Friday Question of the Day – What’s Your Relationship Status and Advice on Dating in DC? (reader request)

Spotted this sign, rather randomly, outside Meridian Hill Park

After a few of this week’s rant/revel threads a reader writes in suggesting a separate thread for Friday:

“What has your dating experience been like in DC- gay or straight?

-What’s your age range? 21 and younger, 22-25, 26-30, 31-34, 35-39, 40+
-Are you looking for a relationship or something more casual? Do you generally find your dates wanting the same thing?
-How do you find your dates? OKCupid, Match, Meetup, friends, work or related events?
-Is it possible to find dating happiness in DC before age 30? Several comments believe that you’re a “dating disaster” until you hit the age of 30, no matter if you’re male or female.
-Any success stories or useful hacks?”

And I’ll add one too – for those who are married – at what age did you get married?

263 Comment

  • Straight, 31-34 age range.

    Prior to my current relationship, I was dating with the intention of finding a relationship.

    My recommendation: online dating. Yes, you’ll have to weed through some bad to get to the good, but it can be well worth it. You’d be amazed that even though DC is geographically small, most people tend to generally go about their daily activities in bubbles (usually a 1-2 mile radius of their jobs and/or homes). As a NE resident (who works in VA), I met so many great guys who, because they lived and worked in some other quadrant of DC, more than likely we would have never crossed paths.

  • We met through my ex. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this approach. πŸ˜‰
    So how many of us are married-not-married? We live together, own a house and car together, have a couple of dogs together, but have never followed through with the marriage part.

  • Straight, 28-40 range. I’m 37.

    Personally, I’ve found attempting to meet and date women in the D.C. area challenging. There’s obviously no shortage of attractive, intelligent, interesting and accomplished women in the area — you can’t walk in the streets or go grocery shopping without tripping over one — but, I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t been as successful in this area as I would have thought, in the 2.5 years that I’ve lived here.

    I’ve used on and off for the past couple of years, usually in 3-month durations, have gotten some dates off of it, but, nothing substantive or lasting, and, I actually had a great girlfriend that I had met on Craigslist (in NYC) six years ago. But, I won’t be using online sites for the foreseeable future. Nothing wrong with them; I’ve just come to the conclusion that attempting to meet women online is not the best way to go about it. Yes, it works for some folks; I know a few couples who are married and who had initially met online, but, I think that, when all is said and done, nothing beats meeting people in person, in face-to-face interactions. There is no substitute for it — you can instantly gauge personality, physical attraction, chemistry and engage in conversation without the time-consuming rigamarole and the impersonal, ritualistic dance of sending out a slew of well-crafted messages on Match, and receiving — maybe — three responses, of which, two will inevitably flake out and stop writing back, and, maybe one will actually materialize into a date. It simply is not an efficient use of your time and resources.

    I’m too old for the bar scene, and, not a fan of it anyway, so, going forward, I’ll be looking to do more club and activity-related stuff — outdoor excursions, pottery classes, wine tastings, whatever — to try to meet women. So, my take, for what it’s worth — the onine thing can work, but, you have to put a ridiculous amount of time and energy into it (or, simply be the beneficiary of dumb luck), such that, I question its overall value. I mean, how did couples meet in the decades before the existence of internet dating? Through friends, through work, through activities, and, my favorite — random chance. Those methods still exist.

    If you are a guy looking to meet women using an online site, carefully reading the profiles of the women that you’re contacting is essential, as is referencing something that they mentioned in their profile (or, a photo) in your message, to show that you did, in fact, read it. Copied and pasted messages without some specific tailoring for the person you’re contacting are pointless. It got to the point where, for efficiency’s sake, I had a document saved covering almost every conceivable topic that could be in a woman’s profile, and I’d just copy and paste my responses, with some specific tailoring for each one. Like to hang out on U Street?; here are my favorite restaurants; Have a cute dog in your album?; here’s a description of the dogs in my photo album and the shelter that I got them from; you ski?; here’s why I switched to snowboarding from downhill; you listen to classical music?; here are my favorite composers. Anything else is just incredibly inefficient and not a smart use of your time. It is a numbers game when all is said and done; the more women you contact, the more chances of a response you’ll have. That said, I found the response rate from women to be extremely paltry on Match — literally, 3-5 responses per 70 messages sent out.

    “Winks,” to me, are a cop-out; they put the onus of communication on the woman; if you like someone, have the gumption to write them and to be able to deal — detached and Zen-like — with the likelihood that most women whom you contact will not write back. And, never talk politics or religion, or, anything remotely controversial, on a date; stick to fun, innocuous topics. Good luck!

    • My cousin likes the site with all the questions (I think it’s She’ll screen out people based on some of their responses, like if they answer no to “Would you date someone of a different race?” Or–this was kind of surprising to me– some guys will admit in the responses that they like to sleep with someone on the first date, but later say that they think it’s wrong for a woman to do it.

      • I love the smell of double standards in the morning.

      • I wonder how many dates they get in this day and age. Hopefully none.

      • msmaryedith

        The one with all the questions is OkCupid. Match is more of a meat market–you base a lot more of your response on looks.

        • epric002

          i def did not get the meat-market vibe from match. maybe i’m the only one who looked at how questions were answered? i did get the hookup vibe from okc though…

          • msmaryedith

            Match just made everyone seem super generic, so I found that most guys ended up searching for more superficial things–you could narrow it down more based on looks. So they’d search for thin, blond, blue-eyed girls from 5’1 to 5’6. I definitely felt like there were more guys who ended up writing me because I fell into certain categories of looks.

          • epric002

            how can you tell that they contacted you just b/c you met that criteria?

          • msmaryedith

            epric002, sometimes they’d come right out and say it! (“Hi, I really like petite blondes”). Other times, it was clear that they had NOTHING in common with me and hadn’t read my profile at all. It was more of a “hey I like how you look so I’m going to write.” I definitely got the feeling that it was more superficial.

          • epric002

            so did you go out with these guys or just receive messages from them? i’m curious, b/c if it’s clear that i had nothing in common with someone who contacted me, i’d ignore/decline. for that was just part of the filtering process.

          • msmaryedith

            Those I wouldn’t reply to. But some guys seemed nice enough and I’d end up going out with them, in spite of their profiles not saying that much about them. I always regretted it–they sounded generic/boring for a reason. I just don’t think that website lets you get a good picture of someone or a feel for their personality. Hence my preferring OkC.

          • I actually loved OKCupid over match b/c I felt people on OKCupid were very direct about what they wanted – whereas on match everyone acted like they wanted a relationship when most did not, they wanted casual hook ups. I used them all – match, eharmony, okcupid, and for me okcupid made it easier to find people who legitimately wanted the same thing as me (monogomous, serious relationship). What I tell my friends is that, bottom line for all the sites, you have to invest time in reading carefully and asking direct questions of people if you are unclear about something. I learned over time that if a guy did not very directly state somewhere in his profile that he wanted a serious relationship/marriage in his future, he usually did not. So i weeded out based on that, and was much more successful. I am now happily married to an okcupid-er =)

          • msmaryedith

            I had the exact same experience, Anonny! And on Match, guys would say things like “I’m looking for the one” when it was CLEAR based off their behavior that this was NOT the case. I thought the way people answered questions on OkC often revealed a lot more about their intentions.

        • Any site with photographs (which means pretty much every site) is a “meat market” because at the end of the day, no one will date a person they are not attracted to.

          • Good point. With online dating, this is my methodology:
            1. Look at photos. If attracted….
            2. Read profile. If still attracted…
            3. Read answers to questions. IF still attracted….
            4. Message.
            …..wait for response….if it ever arrives…..
            6. Have conversation via messaging and texting. IF THEY STILL HAVE NOT ANNOYED ME…..
            7. Go on date.
            Rinse and repeat.

    • Totally agree with Guy Jones. I’ve tried online dating a few times and would get so frustrated with the winks and lack of any personal touches in emails. Show that you at least read my profile. I get a lot of “pretty” ” how are you?” and that’s it nothing else. I can’t work with that so I’m taking a break from online dating and hoping I’ll meet someone the old fashioned way. I never responded to winks or emails that didn’t at least attempt to start a two way conversation. I just assumed the guy was lazy otherwise and I can’t deal with lazy men.

      Oh I’m a woman turning 40 this summer.

  • I sometimes feel that local supermarkets should have mingling events for singles, allowing customers to kill two birds with one stone, “shop and date” — Whole Foods could really be a pioneer in this area. Trader Joe’s would be a good place for it, too, but, they don’t have the necessary floor space to spare.

    • +1

      Doesn’t Wegman’s unofficially do this, like without saying they are?

      Would be better if it were subtle.

      Jazz and Love Fridays.

    • I’ve heard of a Harris Teeter in Raleigh where the rumor is that if you walk around with a pineapple on top part your cart it means you are single and looking

      • That is the greatest viral marketing campaign I’ve ever heard of. Well played, Dole. Well played.

    • Whole Foods on P St has Wine Down Wednesdays. It’s usually filled with couples and women, which fits in with the demographic in the neighborhood. Plus that WH is so busy. I might try it sometime but I doubt a guy would want to do it. I’m a woman so I can’t really say.

      • The one in Foggy Bottom does that too and there’s much more room.

        • I once met a guy at WH on P Street. He straight up asked me out. He was great, even if it didn’t work out (because I got back with my ex).

  • Straight, 43 (44 in two months). Been with the same woman for three years, met on Plenty of Fish.

  • I’m in an exclusive relationship, on its way to becoming and engagement (shopping for rings). 34, female.

    When I moved to DC I was single, and I found that with such a large ratio of women to men, it was really tough to gain the interest of the type of man I was looking for. I’m by no means a troll, but there are so many beautiful, single women here that men can afford to be very picky.

    I met my current partner online, so I’d probably recommend that.

  • I’m recently single (28, male), but I got into my previous relationship through OKCupid. We wouldn’t have met otherwise; our lives just didn’t overlap. It was a great relationship while it lasted, so once I’m done with a couple months of me time, I intend to dive back into online dating. Obviously it’s great to meet people through friends, but I have zero interest in trying to pick women up at a bar.

  • I’m straight (female) and in the 26-30 range. I’ve been in a committed relationship for 3.5 years. Before I met my current partner I tried the online dating thing, but found it to be horribly awkward and uncomfortable, I’m a bit of an introvert so maybe it just wasn’t my thing. I had some luck meeting guys at bars but never anything meaningful. As for my current partner, I met him through mutual friends, so I guess I just got lucky!

  • I was single when I moved to DC. I met my now husband randomly at bar in Adams Morgan when we were 26 & 25. We have been happily married for almost 4 yrs now.

  • In this morality-free town, you need to add “married and dating” as a choice too. LMAO!

    • +2
      I’m in an open relationship and that won’t change after I marry my current partner.

      • Yeah but I think what the above poster was referring to is having an affair unbeknownst to your spouse. If you’re in an open relationship and you both agree to it I hardly think that qualifies as cheating or “morality-free.”

  • justinbc

    Straight male, in current exclusive relationship for 2 years. Will probably be getting married sometime next year, but we already own multiple homes together, which is even more commitment in my mind. We met each other at a bar crawl organized by mutual friends, but were both on OKC at the same time and likely would have wound up meeting through that eventually had we not already met each other elsewhere.
    In terms of advice, it really depends on what your ultimate goal is, because the advice varies on whether you’re just looking to be “successful” at dating by scoring lots of hookups, or whether you want to find the elusive “one”. In general though, here are some guidelines I always went by:
    1) Most importantly, if you’re not enjoying it then stop doing it, at least for a little while. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being single, despite all the media pressure telling you otherwise. If you’re bummed out by the prospects or recent experiences then take a break and focus harder on your career, interests, whatever, and come back to it when you’re really ready mentally.
    2) Always be honest with people, about who you are, what you want, etc. Being fake will ultimately always catch up with you if you’re going at this for a long term relationship, so why start off with underlying untruths.
    3) Don’t play stupid games. If you want to call someone then call them. If you want to ask them out again then just do it, don’t wait for advice from your peers. If it’s the right person for you then it doesn’t matter what approach you take because they’ll be happy you made it the way you would have made it naturally.
    4) Online dating, at least for guys, can be awesome in DC, but as with everything in life your mileage may vary. I found OKC to be overflowing with options and it seems like the user base was only growing more and more as I was leaving. I think if you go into it with the mindset of it being one of multiple venues you have to meet people, and not just the exclusive one, then you’ll be more successful at it. Think about it, why would you ever limit your options? I know it’s drastically different for women, unfortunately. I’ve seen a lot of the messages you gals get, and on behalf of men who never send cheesy one-liners, I’m sorry for how bad our sex is at presenting themselves.
    5) Lastly, as it seems like break-ups are quite often the topic of discussion here, I would just advise anyone who’s recently ended a relationship (especially a serious one) to be really honest with themselves about why they’re now pursuing another one. Is it to fill a void, to replace someone, revenge hookups, or are you genuinely now ready to move on? The person you meet might be the right one for you, but if you’re mind isn’t ready to accept it then you’ll wind up hurting both of you.

    • Casually dropping “we already own multiple homes together” in your opening line…what?

      • justinbc

        It’s a level of commitment, since this thread is about relationships. Notice I’m not the only one to mention it, hmmm?

        • It’s often easier for people to criticize than it is for them to actually read. Never expect too much of your audience and you won’t be disappointed.

        • I think of owning property together as an even bigger commitment than just marriage, but often the two go hand-in-hand. We own property together but aren’t married and it’ll probably stay that way for a while.

          • i think the point was “multiple” – he could have just said “own property together” instead of “own multiple homes together”

          • Of everything in the post that’s what you took away from it? I’m guessing you’re single.

    • Can you please teach a class for 99% of the oafs who message me from $#@! OKCupid? My inbox would be greatly appreciative.

      • justinbc

        Sorry to hear about your woes! I don’t know about teaching, but I definitely try to help my guy friends better represent themselves. I will say though, that a lot of women are lazy about online dating too, it’s not just the guys. The most successful stories I’ve heard from women were the ones who actually messaged the guys they wanted, rather than sitting back and expecting the men to just do all the work and picking which message/answer they liked best. If you’re into a guy’s profile just message him, he’ll likely really appreciate the effort! (and just think, you might have saved him from yet another monotone email talking about how much he really likes your puppy photo and the fact you like The Fray like he does).

        • +1 to this. I have my partner because I’m the one who messaged him. It’s a good thing too because I saw the messages he used to send to women and I wouldn’t have responded to that!

          • +1 justin. It really makes it so much easier when the girl just knows what she wants. I’ve always been impressed when the girl makes the first move (shows confidence), i feel a little less ‘creep’, even if we just end up as friends or a one time encounter, it usually makes things easier (granted i am also interested in her)

        • This all applies to real-life dating too, not just online dating.

        • Not necessarily, I’ve tried this and guys don’t answer also

        • msmaryedith

          Pretty much any time I messaged a guy, it went completely ignored. If someone wrote me a thoughtful email, I’d usually at least take the time to write a “thanks, I just don’t think we’re a good match, but I wish you luck” sort of email. But when I’d bite the bullet and write the guy, I pretty much NEVER got a response.

    • +1 to justin’s #5 comment. I took a year off from dating after my last long (albeit dysfunctional) relationship ended, took up new hobbies and hung with my friends and enjoyed alone tie, and it enabled me to come at my next relationship from a much healthier perspective.

    • how tall are you justin?

    • I like your #1 a lot. Embracing being single has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself! For now, at least πŸ™‚

  • Emmaleigh504

    I”m working on becoming Spinster Librarian. I’ve almost got my disapproving glare perfected. If this roles doesn’t work out, I’ll be plain old boring Crazy Cat Lady.

  • jim_ed

    I’m straight, 28 year old, married male.
    Sometimes I feel weird being married at 28 in DC, since people live in group homes and drink cheap beer on weeknights into their late 30s. But then I see the awkward dates at bars and reads the PoP lamentations, and realize just how good I have it. Being married is awesome.

    • gotryit

      +1 I’m in a similar boat (although a few years older). I got married at 25 and have no regrets (credit to my wife for that). I don’t miss dating at all – I’m very lucky to have met my wife.

    • I’m with you. I’m 30 but also got married very young (we were 25) but no regrets. I am surprised by how many people say they are married or in an exclusive relationship on the poll! The great majority of my friends are single.

      Anyone else get a little annoyed when you get treated differently because you are married? It annoys me to no end. I am still only 30 and I am still interested in the same stuff as my single friends. Getting married doesn’t change that (or shouldn’t). It’s weird. I realize that priorities change when people have kids but please stop treating childless married people like they have no other interests in life!

      • Dude, you accrue so many advantages in the world and from the government as a married person. Don’t pull the aggrieved “woe is me” pity card. Being married is still the socially accepted default. Try being single and mid 40s and see how the world/financial institutions/your employer treats you.
        You’ll survive, I promise.

        • +100000000000000000000000000000000

        • Are you serious? It costs me thousands of dollars every year in taxes alone to be married. Any “benefit” I derive from the government is paid for . . . I’m not even exactly sure what benefits you are so bitter about. Also, I can assure you that as a married woman of child bearing years I receive absolutely NO benefit from my employer. I am looked as a liability – they are trying to decided whehter I will be around or on maternity. So married people aren’t on easy street, as you seem to imply. I only ask that single people not rush to judgment about married people. Thanks for fullfiling sterotypes!

          • Married but filing separately will remove all of these disadvantages in the vast majority of cases. Also, if your spouse makes significantly less than you, your threshold for expiry of many deductions moves much higher (for example student loan interest – $75K threshold for single, but $150K for married). In my case, my girlfriend is a PhD student making $30K per year while I make over $100K. If we were married, I could deduct my student loan interest (which I can’t do right now at my current income level as a single person).
            Married people on average receive bigger raises and promotions more quickly than singles (more so for married men, than married women). More choices and portability for health insurance (can jump to a spouse’s plan). Higher threshold for mortgage interest deduction as a married couple, can take more real estate capital gains tax-free, and ability to borrow more money from financial institutions. The Child Tax Credit, which primarily accrues to married people.
            If you’re getting nailed to the tune of multiple thousands in extra taxes because you’re married, you need to get an accountant (or a better one). Society is setup for the benefit of married people, for better or worse.

          • Anonymous at 11:03 you really have no clue what you are talking about. You think I need an account? Well let me tell you something about taxes: Married filing separate is taxed at the same rate as married filing jointly. The student loan interest deduction begins to phase out and if both spouses have student loans and live in DC not very helpful. The child tax credit is available to anyone with a child, regardless of marital status. You want to take “advantage” of it – go have a kid. Everything you said about home ownership and the tax benefits are just wrong – congratulations. How do I know this?? I’m a tax attorney. Your bitterness towards the married is palpable. Whether you are married or single, life is neither intrinsically easier or harder. We all have our struggles. My point was that single people should stop making assumptions about married people, we also rock. Again, you do such a great job of proving my point.

        • justinbc

          While I may not agree with their reasoning in existing, I do agree their are strong financial benefits for being married. But why would your employer treat you any different? That sounds like some sort of serious HR violation.

          • Of course it’s an HR violation. But it happens all the time. It’s the whole $0.77 to the dollar issue. And sometimes it’s not even intentional – people don’t realize their own prejudices. It’s societal thought and it’s hard to break.

            I don’t think there is as much of a financial benefit to being married as people think. Like everything else in life, there is give and take on that issue. But the people who are really financially benefit are two high earning people in a committed relationship. The get the tax benefits and whatever benefit they get from splitting costs at home. I wouldn’t rush to get married if I were those people, lol. I even thought of a paper divorce before. Of course, I would never do that because people don’t get married for finances alone.

      • I think even if you’re a married person at a young age and you happen to not live up to the boring married people stereotypes….a lot of people will assume you do just because many couples play the role of “typical married couple” extremely well. I.e. they don’t like going out anymore, they just want to sit on their couch, spend their weekends at home depot instead of day drinking at brunch or some other fun activity, and judge us singles for going out on a Wednesday, etc….

        I personally wish there were more married couples without kids who think the way you do, but it’s not really that common, at least from my (single) perspective.

        • I agree – the people who “play house” as I call it. To each his own – if that is what makes people happy who am I to judge. I’m just putting the word out there that we are not all like that πŸ™‚ I think the assumption should be that we are interested in the same thing as our peer group, regardless of marital status.

          • I agree with you. I wish that when my friends get into serious relationship/get engaged/get married it doesn’t mean they stop doing the stuff they used to but, unfortunately a lot of the time it does. I say this to people all the time, but I’m single and if I got married like, tomorrow I feel like I would basically be living the same day-to-day life except that I would be living with my romantic partner and not with roommates. But I’d still want to hang out with my friends the same amount and all of that good stuff. Am I just super naive? I really honestly don’t understand when people get into relationships (married or not) and act like they have all this other stuff they’re “supposed” to be doing, especially when most of that stuff sounds supremely boring (i.e. their idea of fun is renting a zip car to visit their in-laws and then going to homegoods and don’t get me wrong, i love home goods, but come on)…

          • It might just be you or your friends. I am friends with a few married couples, all who are out and about as much as I am (35 yr old single guy). I certainly don’t view them any differently than everyone else who I hang out with.

            Now I admit if they had kids, then I probably would…

        • We’re not officially married but I guess we qualify as “old” and have been together longer than most married people we know. We definitely still brunch and day drink and go out on week nights with our single friends. Of course that’s not to say we haven’t spent a Saturday afternoon or two at Home Depot πŸ™‚

      • justinbc

        I think the answer to this is pretty simple. One of the reasons for “going out” when you’re single is the possibility of potentially meeting someone. Once you’ve already met someone that incentive goes away. It doesn’t mean you never want to go out for other reason, but a big factor has now been subtracted, causing the desire to be slightly less. There’s also the likely scenario that your friends have experience with other married couples who do behave in the “stay-at-home” manner. Note: this is not exclusive to married people, but any couples.

        • I guess I just don’t go out with the sole purpose of trying to find a date. I go out with my friends because I genuinely like hanging out with the people I associate myself with and like taking advantage of living in a city and going out to bars/restaurants/whatever. I have had a couple friends tell me something similar to what you just outlined and I find it somewhat insulting. I’ve been in serious relationships at different points and it doesn’t take away my desire to go out and be social, but I know everyone isn’t like that. If I got out and meet some guy who seems cool then that’s an added bonus, but is by no means my main expectation or goal.

          • Agreed! I go out to socialize. People need social lives and friends. If you’re only friend is your significant other, married or not, that would seem like such a lonely life! My spouse is truly my friend as well but I’ve always had a group of friends I hang out with – not just one person.

    • In the same boat– not yet 27, married almost a year. In college I met a mature, considerate, trustworthy, attractive, straight guy, who thought I was smarter than him– and liked it! I’ve never been nervous about being tied down, or felt the need to play the field (which didn’t look like too much fun, anyway.) Lucky for me, he hasn’t, either!

  • binpetworth

    Straight. 40+.
    Gave up online dating after decent dates but no real long-term connections (plus, I was doing the online thing on and off for a decade). Find it especially hard to find men in my early 40s age range who don’t want children (many look to younger women for precisely this reason) or who actually live somewhere in or near the district (sorry, guys in Leesburg).
    All said, I’m really, really happy with my life. Sure, I’d love to have someone for long-term companionship and intimacy, but I made the decision years ago that whether that happens or not, I’m going to just enjoy the things I enjoy and let it be. The universe has still been pretty good to me.

    • colheights67

      We’re twinsies (straight, 40+ female in the center of the city). It’s a drag, feeling like there are so few options and that every man my age wants to date someone 10 years younger, but I’d rather be satisfied being on my own than in a relationship that makes me sad (which I was in many years ago.) Single is better than partnered and unhappy.

      I totally ditto your last paragraph.

    • Count me as a guy who is 41 and would not date any significantly younger than me. I usually date someone a couple years older. I am a professor and want a real woman who has a good sense of herself and can be my peer. Just fyi that there are those of us out there. I’ve had great success online, especially OKCupid which tends to draw a more educated and progressive crowd.

    • Agreed! I’m a single 44 and I have noticed that most men our age are looking for younger women (including my older brother who just got engaged to a woman much his junior…) However, as my mother says, better happily unmarried than unhappily married!

      • Hmm – in re-reading my comment I realize that I should have clarified that I’m a woman, and have noticed that (a lot – not all) men my age are looking for younger women. jeffb sounds like an enlightened man!

      • Why do middle-age guys seem to prefer younger women? Good question.

        But let’s step back a moment to add the qualifier “some.” Yes, a healthy majority of men would probably go for the younger option, if given an quasi-even choice. But rarely is it so cut and dry.

        So let’s to get to for a reasons: (1) delusional; yes, still thinking 32, when closer to 50; (2) money; a guy with a substantial income can make it happen, and he knows it; (3) looks; a good looking 40+ guy knows he can attract a younger women because he’s probably done so all his adult life (4) weight; older women tend to be, hmm, a bit larger; most guys, no matter what age, tend to shy away from bigness; (5) commitment phobia; for whatever reason, some guys think there’s something better over the horizon, that there’s something more or better to be discovered; and (6) kids; they might not be ready to take on that responsibility. There are other reasons, or course, mixed this way and that, but hopefully the above adds perspective.

    • Jeffb and AMDCer, I find your responses very encouraging! Binpetworth and Colheights67, I’m slightly younger than you (39) but in a similar position.

    • I’m really glad you’re happy with your life. But I wonder how you’ll feel at age 70 if things continue as they have.

      There is someone special out there for you. You just haven’t found him yet and he you. Don’t give up. You don’t have to be on an obsessive dating prowl day-in, day-out, but stay attuned to any possibilities and pursue them. If you just sit back hoping for something, it may never happen. Please be proactive. You say you tried online dating, well, try again. Try OKCupid, Match, Meet-up, anything that puts you in contact with men you might feel an affinity for. You say you desire long-term companionship and intimacy, then go out and get it. Start now. Not a few months from now, or next year, but now. You WILL find someone if you make an earnest effort. Please make that effort.

      • Of course, there’s always the flip side – how many of the people who say they are blissfully happy with their partners now (20s-30s) will still be married and/or happy with them in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s?

  • – Straight, 26-30, in an exclusive long-term relationship
    – I was usually looking for a relationship (one exception), and most guys I dated were looking for the same.
    – I tried online for a while (Chemistry, OK Cupid) which worked. None of them lasted for the long-haul, but I met genuinely interesting people I wouldn’t have met otherwise in my daily life. I’m kind of introverted and shy to begin with, so this approach fit me. I met my current boyfriend at a work-related event.
    – Definitely possible to find dating happiness before 30, most of my friends were happily married before they turned 30. A lot of it depends on you, some people just aren’t in a good place to have a strong, stable relationship when they’re younger which is perfectly fine. I’m a firm believer that your 20s (particularly your early 20s) is the time to be “selfish” and concentrate on developing yourself and figuring out what you want from life. It takes some people more time to do this than others, but I figure it’s better try and get it done when you’re younger than when you’re in your 40s/50s with a family and more responsibilities.
    – Seriously a lot of it is to work on yourself. Build up your confidence, explore new interests, develop your self-esteem and self-worth (not to the point of having an over-inflated ego, but you need to value yourself), and just leave yourself open to new people and experiences. If you’re happy, confident (not arrogant), and interesting it’ll show and be attractive. In the meantime, you’ll be enjoying yourself.

    • Ugh, I absolutely HATE advice to work on yourself. You can work on yourself all you want, but does it really make a huge difference? Are single people single simply because they’re not “trying” hard enough? Honestly, I chalk a lot of it up to luck, timing, chance. Yes, definitely put yourself out there/try new things/meet new people, but that won’t necessarily lead you to a successful relationship by any means.

      • Not gonna lie, I hated it too, and I hate that I actually say that now. In my case, it actually did make a difference since I had some self-esteem and confidence issues I needed to work through and I doubt I’m the only one in the world who needs to. Doing so helped me get rid of toxic relationship and be in a better place. Not everyone needs to, and that’s great, this is just what worked for me and the original question asked for some advice.

        As for this: “I chalk a lot of it up to luck, timing, chance. Yes, definitely put yourself out there/try new things/meet new people, but that won’t necessarily lead you to a successful relationship by any means”, I can’t agree more. I was just trying to offer some advice, since it was asked for, but I don’t think there’s really ever a way to “game the system”. That’s why I said just be and take care of yourself, since there’s no other “trick” that I’ve found. I also meant doing things that make you happy, instead of constantly working to find someone else and getting disappointed every time it doesn’t work out. I’ve known people who wouldn’t do anything if it didn’t have a chance of getting them a date.

      • The “work on yourself” phrase also rings a wrong note with me as well. Nevertheless, it does carry some import of significance. If something isn’t going well in life — “dating” as it pertains here — it’s vital that an individual take stock of himself or herself and to seriously evaluate “why” it is things are not going as planned.

        And, yes, sometimes if changes are made it can make a big difference. The key word here is CAN.

        Let’s say a guy only talks sports when out on a date. This might resonate with his female companion or maybe not. For a lot of women, it could be a turn-off. Wouldn’t this guy be better served if he were able to converse on a variety of subjects? Well, to succeed as he wants to, he may have to change, make an adjustment, and learn to discuss other topics such as current events, movies, travel, etc.

        If someone is facing something they are cognizant is holding them back, for instance, being overweight or having a bad complexion, it’s important to address the issue. Effecting change isn’t easy, of course, but over time and with professional help, movement can be made in the direction one wishes to go. Think incremental rather than wholesale. Virtually anything off-putting or that reflects negatively on oneself, which can be fixed or ameliorated, should be looked at. Life is too short to carry unwanted baggage that can be cast off or made more palatable.

  • I’m 30 and I’ve been with my partner for going on 4 years. We own a house together, but are not in a rush to get married. Our relationship started out long distance and then she moved here after 1.5 years. I originally met her through my college roommate so we had been friends for a number of years prior to our relationship.
    Dating in DC as a gay woman can be pretty tough and I had no luck for 4 years after my previous relationship ended. I tried meeting people online to no avail and actually ended up meeting a few cool ladies in bars, but it never went anywhere and we just ended up being friends. I don’t really have much advice seeing as I had to go out of state! I know other women who have had luck with online dating recently. I think it’s gotten a lot more “main stream” than when I was attempting it 6 years ago.

    • Buying a house with someone whom your not married sounds pretty stupid. Why would you do that?

      • You’re probably a troll, but in case you’re serious: clearly nothing is a sure thing- not even marriage. You can be married and own a house together and then get divorced and have to sell a few years later. Almost everyone I know who got married ended up divorced a few years later so marriage is no guarantee a couple will stay together these days.
        If a couple wants children I think it adds greater incentive to get married, but we do not. Though, I know quite a few couples who have children first and get married years later or not at all. It seems to be a growing trend. This seems to indicate marriage is no longer a necessity or a given next step, but more a personal choice. I certainly wouldn’t judge the worth of any couple’s relationship by whether or not they’re married…

  • 26-30 Straight female in a long term relationship

    I’ve had a fantastic time dating in DC and after several years of casually dating I met someone who I am happy to be in a ltr with. Advice? My biggest piece of advice: get off your phone/device!! I didn’t have a smart phone until a month ago and I don’t have an ipod and I met many people simply because I did not look otherwise occupied. I met people who are friends and some who I dated all over the place- the metro, bars, museums, special events- simply because I wasn’t staring at a cell phone or had earbuds in. I also sometimes went to interesting events alone if no friends could tag along and that was a great way of meeting others in the same situation.

    • +1!
      I’m kind of shy but I’ll “take the risk” to strike up a conversation with someone who looks interesting. but if they’ve got ear-buds in and/or their face buried in their glowing device, the message I receive is that I would be an intrusion into their little world.

      The flip side of this is that when I fly I almost always wear headphones which aren’t plugged into anything to keep people from talking to me. On more than one occasion I’ve had a flight attendant ask me to turn off my “electronic device” and to laugh with me when I show them the plug (clearly not plugged into anything).

      • Haha! Yes! I actually use the same strategy if I DON’T want to meet anyone. I will pull out my phone (even when I had the dumb phone) or pretend to be intensely listening to voicemails. It goes both ways!

      • Might have to try this. My patented method of putting on an eye sleeping mask and pretending to be asleep still hasn’t stopped annoying people (namely men) from talking my ear off on an airplane.

  • 40-50 married. Been together 20+ years. Met here in the DC area through mutual college friends. DC has some of the most beautiful people, that’s for sure! But a bit clickish…..

  • What about us domestic partners πŸ™‚

  • Straight, 35. I met my husband 4 years ago through We’ve been married for 3 months. Like many commenters, I think online dating is a great option. My husband and I casually dated for about 6 months before becoming more serious, which (in retrospect) I think was really important given we had no prior context for knowing each other to build trust and a friendship first and foremost.

  • In a relationship, seeking a third to help liven things up for us!

  • epric002

    straight, female, almost 32, and celebrating my 2nd wedding anniversary today πŸ™‚ met my lovely husband on highly recommend trying online dating, especially multiple sites- they’re not all the same. truthfully, would recommend online dating even if i hadn’t met my husband that way. had no awful experiences with it whatsoever.

  • How about having a POPville singles night at a bar somewhere? Or I could just go to the happy hours I guess.

    • gotryit

      This might not be the best place to look. The responses to the poll as of now show about 80% are married / engaged / in a relationship, etc.

    • justinbc

      Based on my conversations with people at the PoPville HH’s there are indeed a lot of single people there. You should definitely give it a shot. Just come with the mindset of meeting everyone, not just the single ladies/men.

  • Straight, 31-34 age range,met my sweetheart on the metro (it does happen!). Oddly enough we had both just recently closed our online dating profiles. I had been on OKC for a while, and never had anything major happen (disaster or success), ultimately I just found it draining. Instead I got out of the work and house mode, started some new hobbies, which is why I ended up on the metro at the time that I met him. It’s a bit of a fluke because I never normally talk to strangers on the metro, but I’m sure glad I did.

  • Unattached gay guy, mid-thirties. I’m in a kind of Zen spot where I date if someone great comes along, but am otherwise pretty fulfilled without a partner. Match didn’t work for me, OKCupid is much better. I have self-opted out of the bar/club scene, which excludes me from most gay networks in town. I’m fine with that – there are plenty of quality guys who I’ve met in random ways, through friends, through activities, online, etc. I wish someone would open a low-key gay themed coffee shop/bookstore where one could have a conversation and meet thoughtful people. Unfortunately, gay bars make more money in this town…

  • Female 40+, straight and single. I’ve used match in the past and had three good relationships as a result. Many interesting first (second, third) dates, only a few that were really odd. The pool is definitely smaller as I’ve gotten older – I’m still a paid member on match but not really looking. Pondering OKCupid and other options just to see.
    I don’t feel like I NEED to be in a relationship and if it never happens I’ll be ok. I’m not resigned, just realistic.

  • Straight, 25 M. Currently Single, I had a girl friend last january – july which i met at a mutual friends tacky christmas sweater party. I have kind of just bounced around with a few different girls as of recent but after having to ‘end things’ with a girl i was seeing online for about two months, i kinda got turned off from the online scene. I have gone on a few other dates since then but i dont know, it just doesnt seem to be working to find a relationship. I Need to start doing more yoga, and talking to the girls in my class and convince them to start an idie band with me. Then the relationship would last!

  • 40+? so people who are 35 get a different category than 33 year olds, but the 41 year old and 65 year old are the same. As a single 41 year old, that’s kind of depressing.

    • +1. As a 39-year-old female, I was breathing a sigh of relief that I narrowly escaped that last expansive category.
      To be fair, I think it was the reader OP who came up with those age ranges, not PoP himself.

    • Yeah, that age breakdown is kind of hilarious. Did the person asking the question assume that if you’re over 40 you must be banned to the suburbs?

      • My guess is that the OP is in his/her mid- to late twenties and perceives 40 as being so far away that it might as well be 60.

    • Hear hear. Seems to me typical of the attitude of the very many under 40 residents of DC. To all of them, may I remind you of the immortal words of Liz Lemon to her young assistant – you will get old.

  • Straight, female, mid-20s.

    In a serious relationship. I fell for the boy next door when I wasn’t necessarily looking for a commitment, and we’ve now been living together for more than a year with a dog we rescued. The distance (2 feet/the wall between our attached row houses) was just too much to bear. Well, actually, it was more like “let’s cut our ungodly rent in half by moving in together and we can afford to order more pizza/sushi and we won’t have to deal with 5 roommates anymore and, oh, by the way, now we can be naked all the time.”

    I wouldn’t necessarily advise you to go knock on your neighbor’s door and ask them to bone though. I understand that I’m one lucky SOB. The convenience of dating a neighbor is not equal to the risk you run when getting serious with someone who you would undoubtedly run into/have to face almost daily, should things turn for the worst. It’s like dating a co-worker or a close friend-of-a-friend, but ten times worse cause what are the odds of a co-worker seeing you from their window when you take your trash out with wet hair while wearing spandex leggings and UGGs at 7:00 am on a Sunday morning…

    However, I do fully believe in the power of chance/community/being in the right place at the right time/”fate” as some might call it. I think you have the best shot with people you encounter in a local bar, park, gym, neighborhood, community, somewhere that is familiar. There’s an inherent shared experience to serve as a base for whatever evolves organically from there. Dating should never feel forced.

    Prior to this relationship, I had some luck with online dating. I remember thinking “gosh, there’s some really attractive, funny, successful, easy-going, and surprisingly NOT socially awkward guys on OK Cupid.” I think I’m personable and capable of decent conversation with just about anyone (profession: lobbyist), but, damn, there are times when I just don’t have the courage/audacity to march up to some guy at a bar and hit on him — even when I have my best outfit/a full face of makeup/some killer heels on and I look the best I could ever possibly look without plastic surgery. So online dating provides a nice way to approach someone (from behind a computer screen) in a well thought out manner. Just be STRAIGHTFORWARD. Don’t let the messaging go on for 4 weeks without meeting in-person. It’s not so difficult to be like “oh haaaaaaaaaay, let’s meetup for a drink Friday or Saturday night.”

    I also think that reddit should offer a matching service because there are so many people on reddit who are just MADE FOR EACH OTHER. Like, the love of your whole entire life is probably on reddit talking about grilled cheese or PS4 right now if we’re being honest, so maybe you should go to the DC subreddit.

    I guess what I’m saying is: date your neighbor or date someone you meet at Wonderland (ok, plz don’t do that) or someone from a classier bar or date someone from OK Cupid or date someone from reddit who isn’t a confessed serial killer. The end.

    • i once met a girl in line for bathroom at wonderland, we both had kinda large ‘hip’ glasses. In line we decided to switch frames, and we both had the same perscription….i think that was ‘the one’. Le sigh

      • justinbc

        You didn’t pursue it?!

        • i was actually just meeting this girl who i eventually dated for 6 months, this was maybe the 2nd time we had gone out together so it wasnt the right timing…. Kinda regret it now thinking about it hahah. I wish i could be more forthcoming to strangers especially cute hipster girls at wonderland

          • As one of the many hipster girls who frequent Wonderland, please be more forthcoming! My friends and I all go there with the intention of meeting guys. It’s a great, fun place to meet people – no frills – but it’s awfully hard to differentiate between the guys who are looking to hook up and the guys who would like to get to know you in some capacity, especially on the weekend nights. Nevertheless, I like to dance with anyone and everyone to 90s/00s jams regardless.

          • Anon 10:57, I hope you and your friends also follow your own advice and are also “forthcoming”. Standing around waiting to be approached only ensures that you have less chance of meeting someone at all, let alone meeting someone cool.

      • It probably was! How long ago did this happen? Missed Connection on Craigslist — pronto!

        • hahaha this was almost a year ago – i think this girl has moved on πŸ™‚ but i guess that would be like the best story ever how i met your mother!

    • I love this diatribe so much and I think we would be besties.

      • which anon are you talking about? he original poster or my stupid comment about the girl in glasses at wonderland?

        • Original poster! Loved all that – esp leggings and ugg boots comment.

          • I’m the OP and I’m always looking for new besties, especially another gal who sympathizes!

            I’m …usually… outfitted in black/leather/structured dresses/business attire with an occasional short skirt/dash of sequin or leopard print thrown in for good, celebratory measure if I’m in the mood to be a DBIPT (drunk b—- in a party top). While I would really love for society to assume that’s all I own in my closet, come early morning around the house on the weekend, you would think I was a carefree 16 year old high school student en route to Dunkin’ Donuts on a snow day. Add a vintage Spice Girls/*NSYNC t-shirt circa 1998, that’s what I call sexy.

            This is all assuming I didn’t bring someone home the night before wearing said sequin/short skirt.

            If you can’t love me in my UGGs on a snow day, you don’t deserve me in my lingerie.

  • 32 year-old male, open long term/long distance relationship of 2 years 2 months, generally date 24 to 35 year old females
    I already have an awesome girlfriend, who I met when she was living here in the District a little over two years ago. We met via OKCupid. I really liked that website because of the specific questions you can answer and filter based upon the other person’s responses. I knew I wanted someone who (a.) wanted an open long term relationship, (b.) had similar sexual preferences as myself, and (c.) was generally an adventurous and well educated person (like myself), liberal, career driven, similar socio-economic class, etc. That’s a pretty specific set of criteria, so it was pretty easy to narrow down and start chatting. She actually messaged me at 8am and we went on our first date less than 12 hours later! People can be pretty judgmental about the open relationship thing, so its a hard thing to broach when you’re dating someone and really like them. It’s (understandably) a big deal breaker and I totally respect that. I moved to DC for grad school, so I dated a few girls from my program before I met my current GF, went on OKCupid dates, etc.
    I date casually now and I’m upfront about my situation and what I want. There’s actually plenty of cool people in DC who are interested in dating me and I’ve had a ton fun (usually it’s women who are really busy with their career and don’t want to full set of responsibilities and expectations that come with having a boyfriend). Still finding good options on OKCupid, Tinder, and FL.
    I’d echo much of what Justinbc and some of the other guys said above. Really read a woman’s profile and mention some items so she know you read it. Figure out WHAT and WHO you want. Be honest about what you want, that’s probably the most important piece of advice. If you’re not ready to settle down, don’t go a date with a woman who is very serious about settling down and having kids ASAP – respect her time. Don’t be judgmental if you find out that someone doesn’t want the same things as you; people don’t exist to be molded and manipulated into the person you desire.
    I find that people who have a “check the box approach” to relationships/kids/marriage tend to end up the most frustrated. I have quite a few type-A friends who were all about moving down the list: good college >> good job >> lots of money/success >> spouse >> kids >> happy ever after. They nailed the education and career stuff, but they hit a wall in their 30s when they thought they were finally “ready” to find a partner. You can’t just expect to find a life partner when it best suits you after being off the dating market for 5 to 8+ years. You can’t will it into existence. Like a garden, you need to continually tend to your love life and keep it open to opportunity. They discarded plenty of suitable partners in their 20s because they were too focused on their careers. The irony is that over the long run a supportive spouse/partner will ENHANCE your career – employment research show that married people make more money and get promoted more quickly than their single counterparts.
    So I guess my advice is to always be open to love, regardless of your life situation. Give people a chance, even if you don’t initially think they’re your “type.” Go with the flow, a partner will fall in your lap when you least expect it. That’s how it’s always worked for me.

  • straight female, 26-30 range (age 29), in a long-term exclusive relationship. was in a serious relationship when i first moved to dc almost 8 years ago, then was single for about four years before i started to date my current partner. did the okcupid thing, never really worked for me (though i do have one friend who is engaged to a guy she met on okc and was in a long-term relationship with someone else from okc before that – it does happen!). i prefer meeting men through friends, at parties, etc. – it was always harder for me to form a connection with someone i met online. actually met my current boyfriend way back in college; we just so happened to end up in dc and reconnected once we were both single and a little older and more mature. timing is incredibly important, if we had run into each other a year before we did i don’t think it would have worked out for us.

  • Married in our 30s in 2012. I picked up spouse in a bar for a night of fun. We were together for 5+ years before we married. I was single in DC for several years prior to meeting spouse.

    I believe the challenge in DC is people expect too much out of dating. All these intelligent, highly educated people approach dating as they would getting their dream job instead of just letting it happen. I was one of them too until I said F THIS and stopped looking for a relationship. Advice: go out and have fun doing things you enjoy, concentrate on surrounding yourself with good people, and don’t try to force anything.

    • Really, really good advice. Do what makes you happy – people are attracted to the radiance of happiness. The right person will come your way and love you for who you are. The worst thing you can possibly do is date/get married because it’s “filling a hole” in your life. A relationship should just be an add-on to the happy life you already lead.

      • “All these intelligent, highly educated people approach dating as they would getting their dream job instead of just letting it happen.”

        Translation–standards, usually female, are way too high.

        • Hahahaha — if anything, women in D.C. tend to have standards that are too low, thanks to the skewed demographics of the dating market.

  • I met my husband at work when I was 25 (he was 24) and we were married 3 years later. Neither of us is a disaster, thankfully.

  • straight female, 35 – 40 age range, met my husband through a mutual friend about 4 years ago – second kid on the way! as someone who was single well into my 30’s, you can meet your person at any time, you never know, so be open. my advice is to mix friend groups! expand the network of people that you socialize with. online dating works when it works – have plenty of friends who are married from dates. but when it doesn’t work, it just seems like a colossal waste of time.

  • 34, straight, asian female, single. Dated on okcupid on and off for the past three years and it was fun most times but also exhausting. was on match for 3 months and went on no dates from there. I mention the asian part because I think that’s the reason why I got a lot of messages from older men in their 50s and 60s. I often wonder if its the type of guys i’m attracted to or if it’s the mentality of online dating where one thinks that there may be someone better out there, and therefore you don’t take the time to really get to know someone, because there’s always someone else to date….

  • 32, straight, single. Online is just about the only way I’ve started any sort of dating situation since I’ve lived in DC, with one exception. The two serious relationships I’ve had in the last five years were both with men I met on OKCupid, as were the random dates I’ve been on. Recently, though, OKC has brought no joy, mostly creepy messages from creepy dudesβ€”and even those are starting to dry up. The one time I did meet a guy *not* online, we ended up dating for a few months. It was a refreshing change, even if the relationship didn’t work out (no hard feelings).
    I find that it’s been really difficult to meet people in the years since college and grad school. As adults, what do we do with most of our time? We go to work. My coworkers are all women who are at least 15 years older than I am. And even if there were eligible men at my office, dating at work is a BAD idea. There’s not that much more opportunity to meet people. After work, all there’s time/energy to do is walk the dog and make dinner. I know quite a few people in my neighborhood, but the dudes are all too old, too young, or too married/have a girlfriend.

    • Keep trying. May I suggest taking your OKCupid profile down for a couple of months. Then rework it, adding different pics. It may be beneficial, too, to try a paid dating website of your choice, with you being the one who mainly initiates contact. It one site doesn’t seem to be working as well as hoped, try another. Also, you might consider getting out and about via Meet-up or some volunteer activity.

  • Straight, 25, married – and I don’t think I’m a disaster! Lived in DC, left for grad school, met my now husband there, then brought him back here with me. I never had much luck dating before moving away, but I don’t think many guys in their early 20s were interested in relationships either. In the past two years, at least 5 previously-single friends (also in their mid 20s) met significant others on OKCupid and have thus far had lasting relationships. I honestly think that there’s been a higher relationship success rates among my friends who online dated vs. random meetings and set-ups.

  • Bisexual, 35-40 age range.

    Prior to my current relationship, I tried online dating and going out with people I’d met in person. While some online dating lead to serious relationships (and even a marriage), ultimately, at least for me, it felt like it was kind of missing that “spark” and connection that you feel when meeting someone face-to-face instead. It’s also just inherently awkward. I found/find it easy to meet people in DC, though. So many activities (trivia, co-ed sports, poker nights, etc) that, if you get out and about, you’re going to meet potential dates. I did find it very hard, though, to meet the right person. I lucked out with my current boyfriend with whom I was casual friends for 10+ years until, one day, he randomly up and decided hold my hand one evening this past year. It’s been great ever since.

    If I were to offer advice based on mistakes I made prior, it would be to care less about whether you agree politically, or both like the outdoors, or have random things in common. Look for someone who is a good person with a good sense of humor, and who is someone you can respect. I’m a vegetarian liberal southerner dating a moderate-to-conservative bacon-loving Midwesterner, and we couldn’t be happier. Good luck all!

  • They might change over time but the poll results so far show that while this may be a really useful forum for some things, it’s pretty crap for dating. Only 17% of the poll responders describe themselves as “dating” (and I am including the folks in “open” relationships in that number). Not much of a singles market in PoPville. πŸ™‚

    • Wooo, another open person here. Though, we only make up less than 2% of PoPville πŸ˜€
      I’m honestly surprised that the divorced numbers are so low. WTF?

      • Perhaps because most people in this blog are young? I divorced after being married for almost 10 years. Had I posted here 5 years ago, I would have been “”happily”” married.
        Not that I wish a divorce on our married Popvillers, but with time, the numbers will increase.

  • I’m lazy, so I will stick to bullet points! πŸ™‚

    – 35-39 (37, F, straight)
    – I’m always looking for committed relationships. My current status is divorced, living with an also divorced man 3 years older than me.
    – Actually, I have never dated online or in DC (so why am I answering this survey??? πŸ˜€ ). After my very painful divorce I decided not to expose myself in online dating sites. I didn’t have a thick skin back then.
    – When I was single back in NYC, I dated people I met through friends, parties, bars, whatever. All my dates/BFs were introduced to me by a friend or acquaintance. That being said, I didn’t date much.
    – I never dated in DC. I recently moved here to live with my current BF. But I was married in NYC (speaking of bizarreness!) during most of my 20s. For the most part, I was very happy.
    – I got married when I was barely 24 (long story), separated at 33 for the first time and finalized our relationship when I was 35.

    What I would like to add is that comparing my NYC friends to my DC friends, dating in DC is much, much easier. I know a lot more happily married couples or people in relationships here than I did in NYC. Roughly 80% of my friends in NYC were chronically single or jumping from relationship to relationship, and this went on well into their 30s. Most friends here got dates and eventually found someone. In NYC, that’s harder than meeting a tea bagger.

    • “Actually, I have never dated online or in DC (so why am I answering this survey???”
      The survey isn’t specifically about online dating experiences, but rather about relationship status and dating experiences in general.

  • After 5 years of post-grad random dating, I met my wife – eek! – at church! I think meeting gave us some perspectives on our values from the start, despite our glaring imperfections and shortcomings. Fifteen years and 3 kids later, very happy and thankful for it.

  • Mid 50s, in a relationship. I used the classic romantic comedy method of travelling to New York with an old and dear friend, splitting a room (which we had done many times, quite chastely) and getting a little hammered over a fine dinner (WD-50). We got back to the room, settled in for a movie and discovered that the cable TV was not working and, so, what else is there to do? I think the French call it a “coup de foudre.” Not a reliable method, I think, but anything involving a road trip to the Big Ap and a decent meal is worth the risk.

  • Single after the end of a 10-year relationship last year. My advice to 30-something straight women would be to get the hell out of DC or just give up. :-/

  • 29, straight, female, blissfully in love.

    After a year of being single (and enjoying it!), and was kinda ready for something more serious, started online dating stuff (mostly a fail, found guys so noncommital and flaky!) Actively decided to do new things, meet new people, go out and be friendly. And guess what, I met someone! But not romantically, just made a new friend! And then guess what, through this new friend I met my current boyfriend! Lesson learned from this: it only takes a tiny shift of behavior/patterns/friend groups to open you up to new people/experiences. DC is small and it can feellike you have already dated/met everyone, but my current boyfriend and i realize we crossed paths for YEARS but never actually had met, it took this new friend to bring us together. So don’t be discouraged, and ladies, look for older dudes, i do think its true that guys in their 20s just dont have it together emotionally. sorry fellas. I hope everyone in Popville finds the romantic happiness they are looking for!

  • Straight male, 31-34, committed relationship 11 months (really moved from “dating” to relationship about 6 months ago- I’m very happy about that!)

    My experience in DC has been fairly easy. I find that most women are fairly upfront (which I like) and I find that the age range of potential relationships is fairly broad. I have dated women my age, when I was a bit younger, dated someone a bit older, and now I’m dating someone 6 years younger. I think the leveling element in DC (my experience) is that most of the people I meet (if not all) are very intelligent, well read, accomplished in one way or another, or have set goals. Where the split occurs, is the style of person, are they sort of power hungry? Or are they more interested in cumulative experiences? I read about the dating difficulties on here regularly (and I hear it from a few friends) but I honestly have not had this experience. My big disclaimer (I guess advice) is that people just try to damn hard and worry about it. My two most significant relationships (counting the current) have started by meeting the person in very strange circumstances. – -Also, I’ve never used online dating and I feel like it gets a bit close to the “power hungry” aspect of this city that I’m not in total love with. Something about resume culture that really need not enter this part of human interaction.

  • Wow, where are all the divorced peoples at?

    40+, divorced and dating. Just entered an exclusive relationship, let’s see how it goes. Did online dating for six months, it was so goddamn mentally tiring. OKC, Coffee meets Bagel, Hinge. Met current SO through social circles which is how I’ve typically met my SOs as I’m a pretty social guy. Really hated the awkwardness and business-like approach of those first online dates.

    • i agree – the online scene is exhausting. I’ve given up unless some girl is going to go ahead and make the first step towards us meeting. Hoepfully i will meet a cute girl at kickball when im wasted doing karaoke in adams morgan

    • only 20 of us divorced people?

  • +1 for popville date-lab for us singletons

    • I had asked Dan about a Date Lab knock-off but apparently there are a ton of legal issues involved. Didn’t push further…

      • A Date Lab-type thing sounds too complicated, but what about a PoPville Singletons Happy Hour?

        • I think there will be a PoP happy hour in April/May. Does anyone want to organize a singles HH before then? (I guess I can pitch in…)

  • 37 – Male-Straight- Married last year @ 36
    I moved into an apartment building by myself in Columbia Heights in 2007 and befriended one of my neighbors who was a gay male. We hung out for a few months as friends and one day, out of the clear blue, he said β€œI know this girl who used to work in my office who I think you might get along with”

    He set us up on a date, we hit it off, dated for 4 years and got married one year ago tomorrow 3/22.

    You never know where your friendships might take you, but looking back on it, it makes sense a gay dude might know a fair amount of women he could set you up with.

  • msmaryedith

    Straight female, 33, in a serious relationship. Prior to it, I’d been dating (for most of the 8 1/2 years I’ve been in DC) with the intention of finding a relationship. My experience was that guys around here either weren’t looking for that, or claimed they were but acted in a way that suggested otherwise. I think it’s worse in DC than in some places, partially because it’s normal for people to settle down later. Most people I know how have found “dating happiness” in DC before 30 found it while dating a coworker or college bf/gf. Otherwise, it seemed like people are too iffy about whether they intend to stay in DC long-term to commit to real relationships, and they don’t have many worries about running into someone again if they treat them badly, so fade-outs and all-around shitty behavior were pretty regular.
    I work in a tiny office in Old Town (live in DC) with no one my age. Plus I’m an introvert and I tend to be pretty reserved and shy at first, so most of my dating was online–I tried eHarmony briefly (HATED it), Match a few times (meh), and finally OkCupid. As much as people think of it as a hook-up site, I found OkCupid to be the best–much more interesting guys in general. I like that you can answer a ton of questions–some are really stupid, but some were pretty important. Like if you state that you think gay marriage is wrong, then I don’t want to go out with you–so some were pretty helpful in weeding out people. But believe me, it takes a LOT of weeding (and horrible, horrible messages in your inbox). Online dating often felt like a part-time job and was pretty demoralizing at times, so I would take pretty long breaks to just be single. I think I’m reasonably pretty and fit and smart and funny, but it often seemed like I would never find a good match. I think guys do have it easier here when it comes to dating, but at the same time, I think my boyfriend is a total catch so I don’t understand why he wasn’t snatched up long ago. And even though we discovered early on that we had a mutual acquaintance, I don’t think we ever would have met if it hadn’t been for OkCupid, so I’m really happy I stuck with it!
    My tips with online dating are:
    a) Meet up quickly–it seemed like every time I ended up messaging for a while with someone and feeling like we were really going to hit it off based on our email banter, the date was awful. You really can’t tell anything until you meet in person, so better to have that happen as soon as possible, if you think you may be interested.
    b) Guys, write a decent message that makes it clear that you read my profile. The number of guys who wrote messages like “hi check out my profile & if your interested write me back” was mind-boggling. If you want someone to be interested, don’t be lazy. It doesn’t have to be long–just show that you read mine and wanted to write because of your shared interest in X and your question about Y. Not hard!

    • Are you me? haha almost everything you just said about dating in DC has been my exact experience pretty much.

      • msmaryedith

        πŸ™‚ Hope you finally had some luck, too! It’s so hard not to get down when you’re dealing with that.

        • Well, I’m only 26 and still dating, but kind of don’t care that much about not being in a serious relationship. I think dating is fun and if it turns into something more serious that’s awesome. The only thing I hate is all the negative stuff you described about dating and men in DC, especially the part about all-around shitty behavior. It’s really crazy how bad people are at just being honest with others, like we had 3 dates, just tell me you’re not into. Don’t worry, I won’t like cry a fucking river over it even though obviously you’re probably the most amazing guy on the planet. #sarcasm

          • msmaryedith

            Right! Although I had guys FREAK out when I ended up being the one to say “you know, I’ve enjoyed meeting you, but I’m just not feeling it”–I think they prefer the fade-out to being honest and possibly getting your ego a little hurt.

    • justinbc

      Definitely agree with meeting up early on. It also saves some of the mystery about who you are to be unraveled in person, rather than finding out all the juicy bits before you’ve ever actually met.

      • msmaryedith

        I was always a little shocked that some guys who seemed so funny and interesting over email seemed so completely dull in person–almost made me feel like a few had ghostwriters working with them on their messages. But yes, it’s much more fun to get to know someone in person through interaction, vs assessing them based on what they choose to tell you over emails.

        • justinbc

          Oh I can definitely see that being the case. It’s much easier to be funny / interesting / thoughtful when you’ve got unlimited time to prepare responses, thoughts, messages, or whatever. In person the clock is ticking! Just look at many of the responses on any of the posts here. Some people love to put in their one sentence smart ass comment, but you know in person they would never say anything.

  • Straight, 26-30 range
    Currently engaged. My fiance and I were friends in undergrad in Atlanta. She was moving back to the DC area to be near her family, and I was chasing career opportunities and grad school that happened to land me in DC. We began dating while here in 2011, even though we had been friends since 2005 or 2006. While I’ve certainly been approached for dating opportunities in my work environment, I haven’t really spent too much time being “single” in DC. I have a lot of peers who meet people in social clubs, through other friends, and through apps like tinder or whatever, but many of my work friends are in their early 30s and are single and casually dating.

  • my condolences to the 3 widowed people here. i’m so sorry.

  • Married, 31-34. My partner and I met when we were six. He hated me because I sat on his lizard (the lizard lived many happy years). We ran into each other at 18 and were at the same college across the country. Over those four years we got to be best friends. We graduated, and moved to separate cities but became even closer. I got engaged to someone else eventually, he flew to DC and said, “I love you and I’ve always loved you.” He never left.

    • Awwwwwww…… πŸ˜‰

    • “My partner and I met when we were six. He hated me because I sat on his lizard (the lizard lived many happy years).”
      I love it!

    • What a great “how we met” story!!

    • So you dumped your fiance after committing to an engagement?

      • Surely it’s not ideal, but would you have preferred for the OP to go through with getting married even though her (his?) heart wasn’t in it ?

        • Or perhaps she saw it as an upgrade

          • That’s certainly a possibility, but a very cynical-sounding one.

          • First engagement just wasn’t right for either of us. We had put a ring-sized band-aid on a gaping love wound – he was also not in love with me anymore. We’re still in book club together and his new partner is quite awesome (they’ve been together for five years now). It’s not about upgrading in any way, it’s about happiness and following your heart.

          • Cynical? Puuuuuleaze. This is DC. This is where idealism goes to die in a bathtub filled with money.
            Sucks for the dumped fiance, obviously. Then again, I think karma is a load of crap so I’m sure the OP will have a nice life and ignore these messages.

  • Straight. 26-30 Range.
    In a committed relationship- living with my boyfriend.
    We met on OkCupid.
    Definitely not a dating disaster before 30. I was pretty forthright with wanting to be in a relationship, but not necessarily leading with the “I’m not interested unless you want to jump into exclusivity”. I think that would scare away some people on the fence or opportunities for something fun and casual while you continue to date others.

    I did find on OkCupid a lot of guys weren’t in it for anything too committed, so online dating can be frustrating when people who you are genuinely interested in flake on you. In order to date online, I think you need a certain amount of patience, ability to realize that even if they seem like a great match for you that they may not feel similarly (eg- don’t expect a message back just because you think you’d be good together). Keep from having expectations and have fun!

    Overall, I remember being 26 and speaking with an older friend of mine, saying that I was having no luck with dating, either in the “real world” or via online dating and that I don’t think I would be successful in finding a good match. Fast forward a year, and I have moved in with my boyfriend and I am experiencing the most balanced, fantastic, no games, loving relationship of my life. Ahhhh.

    I will mention that my boyfriend is slightly older (4 yrs), and was previously divorced.


    PS- Is it just me, or does nearly everybody in the online dating world seem well educated, well traveled, and into about a million activities? That can be slightly intimidating at first : )

    • Meh, I think people probably overstate the activities they’re “into” on dating profiles to make themselves seem more interesting. Been skiing once? “TOTALLY INTO SKIING.” Went to Mexico four years ago? “INTERNATIONAL TRAVELER!” Doodle during your morning staff meeting? “ARTIST!”

      • Ha! I think it’s true, and I also think I tried to oversell my running skills. I said something to the effect of “try to run more days than I don’t…” Thing is, I had only recently started running. I haven’t actually been running in many a month- other gym and class activities work much better for me, but running seemed to be a theme that I wanted to motivate myself to get on board with and so maybe oversold myself on that. Oops.

  • F, 32, got married in the courthouse two years ago this Sun. We bought a house and lived together two years before then. Weren’t in to the whole marriage thing until it became clear that federal health benefits beat out self-employed health benefits and that the savings on taxes were H.U.G.E.
    We met at work. Didn’t think that would ever happen bec I usually do not return to the same locations on a regular basis (I worked for over 30 entities last year). I assumed it would be difficult for a man to just approach me the one time I am in his bldg., but I had been there a few times over the year and he took a chance not knowing when I would be back πŸ˜‰ And, um, yeah, my husband is 41, just about 10 years older than me.
    Did Match a few times before then. Got to be a big hassle in trying to find something unique to say to each individual. I changed my profile to indicate that I was interested in meeting for coffee within a couple of emails, not a long, drawn-out email convo (I got enough info from their profile). I eventually just dropped the whole thing bec it became too time-consuming. I would not knock it, though. I always tell people the worst thing that can happen (if you are meeting in a public place) is that your date is a weirdo and then you have a cool story to share with your friends. I didn’t regret any of my dates, not even the guy who hit me twice with his teeth when we kissed (it did end things right there!).

    • amazing handle bro

      • Haha, with the handle I was expecting something like “met her in a bedroom when she wished her brother away. Then I played hard to get by forcing her to find her way through an impossible maze. Eventually we met at a ball and danced all night. Too bad that was just a dream. Then we broke up.”

    • Hey, where’s that tax lawyer who said marriage will only lead to paying a huge tax premium?
      PS – don’t hire that person.

  • Straight female, early 40s, married. I’m something of an anomaly in this area because I got married pretty young (21).

    • I also got married at 21! Yay for being able to drink wine at your own wedding?

    • Getting married young and especially having babies young is about the most out-there thing someone can do in DC. I get more surprised/uncomfortable reactions to my personal life than my gay cross-dressing male friends do to theirs. Seriously.

  • Married. 43 with 2 kids. Got hitched at age 27. Met and fell in love at the Worst.Party.EVER. in DuPont Circle July 3, 1997. Engaged Feb 1998. Married Nov 1998. Polar opposites – yes, it’s a mixed marriage…. I’m a big Democrat, he’s that other kind. He’s 6’4″; I’m 5’4″. DC offered so many great FREE dating venues. The restaurants are a helluva lot better now but somehow we managed. It’s a great city for kids too. Now if this damn winter would end, it would be perfect!

  • I think the best answer is that different things work for different people. For some people meeting others at bars or grocery stores works very well. For others, being set up by friends and family works great, for others, including me, online dating works very well. For others it is the dog park. I met and dated a lot of people from the dog park when I moved here but would always soon find out that there were incompatibilities in terms of wanting kids and/or politics. I like online because a person’s political views and worldview (more intellectual and not religious) are important to me. I also don’t want to have kids and that is a dealbreaker with so many people. So online I can screen for that and only meet the people for whom there are not dealbreakers. I’m also a writer/professor so that medium suits me well and I’m not shy about meeting new people. But that’s not right for everyone so my advice is to understand yourself and what works for you.

  • By the bullets:
    -In a committed relationship for a year — technically not living together but we are never apart outside of work. Mice are trying to move into his place.
    -We met the old-fashioned way: In a bar, a few beers into the evening.
    -Was entirely off the market before that fateful evening, had fully embraced spinsterhood and a future of friends and hobbies and dinners out and travel and house projects and hanging with the other tough gals who were also exhausted by the non-commit-unists of DC–and generally anticipating my ultimate Six Feet Under demise then my cats eating me) when we met. It took a week for us to go on a date (I made contact after a week).
    -My advice? Do what you normally would not do. Going to the same places and expecting a different outcome is probably not going to work out. Also, our first date was at Old Ebbit’s Grill (see… I can hear the sneers!). And let me tell ya, girls and boys, there were loads of men of a variety of ages and (apparent) occupations there, in the back bar. They far outnumbered the females. Just sayin.
    -Online dating was an utter disaster for me. I seem to bring out the reprobates, escapees from Hill country (dear god, the facial hair) and for some reason, cheapskates. So happy in my new cocoon.

    • colheights67

      You give me oodles of hope. Congratulations.

      I love my neighborhood, but I really feel it’s missing a good, easy-going corner bar. I swear to God, if I could go get a beer once or twice a week at the same place, I’d be married by now.

      • I am the poster — and live in Columbia Heights. We met in a random bar (random because my friend and I had planned on going to another venue and it was closed) in Cleveland Park.

  • So this drives me nuts when I look at profiles (female looking for men):
    Men wearing baseball hat and sunglasses
    Shirtless selfies in the bathroom mirror. Actually, I don’t want to see shirtless/bathing suit photos.
    More than 5-6 pictures – men that post 12 photos usually include pictures of sunsets, themselves in front of expensive cars, random views of landscapes.
    Group photos where I can’t tell who’s who.
    And on another note – huge blocks of texts are hard to read. How about a paragraph break or two?

    • And can we talk about all the guys with pictures of themselves behind the wheel of their car? Are they dangerously taking pictures of themselves while driving? Do they just want us to know that they have a car? What gives?

    • What about the guys with 4-5 normal pictures (minimal selfies) good looking who gets absolutely no attention from girls (who are willing to take the first step and break the ice), maybe has happened 2 or 3 times. I think the guys with hats, glasses, cool cars, mirror selfies might be onto something and are probably getting more dates. Just a theory

    • leftcoastsouthpaw

      I think the yoga pose is the female equivalent. I can’t count how many headstands I’ve seen in profile pictures.

      • really? i dont think i’d initiate contact with a woman that would use that as her image.

      • epric002

        is that a new thing? never saw it when i was online dating, at least for my demographic.

        • Oh yeah, definitely a huge thing with ladies on dating sites. It’s their way of saying “I’m skinny and flexible!” Though, I do like their asses in yoga pants (fyi – that’s all us guys are looking at when you post yoga photos. Might as well just post a close-up shot of your ass)
          Another popular one is white girls in Africa/South America/Asia posting with a group of the brown-skinned native children. I love self-congratulating poverty tourism. That’s their way of saying “I REALLY want to be a mom someday.”

    • I think it is funny that women complain about guys taking shirtless/beach photos, but almost all women seem to have a bikini shot of some sort (how is this different?). My biggest pet peeve is def. the chicks that post pictures from 10 years ago when they were skinny but now way 40 pounds more than all the pictures. Or, alternatively, they post only face shots and call their body type “thin” or “fit.” No full body photo = red flag.

      • 100% agree that no full body shot = most likely fat

      • Also, I forgot to mention that I think it is funny that girls get annoyed with boring emails, but have the most generic profiles ever. If you want a guy to send you something meaningful, put something in your profile worth commenting about. We get it, every chick online loves their job, loves to travel, loves to be outdoors, couldn’t live without their family/friends/iphone, likes to go out sometimes and stay in and watch a movie sometimes, etc. etc. Every profile is the same…

      • Wow. Surprised at the level of misogyny in the above comments.

  • Straight, 33, single female
    Most of my friends are engaged or married and their friends are the same which makes it tough to meet men through friends. I haven’t tried online dating but I suppose I can’t avoid it any longer. Joining various groups (running, triathlon, volunteering, etc.) hasn’t resulted in any dates, sadly. I’d be open to a PoP singles HH but definitely not date lab.

  • Hetero Married Man 26-30

    If you’re on the house party circuit then I think it’s easy to meet people. If you’re not then yeah it becomes difficult and online dating might make sense. I registered for an online dating site when I was in my early 20s and living in a different place. I had terrible success, especially compared to women who I got interest from in real life when I moved to DC. I don’t know if it revolves too much around a profile picture or what.

    I really don’t understand why people who are very social complain that they can’t find anyone. They present it like nobody who they’ve met is any good. I doubt that’s true. I think it’s usually that their expectations are off or maybe they are just a little weird and turn people off.

    I think it’s a mistake for people who are just dating to move in together. I proposed to my now wife and then she moved in. We were married about a year later. I think that’s the way to do it. Marriage is a powerful thing and can make a person feel very secure. I kind of feel bad for friends of mine who live together but are just dating. They may see marriage as just a contract and an expensive party but it’s much more than that.

    • How does one get invited to a house party circuit?

    • I’m a social butterfly with lots of friends, I go to lots of parties, etc, but I’ve pretty much given up on dating here and am saving up to move elsewhere. In my experience, it’s not that people aren’t any good, it’s just that there aren’t that many eligible men. Most guys I know are either taken, gay, or they are good as friends, but pretty intent on playing the field because they are aware of the numbers game. I love DC, and there are a lot of great people (men and women) here. I’m just so thoroughly discouraged at this point, I think it’s best to move on. I mean, the dating scene isn’t the only reason, but it’s a big one.

      • +1 Although I meet my husband in DC, he was just visiting from Philly. Just before I meet him, I was ready to move, i was just looking for the best city for it. My friends thought it was radical, but I was ready for it. Dating here is a nightmare. Most people I knew who moved away were in a relationship within 6 months. good luck!

      • I am hoping to move to [city redacted] within the next year because I know I will never have luck in love in DC (as a straight woman who’s past her “expiration date” even to men my own age). The competition is too fierce for slim pickins and I just don’t fit in with the overeducated, wannabe VIP, world traveler crowd. Nothing has made me feel less attractive or desirable than trying to date in this city (though I’ve never tried it in NYC or LA). Best of luck to you.

  • We’re all just searching for our other half/someone to discuss our MH 370 conspiracy theories with in real life. Anderson Cooper doesn’t keep me warm at night, although I wish he would, in a nonsexual, besties kind of way. What will I/CNN do with our time when this is solved?

  • leftcoastsouthpaw

    I’m in the camp of keeping all options open. I’ve tried online dating(Match and OKC) and I’ve met a lot of people that I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with in my normal day. However, all of my long term relationships have resulted from meeting a woman at a bar. Seeing how spectacularly badly my last relationship ended, I may want to rethink this approach.

  • Gay, middle-aged (if I live to be 114) technically but not legally a widower (no marriage equality in the 90s). Happy with my life and have accepted the fact that I am largely undateable due to being so set in my ways.

  • 25-30, straight, F, recently engaged after moving in together a few months ago. My fiance and I met at a neighborhood dive bar in the summer and hit it off. I was 26, he was 27. It was a random encounter, but he was tipsy and courageous enough to ask me out to “dinner,” as opposed to “a drink sometime.” That mattered.

    Neighborhood dive bars are good for meeting people (and alcoholics) if you go during slow hours. When it’s busy, they become overrun with cliques of yuppies and DINKs.

  • Straight, 27-30 range.
    Met my now wife through a mutual friend who invited me to join a kickball team when I moved to DC. I was in a relationship at the time with a girl back in NC, but that slowly ended and I chatted up my wife a few weeks after my previous relationship ended. We started hanging out and the rest is history. Sort of happy I never had to do the dating thing in DC.

    However, I have found through my group of friends that mutual friends is the best way to meet people that are gonna stick. I don’t have too many that do online dating, so I don’t really know how successful that really is.

  • Female, straight, 35, married for 6 months to husband 39. I have done almost all online dating site you can think of with no success. Went to multiple first and second dates that didn’t go anywhere. Waste of my time. I was single for about 7 years (with some tentative relationship, nothing that last more than a couple of months). I had already almost gave up and was thinking about relocating and then I met my husband at a party in DC, he was visiting from philly. We got married one year after meeting. At some point i figure out i will not meet anyone in DC and was ready to move. My friends always tease me that I imported my husband. My advice, be open minded, import your husband if you can lol. We did long distance for a while before he moved here.
    I was at a point in my life where I had everything I wanted beside a stable relationship, so I was willing to make a sacrifice for that and this meant, moving out of DC if needed.
    Now I am so happy and I am happy all the dates I went to didn’t work out because I would have not met my current husband and he is just what i always dreamed of. Good luck out there, it is thought but when u meet the right one it all makes sense.

  • So, I’m in my late 30’s and married. I met my wife when I was 18. I look around at the DC dating scene and in no way would I want to be dating in this day and age.

    I hear from friends and I feel like Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting: “Christ, your an amateur.” I’m convinced that people just do not know how to date. I see folks just trying to hook up… others trying to turn hook-ups into something serious.

    When i go out to eat I sit at the bar and I’m like why won’t this dude just talk to the girl next to him… stuff like that. My wife and I like to people watch and we see/hear people talk, both having a good time, and then you see them both disappointed the other person didn’t make a move. I sometimes feel like I should try to put strangers together. I can see the chemistry. They act like it is there and then they jump back into their phones.

    I see people put up defenses just at the word hello. I think people are on dating sites because they just can’t talk to the person next to them. Maybe its just dc… i don’t know.

    I have friends in their twenties who say that no one can go on dates alone anymore. Its always lets do this as a group or lets go out together and then we can meet up with others. People just can’t be alone with themselves or alone with just one other person anymore. And I say this as a phone addict.

    • Even more than other things, with love or first impressions it’s so much easier to see what’s going on from the outside! I see it with my friends (it’s SO OBVIOUS that X is into Y, but Y just can’t see it even when it’s pointed out), and I know I’ve missed opportunities because I just didn’t understand what was going on. Too many times, months later, I’ve suddenly realized, “Oh, when he asked me if I wanted to get dinner all those times those were like DATES! Duh.” I also think when you’re in a stable relationship where you don’t live with that kind of uncertainty all of the time it’s easy to think that you’d be bolder or less oblivious than the people you see, but in that situation you would probably be just as awkward.

  • Straight, female, 26 years old, single but dating
    When I moved to DC 3 years ago I had just had a horrible break up and needed time to just do me, go out with my friends and focus on my career. Cut to a year later, half of my friends are either in the 100% single camp or in the serious relationship/engaged camp. I’m probably the only one in my group of friends who dates pretty regularly without it turning into something really serious, not that I’m opposed to that, but I’m also not the type to go on 3 dates and “just know.” I’ve made that mistake before.
    I meet people IRL (at bars, through friends, work, etc.) and was using Okcupid for a while, although I deleted my profile a few months ago just because I wanted a break and it was annoying me. I hated on online dating for a really long time, but if you actually do want to dip your toes into the dating world, it’s probably the most effective way unless you’re one of those people who will legit start talking to anyone.
    I enjoy the actual going on dates part, I think it’s actually pretty fun which is not how most people seem to feel. I haven’t had any horror stories and everyone I’ve gone out with from online has at least been someone I had a decent conversation with even if we didn’t go on more dates. I think the thing that SUCKS about dating is all the stupid follow-up bullshit (like how much you should text a person, who should ask who to hang out next, when you’re “supposed” to have sex with someone, etc). A lot of guys in DC I think are just looking for the next best thing or will discount you if you say one wrong thing they maybe sort of don’t like because of all the Type A, perfectionist people in this city. They’re super neurotic and apparently women are supposed to be the “crazy” ones? Although I think this all goes out the window as soon as they get in that mental place where their main goal is to be in a serious relationship (excuse the Sex and the City reference, but what I’m referring to is when men “have their light on”).

    Honestly, dating in DC has made me pretty cynical. I’m basically just like if I meet someone and they don’t annoy the shit out of me and I’m attracted to them, I will continue to want to spend time with them and if it leads to something more serious than, great, but I have other things to occupy my time with.

    • “Honestly, dating in DC has made me pretty cynical. I’m basically just like if I meet someone and they don’t annoy the shit out of me and I’m attracted to them, I will continue to want to spend time with them and if it leads to something more serious than, great, but I have other things to occupy my time with.”

      +1, this is the same boat I am in…25 straight male

      • You should get together!

        • I don’t know….I might be too cynical for that. Sounds like it’s a rom com waiting to happen lol

          • [email protected]:56 If you see this, let’s meet. I’m not to cynical for this.

  • Straight late-30s single female. Not dating. I’d prefer to be, but I rarely meet anyone I’m attracted to in real life and I haven’t reactivated my online dating profile. I’m shy/introverted, which doesn’t help. I have outside interests in an environment where I meet a lot of people, but that seems to result only in fanboys who crush on me from afar.
    My experience with online dating several years ago was that it felt like a part-time job (as someone else was saying above). I was besieged with messages from guys who (mostly) sounded harmless and reasonably nice, but where there wasn’t enough of a connection even via a few messages to bother meeting in person, or where we met in person but there was no connection.
    In the few cases where there was some connection, it didn’t pan out. One guy ended up getting back together with an ex-girlfriend. Another was a lawyer whom I lost interest in after hearing him complain about his job. Another flaked out (cancelling plans for a second date four days in advance, claiming illness).
    I don’t think the dating market is easy for women in D.C. The numbers are imbalanced to begin with, and then there’s the number of men who will only date women x years younger or y inches shorter than they are. I probably ought to give online dating another try — maybe with OKCupid, which wasn’t really in the picture last time I tried.

    • msmaryedith

      I think OkCupid is worth a shot! I really liked that the more questions you answered, the more you could see others’ responses–to me, it gave a better picture of who that person was. You sound really similar to me (introvert/shyness-wise), and I had pretty good luck on there aside from having to weed out the crazies. But at least OkCupid isn’t a financial commitment (you can upgrade it for a small fee, though), so that somehow took some of the pressure off for me. When I was paying for Match or eHarmony, I felt obligated to put more time in it so I wouldn’t feel like I was wasting money. I had several friends meet and marry guys from there, so I know it’s possible. And I’m really happy with the guy I met from it.

  • My husband and I are both 32 and got married when we were 28. We met on okcupid when we were 24, but in another smaller city before we moved here. Sometimes I look at DC okcupid profiles and stress out about what it would theoretically be like to be single here.

  • Single straight, 46 yrs old. I hate clubs and bars. I prefer museums and libraries. I find the men in DC to be dysfunctional or female phobic. I met a guy online and spent five yrs with him. He totally misrepresented himself. He had ADHD and could not keep a job. i tried plenty of fish but again I met female phobic men.

  • This is just an observation: recently I’ve noticed a lot of straight couples use the term “partner” to describe their significant other. As a gay person, it was pretty confusing to me at first since in the past it was a term used almost exclusively by gay couples (I think largely because we couldn’t marry and had to come up with an alternative). I find it very interesting that the term “partner” seems to be a lot more mainstream now. Is that because a lot of straight couples are choosing not to get married but want a word that better describes their level of commitment than “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”?

    • I too find it confusing. (I think your guess — that straight couples want a term that connotes something more serious than “boyfriend”/”girlfriend” — is correct.)

  • I think DC is such a great place to find your husband or wife. I was told that when you first move to DC (assuming you’re not from DC originally), serious relationships either happen right away, or you miss your chance and you’re single for years. For me, I met my now husband just after 2 months in DC. While we met at a business meeting (it was adorable), I’ve always said the place to meet someone in DC seems to be Whole Foods Market. I’ve had several encounters and numbers given to me in the last few years at WFM (prior to having a ring put on it!). If you’re the Whole Foods type of person, maybe that’s a good spot for you too. Church and professional conferences/social hours may also be other good opps as well. Here’s to finding love in DC!

  • I’ve done online dating here off and on for the past few years. It is pretty good but it is pretty depressing how many so-called liberal, open-minded white women refuse to date men of a different skin color.

    • We’re all attracted to different types – is this wrong?

    • im sorry that depresses you. but that doesn’t make them less liberal. or, except for their sexuality, less open minded.
      woman are more than what they are romantically and sexually attracted to.

  • I met my ex-husband on back in 2006. He was one of the first people I connected with there. Married in 2007, divorced in 2011.

    I would like to be dating but it’s not happening. I wasn’t married long but it seems like the whole world of dating changed while I was in that relationship. I’m a good person, with varied interests who laughs and jokes a lot and has little other than the sad state of dating to complain about (which I would not discuss with a potential date because, really?) and yet, I remain alone.

    I don’t sit back and wait to be plucked from the masses on the various online dating sites, but no matter who reaches out to whom, it seems often when the email conversation is going well (and my measure of this is that I have learned more about the person in each successive email), I’ll try to shift to a phone call or an actual meeting and dudes just flake out. It’s maddening.

    Also, I’m not into “hookups” and sleeping around with strange people. I’ve had more “let’s just smash” offers from these various sites than I can count and I don’t understand it.

    For this, and other reasons, I’m over D.C. I’ve been looking for jobs in other cities and hope to be gone from here in the next year.

    But best of luck to those of you looking for love and those of you who have found it.

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