Dating is difficult no matter where you are. People are fickle, complex and for the most part we have finally learned the importance of self-love before depending on someone else for happiness. So that means we’re picky too.
However, I’m convinced that living in L.A. and trying to find someone to hold your hand for longer than three months is a little harder than it might be in, let’s say Cowmont, Texas. The proof is in the numbers. According to the Pew Research Center, the average age for women to get married the first time in California is 27. This puts us three years older than Idaho, Arkansas and Oklahoma—where the median age for marriage is 24—and a year below the 28-year-old average of East Coast states New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
While I’ve always been the overachiever who tries to live an above-average life, this is one area where being above average isn’t exactly a bragging right. And as if we haven’t heard it enough from family members when we go home (“Are you seeing anyone?” “But what happened to what’s-his-name?”), we are constantly hit by the barrage of reminders on social media of how alone we are compared to the happily-married-with-kids people on our feed.
To this, I externally fight back with travel photos, late-night excursions and career goals, but personally, I want a family too. The paradigm of dating at an older age inevitably consists of knowing yourself well and therefore becoming a little more close-minded about the people you consider as dating material. That and of course the internal time-bomb (growing louder and faster every day) that is our aging ovaries. Sorry, guys.
For now, I’m delving into the patterns and behavior of dating culture in L.A., hoping to find a rhythm, some understanding and eventually…a partner?
I've got two sets of thoughts on the happenings of the past two weeks: The Peter Pan Complex and The Rules, a still-in-progress list for dating a woman in Los Angeles.
Every girl needs these because we can easily fall into old patterns when a new hot thing comes along. I encourage you to write your rules down and stick to your guns, unless he gives you a really good reason for breaking them. Here’s a few of mine that have been pressing issues of late.
1. I don’t want to do things with you that you did with your ex.
Yes. I’m grateful you introduced me to the amazement of having all four chairs turn around during The Voice. But I don’t want to hear about how you went to the live show with her and I could do with less stories.
2. I don’t care what kind of birth control your ex used.
Just refrain from ex analogies. Women are like snowflakes, which means don’t fucking compare us, especially not if it includes a story about your preferred choice of birth control. We don’t have the same vagina.
3. Don’t ignore me.
I’m an independent woman. I’m just as busy as you are, which means I’m not going to be texting you 24/7 either. However: If I know your phone is glued to your hand on the daily and you said we’d catch up...don’t disappoint me. You’re in my calendar because I made time for you.
4. Tell me I’m beautiful.
It doesn’t have to be every moment of every day, but I need to feel appreciated because I appreciate you. I soak in your movements and the shape of your body with all its imperfections. So why can’t you?
5. See me.
The real me. Just be present.
The Peter Pan Complex
While most people don’t go as far as to fulfill all of the definitions of the Peter Pan Complex, we definitely live an extended youth out here with so much fun and possibility at our fingertips. That, and L.A. men are too busy. But we’re all too busy because we came to this city trying to find ourselves, not the “perfect person." The one thing that keeps my dating life exciting is that I continue to meet interesting people who I can commiserate with about trying to make our career work.
Most of us are just glad when the occasional great sex happens along the way. But that doesn’t mean that deep down we don’t want more. Unfortunately, we spend so much time working on work that by the time we realize it, we’re 30 and very single and, shit, why didn’t we make time to call that cute (much younger) guy back? A surprising fact I’ve found with relationships in L.A. is that these men continue to come back after it’s over. They can’t seem to find the time to commit during the relationship, but when it’s over they all come back. Without. Fail. Cue Twin Shadow.
All that being said...I’m going on another date with my most recent ex this weekend. Why? Well, because unfortunately none of the other men I’m currently seeing or have dated in the past have managed to make me feel as beautiful as he does. Or as “seen." So I’m taking the plunge.
More on that later…