prevalent in womens’ online profiles. Believe me, I like to do things, and I even get compliments on the extent to which I plan the dates I do go on. But it is an incredible amount of pressure to be expected and JUDGED on the basis of competence and never see the slightest effort to meet us halfway.

    I used to think it was kind of funny when women told me or suggested in email that I get “points” for how I plan stuff or show up for them — now I find it kind of obnoxious because I told them that they get “points’ for how they look or behave they’d be very put off. Why do men have to jump throught these virtual hoops.

    For example, the punctuality issue. Everyone lives in a town where traffic is unpredictable. Look at a freaking Google map and know where you’re going. It isn’t rocket science. The busy, busy, busy lunacy that passes for productivity is not cool. Take a deep breath, take a break between appointments, and plan your dates so that you can be present.

    Of course bringing any of this up sets us up as whiners and complainers so maybe I need to let this go. But these kinds of threads are helpful as long as they don’t deteriorate into flaming.

    The bottom line is common courtesy and the Golden Rule. It may be true that sometimes mens’ standards infuriate women our own age, but then the anger that they manifest in our direction for those standards and their lack of understanding for our circumstances makes things even worse.

    Can’t we all just get along?

  10. Breeze says:

    I’d bet $100 that Carl is searching online dating sites for women that are 20 years younger than he is.

  11. patty says:

    Be happy they were so honest and their true colors (and bad manners) were revealed right away. yes – Its hit and miss out there…which is why its so special when you find a good woman. keep going… you will find your pearl. … NEXT!!

  12. Wow Carl! Very interesting. Why is it that women like that get to date great guys!!? I have had terrible dates also. It would be nice to find a great guy with your values;)
    It’s just hard to find them….

  13. Jutta says:

    Date women your age and you probably will not have this experience! Being on time in a business and private environment is just showing respect, men or women.

  14. Melanie says:

    First I would like to speak to a few points that Dr. Neder pointed out. First, having a man you do not know pick you up at your house is an extreme no-no in the single female world! Never would I have a man pick me up from my home; I wouldn’t even let him know where I lived until I got to know him better. It’s a basic issue of safety. It is terribly naive to think that just because a person seems “nice” that you can trust them with your safety before you get to know them. Any man who pushes this topic is obviously unaware of the dangers women face while dating. Second, a small gift on a first date is charming and I applaud Mr. Paradise for being chivalrous.

    And for Mr. Paradise, why would you wait for these women who are terribly late? Why would you put up with them speaking on their phones? Goodness, have some self-respect and refuse to waste your time on such women! If you have to offer women money to be on time, not use their phones, and pretend to be enjoying the date WHY on earth would you want to spend your time with such women? I do not know you, but I can assume that you deserve better than such treatment (basic common curtsey, basic). If you allow people to walk all over you, they will. And if you find that the majority of the women you date fall into this category of horribly behaved women, then change where you are looking for dates!

    • Hey Melanie! (To whom I must retort…)

      Thanks for your comments.

      I suppose that it depends on your perspective about men. If you are generally fearful of us (as a gender) then I can completely see your point. However, the vast majority of men are actually good, caring, loving individuals.

      Of course, your argument will be, “What about the rest then?” My response is; according to the numbers, you are far more likely to be harmed by someone you already know than by someone you just met. Of course, if you’ve been harmed, for you, the stats put you in the “100th percentile” but in fact, most people haven’t.

      I’m not talking about taking unreasonable risks at all, but meeting someone in front of your place for a first date and even being in the car with them isn’t really much of a risk today; despite what the media would have you believe.

      As to gift giving; I doubt you’d ever say that someone whom you met for a first date that didn’t show up with a gift must not be “chivalrous”. Likewise, are you less of a woman because you don’t give YOUR first dates a gift?

      Best regards…

      Dr. Dennis W. Neder
      CEO/Executive Producer
      ~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
      BAM! Productions
      Remington Publications
      818.334.8826
      http://beingaman.com
      Producers: “BAM! TV” and “Love and Sex”.
      Publishers: “Being a Man in a Woman’s World I, II & III”.

  15. (Sorry to be redundant – I wanted this message to show up here, not just on FB…)

    Carl; I constantly complain about women’s dating “skill”, but now, I have to share some “insight” with you:

    In almost every example you gave, I think YOU were the problem – not the women! I’m sorry to say that you my friend lack real dating skill here. Let me elaborate:

    Regarding showing up on time; why, oh why are you meeting these girls rather than picking them up? Don’t answer that; I already know. You think these girls (most of whom I’ll bet you’re meeting on the internet – it’s own source of problems) are afraid to have you come to their homes. Why is that? Are they generally scared of you or are you afraid of what they’ll think about you being “too forward”.

    Let me say that it’s a rare date (even the first) where I don’t pick up the girl from her home! It’s about establishing trust, rapport and connection up-front which frankly, isn’t hard to do. I’m a “public person” and thus that makes it somewhat easier, but my students aren’t and they don’t seem to have a problem with this. Further, it’s polite and even classy!

    Regarding giving gifts on the first date – WTF? What are you hoping to “buy” with that gift? Carl, I understand you think it’s gallant to do this. Women don’t. You might as well hand them the $50 instead! They are wondering what you expect in return. This is a hold back from an era long-gone (and good riddance to it!) and is no longer considered “polite” let alone acceptable.

    If women are being rude (cell phones, inappropriately dressed, etc.) there’s nothing wrong with calling them out on it! About 6 months ago, I was on a first date with a girl that actually answered her phone. After 2 minutes (to be sure it wasn’t an emergency) I put down $10 in front of her and said, “That’s for my drink” and got up to walk out. She ran up behind me and apologized up and down. I told her that maybe others (like you, Carl?) would put up with that crap, but I deserve better. She agreed, turned her phone off and never took it out again when she was around me. It become something of a joke in fact.

    Carl, understand this: I’m not giving women a pass here at all. They do some pretty dumb things too, but they didn’t write this article – you did. This is all about education. If I can help you get this education, just ask. Otherwise, you can continue to enjoy being mistreated, ignored and generally smacked about. I wish better for you.

    Best regards…

    Dr. Dennis W. Neder
    CEO/Executive Producer
    ~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
    BAM! Productions
    Remington Publications
    818.334.8826
    http://beingaman.com
    Producers: “BAM! TV” and “Love and Sex”.
    Publishers: “Being a Man in a Woman’s World I, II & III”.

  16. Heather says:

    My first instinct was too suggest that he’s definitely dating young women and/or women no aren’t professionals. But I see that that has already been pointed out.

    Professional women would not do any of these things except perhaps checking their phone.

    You’re probably pursuing women based on looks and/or youth, which is fine but they’re not going to take you as seriously as they would some one with more in common with them or, if they’re a gold digger, some one with a lot more money.

    Final thought, many male friends complain about dating here and about the women being disrespectful, superficial users who will let you pay for dinner despite a complete lack of interest. To which I’ll respond, older professional men who seek women much younger than them who lack their own career are kidding only themselves. In other cities those women you’re dating now would just say no. But there are enough women here willing to go on a date for a free meal that they’ll accept your date even if they’re not remotely interested in you (which is crappy). But many many men don’t learn. They just keep asking out these 25 year old aspiring actresses and then act offended when all she wanted was a free meal. You know what they say, fool me once …

    • Beth Kramer says:

      Bitterness and gender-bashing are not exclusive to men or women. There is nothing less appealing than sharing Starbucks time with someone whose conversation topic includes an ex wife or husband or previous bad dates. Plenty of people enough baggage to require a valet!

      If dating leaves you angry, hostile, and hating the opposite sex, it’s time to take a page from the Mad Men playbook and go on hiatus…

  17. Laurel Desser says:

    My first reaction to this story is that Carl is dating hot women who are too young & too self absorbed. They feel privileged by their beauty , as it opens many doors & they feel that it is a fair trade for their time. And think that Carl & men like him, should be happy enough to be part of their picture, to include unprovoked bad behavior. They view Carl as a side dish & are not looking at him as a potential meal, because they feel that they should save themselves for the ultimate catch which only includes top earners who share very generously & or the hottest baddest boys around. Period. I know this type very well, as I have worked in the dating industry for many years. My advice? Would to avoid these superficial flashy types & to try to date a bit older, more emotionally evolved women that lead demonstrably responsible lives. Further, being a gentleman is wonderful but please; never allow yourself to be someones doormat. Believe me, because when you do-you only leave yourself to be the butt of jokes & peals of mutual laughter when the story’s are repeated to their like minded friends.

  18. LA Man says:

    Grrrrr.., We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore!

  19. Paul says:

    Just reading this article ramped me up into a murderous rage!

  20. vic says:

    Those sound like some real humdingers but look: if you wait 2 hours for someone who’s late and hasn’t given you the courtesy of letting you know, that level of debasement probably carries over into your other interactions, leading these harpies you’re meeting to think they can get away with their misbehavior.

    …and by the look of it, they’re right and getting away with it, no?

    If you think you’re “winning” by not inviting a rude ass to a second date but have politely suffered the indignity of the first date and paid the bill, you’ve already lost buddy; you’re not even playing the same game. Especially if Smokey is correct.

  21. archimedes says:

    Woowee! I feel your pain brother! Still, I would forgive them these small transgressions, consider them part of the courtship dance, if it were not for the sense of entitlement they carry. The most burdensome obstacle to forming a relationship, whether it be casual or more serious, is the seeming lack of empathy. I have found that a distressing number of people I have met in L.A. are always in a hurry and overly self involved.

    Arch

  22. Smokey says:

    I don’t believe that Carl faces these issues on every date, but I bet he’s finding all of his dates via online dating sites rather than more organic ways, like introductions through mutual friends (or SingiularCity’s social network). And I bet when he’s checking out the profiles on Match.com or Plenty of Fish, that his number one concern is to find “hot” women who are probably 10 years younger than he is!

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