Dated: “a docuseries about dating in DC”

Dated #1: Is it DC??

Posted by Dated on Monday, March 30, 2015

DATED is a docuseries about dating in DC, following one man’s trials and errors. Craig’s been single for nearly 4 years and he’s starting to think there’s a reason for it. So, what’s he doing wrong?

Share Craig’s journey with him as he exposes dating life in the nation’s capital. The struggle is real.”

151 Comment

  • Who are all these people who have trouble dating in DC? Easiest place to date (and even connect) that I’ve lived.

    • Accountering

      Totally agree. In the limited time I was single, this was not something I struggled with.

    • As a lesbian, I find it very hard here. I think the population is pretty small here, so that certainly doesn’t help.
      Straight women seem to have similar issues related to quality of available ppl, ppl not showing interest, and not being able to meet people out and about.
      Share your secrets with the rest of us.

      • haha seriously. As a lesbian who likes really girly girls, the pool is so tiny. It was WAY tinier the last place I lived. As in, if I found one person a year to date there (not date… just even to go on a date with), that was a good year…

        The idea of actually having any kind of pool to choose from SEEMS GREAT. Esp one that isn’t filled with just your friends.. or friends exes…

        • MAYBE THIS IS WHY SO many shack up so quickly when they finally find someone….

        • It is tiny, but not impossible. I found really getting out there helped. I went on tons of dates and went out at every opportunity. I am picky too, but I stopped approaching every date as a “potential gf” and then made friends, met tons of lesbians, and then I realized the lesbian dating pool wasn’t as small as I thought. (Don’t get me wrong though, it’s small!)

      • When I was single I found it easier to meet people in LGBT sport/social leagues and networking groups than at Phase, Cobalt, etc.

        • I agree, but I tend to be busy, so that doesn’t help with social leagues or networking. I’ve done happy hours and events and ended up with a usually much older crowd.
          Trying to find someone single and interesting is tough. I tried to get a social group going, and I think everyone is a couple (it was for friends, but not looking to always feel like a 3rd wheel).
          I will work on getting out there more in 2015.

    • Curious in what other big cities have you lived?

    • It is extremely easy to date in DC, it is much harder to find someone who wants to have a committed relationship, in my opinion. Everyone here is just passing through, always looking for the next best thing, way too picky, or way too obsessed with themselves/their “super important” job to commit to someone else.

      • I totally agree with this sentiment. I have no problem meeting tons of people, but none of them seem to want an actual relationship (or they are too busy, myself included sometimes, which is why I try to take myself off the market if I know I’m swamped for several weeks).

        • figby

          Really? How about closing in on 50? Everything is easy when you are young.

          • That’s a valid opinion. I, personally, think It’s a trade-off though. For older folks, the pool of people to choose from is narrower. For younger people, it would be a lot easier if many of us didn’t work full-time along with attending school, or change jobs/cities every couple of years.
            I also think it really depends on individual personalities. Some people just really despise first dates (me, for example). I’m sure there are some people who are 50 and still enjoying meeting all sorts of people without much thought to settling down.

      • +1,000. That’s on point with my dating experience in DC – lots of introductions and casual dates, but the same stories of just passing through.

      • 100% agree. In the six years I have lived here, I have had multiple 2-3 month “relationships” for lack of a better word, but nothing I can seem to get to stick. I feel this guy, in that I am starting to wonder if it is me or is it this city. I am speaking from the perspective of a late-20s, heterosexual female.

    • binpetworth

      I am one of “these people”. I will say that it gets harder the older you get. What was relatively straightforward at 22 is much more challenging at 42, just simply because the pool is narrower (unless I decide to channel my inner Mary Kay Letourneau – which if you got that reference, you’re probably over 35!)

    • Tsar of Truxton

      I don’t know. I feel the ease is almost what makes it so difficult. Sure, you can meet people the old-fashioned way, but if you are not great at that, and you turn to online dating its crazy. There is so much competition that you need to get a date ASAP or get lost in the shuffle (of a million messages). Then even if you get a date, people may have 5 others lined up before they even meet you. If I were a girl, I would just pick and choose at my leisure.

    • I totally agree with 100%. I’ve dated as an adult in L.A. and NYC. In DC, it is much much MUCH easier. Tons of smart, down-to-earth people here who are still driven and goal focused.
      Try dating in LA or NYC and then tell me how hard it is….

      • justinbc

        Yeah, the quality of potential candidates here, on average, is much higher than most cities. (For my personal preference anyway.) It’s also one of the fittest cities in the whole country, another bonus.

    • Agreed. I rarely dated before I came to DC. After moving here, some weeks I’d have 3-4 dates, including a coupe times where I had 2 dates in one day. It was a little nutty on my part. I’d say half were ok, the other half were good to great. No bad dates and a couple good relationships. That being said, I ended up marrying someone I met outside DC. So it goes.

      • Sweet Jesus! That sounds like my experience…I had quite a few Saturdays/Sundays of: brunch date in the early afternoon, dinner date at night. I had to chill out for a bit because it was getting out of hand. That was just a few years ago when I was 31. Now I’m a happily coupled hetero woman 🙂

        • If I was straight, I’d have no issues. Guys hit on me all the time. I need the ladies to get on the ball. LOL

    • When I first came to DC in my mid-20s, dating was very easy. Now in my mid-30s, there is no one. And I mean no-one who wants to date a straight, mid-30s female. I don’t want to date a younger man and men my age want to date women younger than me, and men older than me want to date women younger than me. The only person I know who thinks it is easy to date in the District is a guy friend, who is older than me and wants to date women younger than me.

      • If it makes you feel any better, last year I broke up with one of those mid 20s ladies. Turns out she was very immature and we just were not in the same place in life (she’s a student, I have a busy career).
        In January I met a 34 year-old woman. She’s smart, sassy, kind, outgoing, extremely attractive, our chemistry if off-the-charts, she has a great career/makes good money, and we see eye-to-eye on our life plans. And frankly, we are both so tired of relationship drama. After our 2nd date, I knew I wanted to marry her (shhhhhh…..I have not told her that yet). I’m meeting her family this week.

        So please don’t be so despondent. There’s tons of guys your own age looking for someone similar. You have the benefit of experience, wisdom, being comfortable in your own skin, and have your life together (hopefully). 98% of ladies in their 20s can’t say that.

        • As an addendum – WE MET ON TINDER. I crap you not. I’m still shocked when I say it.

      • I’ll add my happy story here. I’m a lady and met my husband in my mid-30s. We’re the same age. Like the 33-year old man above, my husband had dated younger and more immature women and was tired of it. He says he likes me because I’m serious, mature and kind.
        In so many ways, I feel like I hit the jackpot with my husband — he’s brilliant, funny and sweet, and we have amazing chemistry. Even though I wish I could have found “the one” earlier than I did, I have no regrets about the way things ended up. He was totally worth the wait.
        And it’s not as fun as Tinder, but possibly more DC-nerd: we met on a professional informational interview.

      • Why not date younger men? I tell all my straight women friends that’s what they should do. I think if it turns into something long term, there are definite benefits in decades to come.

  • justinbc

    LOL @ “the struggle is real”. It’s so, so, so much easier as a guy in DC than a woman.

    • Andie302

      You said what I was thinking 🙂 I’m betting (without having clicked the link, which I am dying to do) that Craig is pickyyyyyy.

      • I cannot view it, but I’d assume very picky or doing things to turn off his dates.

        • Andie302

          No real insight from watching, but based on the way he looks and the fact that he can complete sentences I literally can think of at least 5 single women off of the top of my head that would be interested in a first date. Unfortunately, I don’t have (m)any dudes to hook them up with.

          • +1

            This a thousand times. I haven’t even clicked the link and I’m ready and willing to date Craig.

        • The ladies don’t want to be fodder for his weird ego-stroking website. That’s probably the turn-off.

      • justinbc

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being picky. I’m exceptionally picky and it worked out well for me. The amount of single, awesome women in DC allows for a guy to be picky, which makes the “struggle” aspect of it all the more hard to be believable (unless there’s something mentally / physically wrong with him…the video isn’t working for me so I don’t know).

    • Exactly. I’m SO glad I’m married. Dating in DC was awful for the few years I did it, and that was before the extreme popularity of online dating – Craigslist was really the main spot then. Fuck, I’m old. But really, for a single straight woman, it’s awful. Guys in DC tend to be pretty obnoxious, possibly because the numbers skew in their favor as it is. Possibly because DC attracts douches.

      • “Possibly because DC attracts douches.”
        This cannot be understated. Still, it’s not as bad as guys in NYC. But a close 2nd.

      • 35 and a single female and the dating pool is next to nothing. I feel like when I turned 30, I was no longer “young and attractive” and instead became an invisible old maid.

        • Having dated someone much older I can say age is only a number if you’re young at heart.

          • So so so true. I have friends in their mid 40s who will go out dancing at 4am to an all night party. I have friends in their 40s and 50s who attend Burning Man every year, go surfing daily, enjoy heli-skiing in the winter, and run marathons. They are in the best shape of their lives and lead some of the most enriching lives of anyone I’ve ever met.
            If you’re young at heart, you can be content with someone of almost any age. It’s just all about finding someone in that same emotional place; perhaps they are 15 years older or 10 years younger than you.

          • To be fair, I think it’s a bit different in the lesbian community. I prefer women my age or older (I’m in my early 30s) and wouldn’t even consider dating someone in their 20s unless they were exceptionally mature. In my experience it seems to me older women in the lesbian community do pretty well dating-wise compared to older straight women.

      • palisades

        mmmm yes broad generalizations of an entire city of men. my favorite!

    • Yeeep… 🙁

    • I think it’s difficult for both. People talk about other places being harder to find quality candidates, but DC has been the most difficult region I’ve seen so far. I’m a SWM for context – Boston, SF, Chicago, I’ve had no trouble meeting new people and getting the occasional phone number. Here, people look at me like I’m insane when I strike up conversation with an attractive stranger. Online dating isn’t much better. In the last 7 months I have been on what feels like at least 1 first date a week, but I have yet to have my call/text/whatever returned on a single one of them. I’ve seen a lot of reasons for this, but a gross generalization is that most of the single women in their mid to late 20’s I’ve met (I’m 28) have been really tightly wound, or kind of seem to view dating as an antagonistic process.

  • Pretty generic, no? Talk to what are now described as “basic” women, take them on $90 dates, or go out on 14th street; par for the course if I had to guess. I’ve heard DC is difficult for dating and it just doesn’t compute. I’ve never done the online thing and Ive had periods of being single and in relationships in DC; short term and long term or each.I feel like people may approach meeting a new person in the same manner in which they fill out profile form at this point (judging from the woe is me I hear from some friends). Either way good luck! Had kind of a Reality Bites feel to it.

    • Wait, I didn’t watch the video since I’m at work. He takes them on $90 dates? I have trouble finding a guy who will buy me even one dinner at a cheap place like Shake Shack. Is there no happy medium!?

      • Andie302

        Not exactly. He states that the average cost of a first date in DC is $90, then states that he goes on 2 first dates per month (on average) and then calculates what it’s cost in the 45 months that he’s been single.

        • justinbc

          As if he wouldn’t be eating out otherwise…? Jeez, this guy.

        • The high cost/time commitment on blind/internet dates is really part of the problem. Two years ago when I did a lot of the internet dates I was shocked to see men wanted to go to nicer places for dinner and drinks before even seeing if we had chemistry in person. (Do you guys feel pressured to do that?) Most of the time you only need 1 maybe two drinks worth of time to know if you would rather be folding laundry or staying out with this person. I think the man paying for a single drink is nice, even necessary in my book. After that however, paying for dinner etc. is for courting/impressing not getting to know each other. Furthermore, I and I don’t think many women want to be on long ornate dates with people they just don’t have great chemistry with it’s taking time from Kimmy Schmit binge-time!

          • justinbc

            Yeah I always used The Passenger as my go to spot if it was up to me. Lowkey, no pressure drinks spot, plenty of options nearby if we want to extend the evening, and if she didn’t like the vibe there then she probably wasn’t my kind of person anyway.

      • Tsar of Truxton

        I always pay for first dates (even if they are horrible), and I would say they average 60-90 (say 2-3 drinks/pp plus and app or two at a nice place). Who is taking you to shake shack on a first date?

        • Wow. To be honest, no one has taken me to Shake Shack specifically although my best dating-in-DC experience (and longest running) took me to Good Stuff Eatery on our first date, which was fine with me. We went to a nicer place the second date. I always offer to split, but most guys won’t step up and pay for me beyond a coffee/beer. I know everyone is different, but to me, paying on a first date is a good way for a guy to show he’s serious and not just there because he had nothing better to do.

          • “…but to me, paying on a first date is a good way for a guy to show he’s serious and not just there because he had nothing better to do.”
            So what do you do to prove that you’re not just there for the free meal? Fair is fair – right?

          • Oi. You do you, anonymous. It’s a good point, but I like the old-fashioned-ness of it. And I liked that the anonymous above takes that leap of faith that I’m not just there for free food — even if the date was horrible.

          • @anonymous- it’s a risk we take when dating. There are worse consequences in life. It is also a reason to have first dates at a bar or coffee shop and not a restaurant.

          • I had a guy take me to Good Stuff Eatery on a first date too after walking and chatting through Georgetown. It didn’t work out, but I thought it was a cool, no-pressure way to do a first date.

          • You can’t get much info from one data point, aka date. Accepting this has been quite liberating for me, both in terms of not really worrying about the impression I make and not over thinking my impression of the other person.
            I agree with FridayGirl, you do you and you can’t control how the other person interprets you/your actions.

          • I find this one sided archaic idea fascinating. Generally women here who’ve expressed it are single. Not sure if that’s related, but it seems worth a mention esp. when interest or seriousness are attached to how much he pays.
            I tend to agree with the guys that if this is prevailing mentality then do coffee or a bar. I tend toward nicer bar for first dates, and I split it.

          • This sort of surprises me that (at least in younger generations) the expectation is still there for the guy to buy drinks/pay for the meal. Just seems like an outdated mores from when women typically didn’t have a paying job. Although there’s still the gender pay inequality, but still. Anyways, us homos don’t have this problem…just a whole host of other problems (I’m looking at you open relationships).

          • justinbc

            I was raised in the South and my mom & dad always taught me to treat the lady when going out, it’s just what you did. I don’t care if they expect it or not, and personally I think it’s silly, but it’s a hard habit to break, especially when it’s not that much of a financial drain really. Something that could provide a lifetime of fulfillment is worth investing in.

      • I specifically go on free dates on the first date. Gallery openings are king in my book. Free wine, generally free finger foods, fluid conversation because your both on your feet. If you have a good time, move on to a bar or go for a walk. A walking date with a few a few unexpected stops can be fun too. The other go to is cooking! Come over, cook dinner or, if your not feeling that inviting , cook and go on some weird picnic place. May sound cheap, but I hate sitting across someone for a meal and just chatting. Boring as hell.

  • In my experience, as a woman dating in DC, there are a lot of men-children out there–men in their 20s and 30s who still want to “have fun,” but not ready to be in a relationship. Women in their late 20s and 30s, in generally, are over just “having fun.”

    • but I think a significant contributing factor to that is the short term nature of living in DC for a majority of people. Maybe not people on POP, but DC tends to be a stop on the road to your next destination.

      • Yup. Hill staffers can be out of a job every two years. Political appointees – i.e. the top of the food chain – are often out of a job every 4 years. Lobbyists and “public affairs” hacks can be out of work every time the House or Senate flip parties. Anyone is foreign affairs is moving here only temporarily. It’s not a stable place unless you’re a civil servant, in some sort of supporting role (IT, admin, etc.), contracting (itself a volatile industry), or totally unrelated to Big Gov’t.

      • justinbc

        I don’t know that this still applies as much in DC today as it did a decade ago. The city has changed a lot for the better, and as a result more young people are staying long term. Plus, this is where so many of the good paying jobs are, unless you’re at the very upper echelon.

  • It’s the easiest place to find a date. Dating is one thing, but maybe this guy is looking for something he’s not finding like a relationship, wife, or a life-partner.


    • Tsar of Truxton

      I think it is pretty clear from the video that he means “relationship” when he says “dating.” He mentions going on 2 first dates a month and the excessive cost that it brings.

  • Statistically it should be easier for men in DC, but in my observations (as a gay man who has no interest in dating women in DC), there are a LOT of young, loud, unfortunate women running around this city who I cannot imagine having to be alone with under any circumstances. And most of the 20 something guys do not seem to be very interested in marriage.

    The way some of you talk about how you’re relieved you found someone makes me think you’re doing this all wrong. You don’t get married or date someone to avoid being single or having to deal with dating or looking for marriage. There’s zero things wrong with being single. I’m perfectly happy being single and at this moment in my late 30s, I have zero desire to be married. It’s okay. Embrace it.

    • justinbc

      Definitely nothing wrong with being single. I didn’t get that impression from anyone’s post above. Being single, and the act of just casually dating, can be a lot of fun in fact. This city makes it rather easy to do so too, with a plethora of things for single people to engage in. And yes, it’s not just the guys who can be terrible in DC, some of the women I went on dates with were just awful, and that’s after a pretty thorough screening. I don’t even want to think of the ones who didn’t make it past the first cut.

    • I try not to bring down other women, but I honestly agree with the first part of your comment. I’ve heard at least 3 separate women my age (mid-20s) say in public that they only go on dates for free food, not to include watching more who are unattractively drunk way too early in the evening, etc. I wish we could hold ourselves to higher standards — I’m almost embarrased for them. Men are bad, too, but I think it might be a little less obvious to strangers….

    • I find the whole approach to marriage in DC among the upper-middle class professional set to be a “check the box” exercise. Career? Check. Apartment in safe yet trendy area? Check. Well rounded social life, including yoga/Crossfit, small plates, and international travel? Check. Oh, the next step is to get married and buy a flip….
      There’s not a whole lot of passion in DC, IMHO.

      • I don’t think that’s a strictly DC thing. I think that’s a upper miidle class professional set most places in this country. Describes plenty of people I know back in CA too…

        • justinbc

          This is most definitely not a DC thing. No matter where you go someone is always ready to tell you why their way of living is superior.

      • did you ever think that people might actually be interested in say, international travel or marrying the person you are dating and love? and buying a flip bc you want to start a family but still raise them in city life but don’t have time to do renovate a house yourself if you have two working spouses? maybe there’s a reason some people tend to move along this path, and it’s not always bc they’re cynically trying to fulfill society’s expectations.

    • LOLZ to your comment about the unfortunate woman. As a women, should I be offended, maybe! but you are also probably right! Thanks for making me laugh

    • 40yo straight woman here. I don’t know that there are a “LOT” of young, loud, unfortunate women here, relative to the size of the population, but they certainly are the easiest to notice. We more reserved ladies have a tough time getting noticed through all that noise, especially if, like me, we generally socialize with our established friend groups and are too shy to approach a random at a bar. That’s why I’ve been single for. ever.

  • I don’t really need to hear it from any straight people about how hard it is to date in DC. Especially the moderately attractive ones. For us gays, the eligible population is cut by 90% BEFORE you even start screening people, and then half of the folks you’re left with have the emotional IQ of a 16 year old girl.

    • But is that really any different here than anywhere else? At least the population is high here by comparison.

      • As a gay woman, every time I go to a gay (men’s) bar it seems like are hundreds of attractive people to choose from in that pool. If I go into a gay women’s one, I’m lucky if I see one I’d be interested in. And then that one ends up being an ex of a friend or something….

        I know dating in the gay male world sucks here for other reasons (commitment etc) just commenting on how VASTLY MORE PPL THERE ARE TO CHOOSE FROM STILL.

        • well, as a gwm in DC, I’ll say your comment is basically a grass is always greener case of misconception. in my experience, gay guys in dc don’t really date, they float from one hook-to the next and run like hell if there’s ever a suggestion of commitment. very few have any real interest in dating in the sense of getting to know somebody and having a relationship. there may be a larger pool of gay men, but the number of those who actually want to date is quite low.

          • I don’t think this is simply a matter of the grass being greener. there are significantly less gay women than gay men in DC. Couple that with the tendency of lesbians too hot from relationship to relationship and you end up with a very small pool all eligible single women.even with all the commitment phobes you have a larger pool to pull from.

          • justinbc

            I can only find LGBT poll numbers as a whole, not by category within (DC ranks #1 by percentage, btw), but do you really think there are significantly less women than men, or is it more that there are more businesses catering to the men and therefore giving them a better outlet to gather than the women have? It seems like almost every bar that is known as a “gay bar” really means more “gay bar for men” and there are very few that cater to women, and even fewer if you’re of the more feminine type (based on conversations I’ve had with friends who meet that description).

          • In response to Justin: I don’t necessarily think there are actually way more gay men than women in DC. I do think gay women tend to couple up a lot faster and once that happens they disappear into the suburbs and never go out to bars/clubs until they break up. Then there is a small window of opportunity until they find the next relationship. It’s the same problem (small pool of eligible singles) but for a different reason.

          • justinbc

            Interesting. Why the escape to the suburbs? It seems like they would be more likely to find like-minded people to socialize with here in the city. Along that note, I’ve also heard from several friends that it’s much easier to be open about it when you’re a man than a woman (particularly in a more accepting city like DC), which might also lead to the perception that the numbers are a lot less than what they actually are.

          • Huh I think that’s the first time I’ve heard someone say it’s easier to be open about being gay if you’re a man than a woman. I think the opposite is true based on what is considered “socially acceptable.” It’s generally seen as ok for a woman to “experiment” with other women but she can still be considered straight. If a guy does that he’s seen as gay- cut and dry. I just think there is less wiggle room for guys (even though obviously there are truly bisexual guys just like there are women). So maybe it seems easier for guys to own it and be more “out” because they have to be?
            Re: the suburbs- I’m a city lesbian so I don’t get it either. Maybe it’s just my perception, but it seems like that is just what happens. Maybe has something to do with two women making less than two men? Or maybe because they want to have children? Not sure.

          • LOL escape to the suburbs? Yeah, I guess quite a few lesbians do that, but we actually left Va and moved into the city when we moved in together! Then we ended up buying in DC too so we’re not moving to the suburbs any time soon. Also, I do not think it’s easier to be an out gay man at all. For the reasons Anon mentioned and how some people think it’s “hot” when two women are together and it’s almost encouraged in college.

          • justinbc

            Isn’t that a little dismissive though? I don’t view that as truly accepting someone’s sexuality so much as it is fantasizing about it. It’s almost like telling someone “you’ll grow out of it honey, you’re just experimenting right now.”

          • Oh it’s not good at all. I hate it, but it’s not as bad as some of the homophobia gay men face. Lesbians are even glorified in the media, but gay men not so much.

          • justinbc

            True, even if it is a bit backhanded. Thanks for sharing your perspective, this is an area I can really only learn about through discussion with friends when it comes to the real personal impacts of coming out to others.

          • It is definitely not good that some men fantasize about lesbians and thus give them a pass that they wouldn’t give to gay men. It does, however, mean that being openly gay as a woman might be a bit safer than being openly gay as a man (as in you probably aren’t going to get beat by some homophobic bro for holding your GF’s hand). It’s a very sad reality, though I think overall public sentiment has greatly improved in the past few years.

        • +1 I see attractive men in every shape and size. We all just need to move to Berkeley.

          • Justin, it depends what you mean by the more feminine type and what they’re looking for. I found it harder to find a feminine woman that wanted to date another feminine woman. I came across some I thought were cute, but they only dated butch women. I think there are probably less “available” lesbians than gay men, but that’s just an observation.

          • justinbc

            ParkViewRes, that sounds exactly like the problem some of my friends have had.

          • Ha – I think Berkeley may be the answer! Walking around Berkeley is the only place I get consistently cruised by women – even my straight sister who was walking around with me noticed it. Living in cities up and down the east coast – doesn’t happen. And I look fairly gay.

            I think there are likely almost as many lesbians around DC as gay men, though possibly fewer – but the largest problem is that lesbians just don’t go out to meet and mingle as much. That’s why there aren’t the bars – the population doesn’t support them.

            Lesbians live in the suburbs here way more here than in any other city I’ve lived in, where there seem to be more city dykes. This is partly because it is relatively cheaper to live in the suburbs than to live in DC, and women do still earn way less than men up and down the income spectrum. But there’s a lot more suburbanization here. I chalk a lot of it up to the casual racism I hear expressed by white lesbians here who are somewhat city-phobic due to a sort of racism that I never heard expressed by white lesbians in other cities I’ve lived in.

            For what is it worth, I find DC a very, very open city to be out and gay in, even moreso than NYC.

    • Throw in the dandelion-like proliferation of open relationships and the acceptable dating pool is more like 0.0001%

      • Friend get all over me for being waaay to traditional, but honestly the concept of “open relationship” seems like such a non-sequitur to me. Can we please call it what it is – roommates who sleep together? Or economic friends with benefits? Or something other than a “relationship?” It amazes me that monogamy is so passe in the gay community when for the past 10 years everybody has been screaming for the right to get married.

        • “It amazes me that monogamy is so passe in the gay community when for the past 10 years everybody has been screaming for the right to get married.” <- I couldn't agree more.

          My opinion towards open relationships has changed over the years. I used to totally look down on them. While I know 100% an open relationship is not for me, I can't argue that it may work for certain people given the stunning number of people who proclaim to be in them. As long as they are honest about it and it works for them then who am I to judge.

  • nightborn

    Wonder how picky this guy is. I (straight female) was single for about 5 years in my mid to late 20s before shacking up with my now-husband – I didn’t think it was that hard… I was having a blast living the single life and ran like hell from anyone who wanted to get serious for the first 3 years of those 5. Most of my friends and my sibling had similar experiences.

    That said, I regularly hear the 20 somethings I work with talking about their Tinder/Hinge/OkCupid dates and I’m kinda glad I never had to deal with that. Seems like the choices are endless and there’s little incentive to settle down, especially for young men.

    By the way, I see absolutely nothing wrong with being single OR being selective. Just gotta be picky within reason – I have some single friends with ridiculously long lists of requirements (that they themselves don’t even meet!) who wonder why they haven’t had a boyfriend in 5+ years…

    • The biggest problem is that everyone wants someone out of their league. The 5s and 6s only want 8s and 9s, and this goes for both sexes. You never see a 6 who’s like “ok I guess you’ll do”, no they would rather keep chasing that elusive 8. The 4 and under just don’t even try then complain about how hard it is. And nobody feels sorry for a 10.

      • This is not a DC-specific phenomena. That’s just human nature.

      • I think the bigger issue is that people don’t accept where they are on the food chain.

      • But this doesn’t take into account that different people are attracted to different looks. I guess generally we could … rate… people by conventional beauty standards. But there’s still such a variety, not only by looks but by height/race/etc. One person’s 10 could be another person’s I’m-really-just-not-attracted-to-them.

      • This is super judgmental and superficial, but I feel like I constantly see really hot girls with really not-hot guys in DC and always kind of wonder how that happens. Not that this is the only place where that occurs, but I don’t know, I feel like it’s a “thing” here.

    • Re: your last point. Absolutely true. I have one friend who has been dating for a few years now, she wants nothing more than a relationship, but her list of standards/requirements for this elusive guy are a mile long. She demands a 10 in every way, but is most certainly NOT a 10 herself. She recently started dating a really great guy (that she relaxed those requirements a bit for) and she’s really happy. We’re all waiting to see if she decides it’s ok or if she still thinks she deserves someone “better”.
      I think people here need to reevaluate their priorities. If being with someone who is extremely physically attractive is important to you, then you may have to relax your requirements elsewhere. If being with someone who is extremely intelligent and mentally attractive is important to you, well you may have to give up the idea that they’ll also be model hot.

      • On that same note, I would argue that model hot people also tend to be the most boring. In my experience, they don’t really have any defining characteristics or attributes apart from being attractive. It’s the paradox of the attention given to attractiveness. Attractive people don’t have to try as hard to fit in and find themselves, because no matter what they do, they will be valued for their attractiveness.

  • Dating in DC is super easy if all you want to do is go on a bunch of dates. If you’re a straight woman and want to not get treated like shit by men who are extremely self-important, flakey, arrogant and most likely, short, then things get a little trickier….

    Also, it’s been my experience that you kinda have to pick a side when it comes to dating from the get-go, which in my experience, can be difficult. You either have to know you want to “just have fun” or you have to know you want to be “serious.” I don’t know about other people, but I personally find it really hard to just know that this is the point in time where I should be in a relationship. I just can’t set those types of expectations right from the start like I guess a lot of people do. I feel like this really confuses men to some degree (I guess they think better in black/white terms or some bullshit), but I never really go on a date with the intention of hoping it turns into a long-term relationship. It seem though that if they can’t slap a girlfriend label on someone then they pretty much feel like they can treat you whatever way suits them best that week….or at least in DC.

    • “It seem though that if they can’t slap a girlfriend label on someone then they pretty much feel like they can treat you whatever way suits them best that week….or at least in DC.”
      Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like your complaint is that you want them to be exclusive to you, yet at the same time you don’t want to be their “girlfriend”? That’s a whole lot of mixed signals on your part. I’m not going to be exclusive, unless I’m in a relationship. That’s how it works (at least for me).

      • Not really…it doesn’t have anything to do with being exclusive for me, but my experience is that men in DC only treat women well when they’ve established the official boyfriend/girlfriend dynamic and I just don’t get that, personally. I’m fine with continuing to date someone without establishing exclusivity, but taking a little longer to see if you’re really compatible. Most people I know who’ve gotten into a serious relationship from dating in DC knew before they even went on a first date with someone that’s what they wanted and I guess found someone who 1. wasn’t a serial killer 2. wanted the same thing and 3. could carry on a conversation so they just went for it….but I just personally don’t see how people do that. I’d rather keep going on dates with someone without exclusivity for longer to see if they’re actually a good fit for me. It just seems like for a lot of the men I’ve dated over the years, this is difficult concept for them to grasp and they feel like until someone is their official girlfriend then they have license to act like assholes and be pretty rude/disrespectful in general.

        • justinbc

          What do you mean by “treat women well”? That’s a really vague qualifier that could mean different things to everyone.

          • Well in my experience it means calling when you say you are going to call, attempting to take me out on “real” dates rather than meeting up when you are already out with friends, etc.
            I find that a lot of guys just like to put in the bare minimum effort and that just doesn’t work for me. I have absolutely no interest in being someone’s texting pen pal. If you don’t want to establish face to face contact, we are done. Unfortunately this means that I have very little dating consistency. I must really be picking all the wrong guys.

          • In response to Anon @10:09….THIS is exactly what i mean. Here’s a real life example that literally just happened to me: Make plans on Monday to go on a 3rd date with this guy. I text him today asking what time he thinks he’ll be free and he says that he “forgot” he has a birthday party to go, but could “maybe meet up later.” No, sorry. That’s not how making plans with someone works. Maybe it’s just a guy thing, because a lot of my guy friends just SUCK at making plans and also a DC thing because people love to act like they’re so busy and important, but I hate this shit. I have other things I could be doing. I don’t care if we went on one date or we’ve known each other for years, disrespecting someone’s time is just plain rude. There’s plenty of other examples of this “bare minimum effort” that I just cannot deal with anymore and it has nothing to do with wanting to get “serious” with someone, I just don’t like to be treated that way by anyone.

          • Ugh, I’m sorry that happened. My roommate and I always say we don’t want to be THAT jaded person, but with situations like that being the norm and not the exception, it is hard not to be. I truly hate being the person where I expect that he is going to pull something like that, but it is the only thing keeping my sanity and self-esteem from taking a nose dive.

          • justinbc

            Anon & Anonymous, ah that clears it up a lot. That’s really shitty, sorry to hear it’s a lot of recurring instances like that.

          • I mean, it’s not the end of the world, but at the same time isn’t it relatively easy to just ya know, NOT pull shit like that? I probably would go on at least one more date with this guy if he can somehow make the effort to actually set a day and time….but it definitely lowers my expectations for the situation in general.

          • justinbc

            I had a similar feeling about women showing up late for dates. It happened about 90% of the time over the course of 2 years and was one of my biggest pet peeves. Of course they would always use the excuse of traffic or some other thing that is a given in DC and should be planned accordingly for when meeting someone. It just made me take them less seriously, like it wasn’t worth the effort to them to actually show up on the agreed upon time.

          • Yeah, I’ve definitely had my fair share of guys show up late as well, but that doesn’t annoy me nearly as much as just the general flakiness people seem to think is ok when it comes to dating or how people just somehow don’t know when they’re free ever. Like, really? you have no idea when the next night you’re free is? You’re not the fucking president, get over yourself.

            Sorry for the rage blackout. I just can’t sometimes with guys in this city.

        • “It just seems like for a lot of the men I’ve dated over the years, this is difficult concept for them to grasp and they feel like until someone is their official girlfriend then they have license to act like assholes and be pretty rude/disrespectful in general.”
          Well that sounds more like an issue of the guys you’re picking. My guess is that they are rude to everyone – including the women they’re dating. In other words, they are assholes.
          Don’t pick assholes, there’s plenty of decent guys in DC who are generally kind and respectful.

          • That’s maybe true, but it’s also not like I’m consciously like “This guy seems like an asshole. Let me go out with him.” I don’t really think I’m the one to blame. Pretty sure it’s the guys who act like entitled d-bags who are at fault…

  • Anonynon

    Dating in DC is hard, especially for people who just came out of relationships in college…however. This is very dramatic. The guy is still going on dates with probably very good looking women, the fact that he chooses to pay for each date even if he thinks theres no potential is questionable. Also if he was trying really hard he could go on a 3-4 dates a week. I know a few people who do this (and no they don’t look like one of the guys from Twilight). All the apps now-a-days are making it pretty tricky…if only everyone used 1 app, i think it would be easier (and less time consuming)

  • I love this thread!

    I would say DC cuts both ways…
    1. DC attracts idealistic folks who are generally committed to making a positive difference. It also attracts lots of douches trying to get power.
    2. I think the millennial population skews close to 60/40 female. Great for dudes, not so much for the ladies.
    3. Plenty of $90 spots to take folks on a date, but plenty of awesome free stuff to do too!

    I think anon 5:11 hit the nail on the head – it’s easy to get a date, it’s much harder to ensure that the person you’re going on a date with is taking the whole thing as seriously as you. As folks grow older, I think they generally become more interested in investing in something long term, so that problem mitigates over time.

    Personally, I loved dating in DC. I met some really awesome people who weren’t right for me. I dated people out of my league and vice versa. Along the way, I learned a lot about people and matured a lot and eventually found someone who I felt really good about building a future with. That said, I remember how much of an exhausting slog it felt like too, and all I can say is, for those still looking, keep trying! Lots of life is just luck. Keep putting yourself out there and take risks and regardless of what happens you’ll likely find it rewarding.

  • Is this even real? When I first came across this story I thought this has to be APRIL FOOLS!

  • Honest question: If there are so many people complaining about how “shallow” or “picky” or “self-involved” DC people are, how do none of you complainers manage to meet up with one another? #Projection

  • First dates in the high strung, highly educated portions of DC are hard. Have been for a long time. They feel like job interviews. Boring ones at that. In my experience, too many woman don’t know how to let friendships evolve. They come to the table with some checklist and stay paranoid that there’s someone else out there is can better complete their checklist. My dating got much better when I loosened my own criteria. Started seeing women with working class backgrounds or divorced women or single moms, who seem more apt to live for the moment and the enjoyment of a night out. The conversations are easier, the pressure lower and the expectations manageable.

  • Ugh, I’ve found it really difficult…but maybe I’m just picky? I have to be attracted to the person after the date, and if I’m not, no second date.

  • $95 a date is bullshit. That’s an average. Use a median, then you avoid overemphasizing the people who say they spend a lot on a date (and who are probably lying). The lonely workaholic policy dorks in this city should know that.

  • I met my wife via online dating (Match) in DC, but the dating experience previous to that was interesting. I met so many women who were interesting at first, but who were so career-obsessed that it was quickly obvious that they were unlikely to ever find the right person with whom to spend the rest of their life. If you value your work situation over your personal life, you’re never going to find real happiness through a personal relationship. Maybe some people are destined to be single, and I wish it were easier for them to accept this reality, rather than put others through undue stress in their search for a relationship that will never be.

  • I actually went out with him once (mayyyybe twice?) He mentioned multiple times how much he pays for dates. Our “date” was a free lawn movie where I brought food, and he brought wine which he shared. We had a pretty good time and then he didn’t follow up. I think I’m a pretty good woman. Maybe if he has had 90 first dates and hasn’t found anyone he clicks with, could it be… him ?

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