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