Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dating In L.A! Nobody Dates In L.A!

Dating In L.A! Nobody Dates In L.A!

Ok, so that's suppose to be a comical take on the Missing Persons song.. you know.. oh.. fine. Fuck off. Everyone's a critic, it's no wonder that it's so difficult to find a date around here. Oh, not for me. I'm in a very happy and serious relationship right now. Which is a good thing considering it's the Holiday season.

Do you know how lonely and depressing this time of year can be for those singles? Oh, I don't need to tell you, imaginary blog reader who I'm pretending to talk to, I've been there. Trust me, it will get better. But let's for a second take a look at WHY you're not in a relationship right now, you know, why you're not being defined as a couple and all your self worth is boiled down to the happiness of your significant other and yourself and the number of fights you have had in the last hour alone.... It's because L.A. Sucks for dating! At least that's according to the Huffington Post. And I trust that news source since I seem to be writing about their news articles a lot lately...

Little known fact: I went to high school in Los Angeles, so I'm kind of from Los Angeles. So when I found myself back in LA after a long hiatus, it was a bit of a homecoming. I looked forward to perpetually sunny climes, rollerblading on the boardwalk, and the general openness of the people. The perceived abundance of friendly, fit women didn’t hurt either.

However, the quality of my love life was worse than it had been in any other city. For the first two years, I just assumed I had suddenly gotten ugly and stupid. Then I heard multitudes of other people voicing similar experiences.
Well let's be honest and superficial here. You're sort of in a whole new level of looks when you come to Los Angeles because this is where the cream of the crop rises to the top. It's like being a big shot in your high school football team and then stepping into the major leagues. It's going to be tougher competition in terms of your looks. I'm not even going to talk about the "falseness" because it's not even that, it's just a matter that you're in a whole new ball game here. Let it just be known that water does seek its own level. So what are then reasons that L.A. sucks for dating?;
Los Angeles is a particularly tough city to be single in – perhaps the toughest in the US. Here are one man’s observations on the challenges of socializing and dating in LA:

1. According to the Singles Map, the sex ratio in LA sucks.

Anthropologists have noticed a statistic that correlates nicely with the social and sexual permissiveness of a population. It’s called the sex ratio – the number of men for every 100 women. In places where the sex ratio is low (i.e. excess of women over men), social mores are relaxed, women go out a lot, and everyone has a ball. Where the sex ratio is high (i.e. excess of men), people go out less and attitudes are more conservative. No one knows exactly why this is, but it makes sense.

This correlation tracks in large populations (e.g. whole countries like Russia) and smaller ones (e.g. cities, towns and university campuses). According to the latest singles map from the 2006 US Census, New York has a 211,000 surplus of single women over single men, while LA has 89,000 more single men than women. Accordingly, dating in New York City is fun, while dating in Los Angeles sucks. This statistic alone may be the single biggest cause of the lackluster love lives of singles in LA.

So... this is the opposite of a sausage fest. In fact, it's a.. um.. I don't know what to call an influx of vagina. A pussy Galore? This is a good excuse for a man who is saying why he can't find a good girl. This is the exact opposite for women. There's really no excuse as to why you aren't finding a good guy, a claim that has been around for a long time now. It's simply too common that there's way too many women to men. So you should have yourself a buffet choice when it comes to finding a guy.

In fact, I'm going to call bullshit on this whole "can't find a guy" crap. If the ratio is true, then there's plenty of fishes in the sea and you should be casting your net to see which one is the right one to catch. Don't buy into this soul mate bullshit. You're compatible with a lot of different who may very well share similar interest as you or at the very least you can relate to on many things. Don't give me this crap about not being able to find a guy.. you have a long list to choose from and the ball is in your court.

2. Large distances in the world’s biggest city create a real barrier to intimacy.

Let’s say you meet someone you like -- cute, fun, smart, funny. You ask where this person lives --“Silver Lake.” You live 20 miles away in Santa Monica -- and that’s not just any 20 miles. It’s 20 miles through one of the most car-jammed concrete jungles on the planet, with no efficient public transport to speak of. And your helicopter’s in the shop. Again.

20 miles is a perfectly reasonable distance to travel in the 5,000+ square miles of Los Angeles to get somewhere. Yet, it is totally unreasonable by human terms. It’s almost twice the length of Manhattan (13 miles) and enough distance to cross a couple of national borders in Europe.

Contrast this with New York City. Even though the times required to get around in NYC are comparable, the perceived effort of taking the subway or hopping in a cab is much less than driving yourself through snarls of traffic. Hence people there are much more willing to go places and meet up

Geographically undesirables. That's what I call you if you live far from me. It's a pretty accurate assessment. I'm not going to sugar coat it -if you live 40 minutes from me, I'm not going to date you. Why not? Well it's bad enough I don't have enough time (see industry excuse later in the list) but to fight traffic at peak times to see you is going to be difficult. You can't blame anyone for not wanting to do this.

This, by no means is limited to Los Angeles. I'm sure if you're in New York you're not going to want to date someone from Jersey. The distance is going to eat up the amount of free time you have. But then you always have those exceptions. I may sound like a completely gross person here but come on, you've read my point of view on other things, this should come as no surprise.

There's a deciding factor when coming up with how far you are willing to go for a date. It's a very simple graph that maps out how hot the person is compared to how far they are. The average girl who is 10 minutes away is much more desired than the average girl who is 20 minutes away. Then again, the average girl who is 10 minutes away can be less than the hotter girl that is 20 minutes away. Get what I'm saying here?

Besides that, who wants to drive 40 minutes before even starting the date. You're going to have a long commute back and that amount of time does leave you with a lot of time to analyze the date. Which can be a bad thing.

3. Lack of pedestrian culture reduces opportunities for casual contact.

Whenever I visit Boston, New York or London, I bump into friends – on the sidewalk, on the subway, in the parks. This casual, unforced, unpremeditated contact is the cornerstone of building social relations. That’s why our closest friends tend to come from work and school.

That casual contact is missing in LA, because we spend a lot of time in our wheeled steel cages. As as in the song by Missing Persons, “Nobody walks in LA.” And if you want to meet someone again, you have to coordinate busy schedules, make a one-on-one date and travel (see #2) – a higher-stakes proposition than bumping into someone and grabbing an apropos drink. The higher energy required for making a date means that it happens less often.

I'm a little on the fence on this one. I guess maybe growing up in Los Angeles really made it a lack of human contact. I remember living in the south and having people start up conversations with me in the line at the market or while waiting for food at the fried chicken joint, But I can't ever really remember striking up a conversation in L.A. So maybe I'm just tainted meat here, but opening up a conversation with someone on the street may be a little strange to me.

I don't know how to whistle. I never learned how and I don't think I can physically do the act of it. So while it's not going to work as a pick up line anyway, I don't think that being able to get someone's attention on the street would have been all that helpful.

But most of all, I'm not optimistic about this one because my girlfriend and I were at a lot of the same events through the years, only we didn't ever cross each others path at any point. If this theory that more walking areas is good, then in Los Angeles, those rare exceptions when we were at the same social events, we should have in theory met each other. This just proves that even with being in close location with someone who is relationship potential, being on your feet isn't much help.

4. Transportation challenges make even the best-intentioned people flaky.

Traffic in LA is unpredictable; as a result, even the best-intentioned people end up being late more often than they wish.

Here’s the psychology of what I think happens: once you’ve been late or missed an appointment for reasons beyond your control, your brain has to make a choice: “I’m flaky so I’m a bad person” vs. “Flakiness is okay.” To avoid cognitive dissonance, the unconscious choice that most people make is to validate the unintended bad behavior.

Showing up late, not showing up at all and breaking promises can then become the norm. When that happens enough times to enough people, you end up in a legendarily flaky city, and social and dating life encounter more obstacles.

Los Angeles is often called the place with fruits, nuts and flakes. This is exactly why. The whole urban sprawl that Los Angeles means that you will be traveling some place unless you don't want to discover new places. I know people who have never been to locations that are more than 40 minutes drive away their whole life because it just isn't convenient enough.

I ended up being late on a lot of dates. Why? Because as much as you'd like to think that you left early enough.. you clearly haven't. Traffic is awful. If there's one thing I can pass on to the average person reading this is to don't hold it against the other person. As long as you're in communication and they're on the way, consider it on.

But this also plays into another good observation, those without a car are not going to be able to meet others very easy or at all. How could you, really? It's not like you can get out there into the city night life. Most subways stop fairly early in the evening and the bus system comes to a crawl. Not to mention how far you need to get out of your own area, it's virtually impossible to be in L.A. without a car without suffering some major negative effects.

5. The transience of the city’s entertainment culture adds an aura of impermanence and unreliability to social ties.

A lot of people come to LA to make it in the entertainment industry, which is a fleeting, fickle creature. Is it too far fetched to see that fickleness permeating all the way down to the participants in that industry and their social bonds?

A peculiar energy permeates a town when so many people are trying to advance an ego-based agenda – my role, my song, my script – which may not be the most conducive energy for building meaningful, lasting relationships.

I'm not sure how much this plays into it. When you break down all the egos here anyway, you'll eventually find someone who you can see eye to eye with. Even if it's superficial, you're going to connect with someone who is your interest. Again, water seeks its own level. This desired location effect should actually help you in the long run.

When you're looking for a specific car is it better to go to a car lot that is on its own or is it better to go to one that is in the new/used car dealership part of town? I would imagine that the influx of people desiring to come to Los Angeles would help as it creates a whole lot more potentials to pop up. You'd rather have more choices than less, wouldn't you?

6. Dating people in the entertainment industry is fraught with unique challenges.

I’ve already written another article about dating actors, so I’ll make this brief: dating people with uncertain finances, erratic schedules and fragile egos is a challenge requiring saintlier patience than most people possess.

As someone who works in the entertainment industry I can honestly say that I think this is a big one. My work schedule is often filled with 18 hour days, 7 days a week with very early call times. I'm not the easiest person to work around in terms of work schedule. But if you're going to attempt to be in a relationship with someone in the industry you're going to have to deal with this.

I'm very fortunate now. I have had a lot of relationships end because they couldn't deal with my schedule of working when the average person would have off. My long hours have always been an issue and well, it did lead me to believe that I will be alone.. or at least not have the average relationship because of this. But now I'm with someone who, while it's not the most ideal situation, they haven't complained once... well, other than me waking up at the butt crack of dawn to get to work.

Still, I'm sure this is just one of those that if they're in any line of business that is unusual in the work load, it'll be an issue. You can replace the film/tv industry here with being a police officer, firefighter, coal miner and well.. anything. Let's face it, not everyone has a 9 to 5.

7. Nightlife shuts down at 1am and you have to drive your own butt home afterwards.

Last call being 2am in Los Angeles, most establishments start kicking you out at 1am. So just when things have started to get interesting, the party shuts down. In cities like Berlin, New York, London, Barcelona and Paris, people often start going out at 1am, and the social life is correspondingly more raucous.

Lack of public transport also means that people stay sober enough to drive back home. As a result, the social lubricant effects of alcohol don't operate in the same way as in a city with public transport.

Mathematically stated, less party time + less imbibing of adult beverages = less fun. This, plus the other six aforementioned factors, may very well make LA the toughest big city in the US to be single in.

This is the biggest death knell to everything about night life in Los Angeles. I'm not even talking about getting a date or hooking up, the fact that bars close at 2 mean that your night ends before it even has a chance to get started considering most people don't get out the door till about 10pm any way.

When I travel and I realize there's no last call or people start going out later and later, I threive on it. If I'm in New York, I'm not sleeping, much like that Beastie Boys song, I'm not sleeping till Brooklyn.. or for that matter, while in Brooklyn. If I'm overseas, I'm def. not even getting out the door till about midnight anyway.

Last call at 2 am in L.A. really does mean that your night ends before it ever really got a chance to get started. Then because of the past mentioned lack of public transportation and the dismal use of taxi's here, people are staying sober so that they can make it home in one piece and without a DUI. So that social lubricant is tossed out the window.

It really is just a matter of having less party time and less availability to get around without you behind the wheel that ruins all those possible big mistakes you'll have with the average person of opposite sex.

But in all, it's a combined force of all these things that create road blocks and make it a bit more difficult to meet other singles in Los Angeles more than anywhere else. But you can't take away to the bigger issues. Unrealistic expectations.

Most of the guys in L.A. see themselves with a supermodel and most women see themselves with a hottie tycoon living that entourage lifestyle. It happens because when you're surrounded by so many attractive industry types, the number of extraordinarily attractive people vs average or unattractive is unusual and compounds the issues laid out in the article. With so many attractive folks around, having an attractive partner is percieved as realistically attainable for everyone. Those of us on the average end of things get ignored (even by other people at the average end of the spectrum).

Whenever I visit friends in other cities I get hit on consistently. I'm considered attractive there. Women elsewhere see the movie-star looks on tv/big screens/magazines etc, but they don't see it every day on the street. And to think, I thought my lack of dates growing up was all due to me being a complete and utter nerd. Whoops. Looks like all I had to do was go to school in a location that wasn't Los Angeles. Either that or I have someone else to blame for my total lack of social skills.

Truth be told, it's not just Arianna's little corner of the blog-o-sphere that is doing social commentary on why L.A. sucks for dating, L.A. Weekly took a jab at it themselves.

10. You've got to have a J-O-B to be with me. More than one out of ten people have no J-O-B in L.A. It's a real Debbie Downer, especially when the dinner check comes.

9. While there might be more single men than women in town, most Hollywood hot-spots let in like 10 women for every one spiky-haired douche paying for bottle service. Good for that one guy (maybe, if his parents don't mind the credit-card charges), bad for the rest.

8. Cougars. This is the cougar capital of the world. (Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa should add that to his boasts about L.A.). We know cougars who have two and three boyfriends. Actually, that's a good thing. Helps even out the ratio.

7. White guys and Asian girls. There are other kinds of people in the world. Both you two, break it up.

6. Sensitive metrosexuals. Get over yourself and pull the trigger, or get out of the way.

5. Wilmer Valderrama and Seth MacFarlane. If they only dated each other it would open doors for a whole generation of single men in Hollywood.

4. Gay people. They're partying like it's 1979, and breeders aren't invited.

3. Mayor Villaraigosa has dibs on all the hot female television reporters.

2. Medical marijuana dispensaries on every corner. People who are stoned want to hook up, too -- for sure. They dream about it. They have great, burning desire. Then they take another toke from a three-foot bong and slink into their friend's stinky couch before passing out.

1. There's no place to park.

It's a more satirical take on the subject. None of them are really on top of it all. I mean, I was cocked blocked by the Mayor once.. but that girl just had some strange obsession over him anyway.

Even with all these reasons why L.A is hard on singles, it's still a whole lot better than in the UK where that Holiday pudginess you gained will get you tossed off a dating website.
Dating and social network site has axed some 5,000 members following complaints that they had gained weight.

The members were singled out after posting pictures of themselves that reportedly showed they had put on pounds over the holiday period.

The site allows entry to new members only if existing members vote them as sufficiently attractive to warrant it.

The US, the UK, and Canada topped the list of excluded members.

The site has always been unrepentant about its selection process, calling itself "the largest network of attractive people in the world".

The move was reportedly prompted by members themselves, who police the membership of the site to maintain a high - if highly subjective - standard of attractiveness.

"As a business, we mourn the loss of any member, but the fact remains that our members demand the high standard of beauty be upheld," said site founder Robert Hintze.

"Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which was founded."
You see that right there is the free market speaking. Best of all he said "Fatties" in an official statement. Now that's comical.

I did check out the site for the sake of this article and surprise surprise, it's all botox and fake tans. I don't think I would want to join that dating site anyway. I mean, it's not like it's something to brag about to be on a dating site.. right? Just look at and eHarmony... or the other choices;

And don't give me this bullshit about people using dating sites.. Actual beautiful people don't just go outside to bars and other social gatherings and get dates, that's not how it's done any more. The idea that there isn't beautiful people resorting to online dating is archaic considering the modern day amount of busy work people are doing just to keep their jobs.

The opinion that there's no beautiful people on the internet is like, 7 years ago. Online dating is pretty much mainstream now. So sorry for your lack of social awareness to people attempting to find others via other means since there's already a lot of grief involved in finding a date in L.A as the previous articles have stated.

Even though this website will toss you off it if you've gained weight, I suppose it's still better than that dating website. I mean, dating in L.A. is bad, but not bad enough that you should have to resort to going to THAT website.

Either way, chin up folks. If I found what I consider an amazing gal, there's no reason why you can't find someone who you can relate to and be somewhat serious or not-to-serious with. Best of luck to you.

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