Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dating In DeeCee

I Now Pronounce You over at DCBlogs wrote a wonderful piece about dating in DC, and it's so friggin' spot on, it's like a Dalmatian orgy, except Petey is played by Peter North.

I hear it all the time in DC from men and women alike; dating in this town sucks! All the women are gold diggers and all the men are jerks because they have it so easy since there are 2943 women to every guy. Everyone’s opening line is “so what do you do” and all anyone cares about is what kind of car you drive and who signs your paycheck.

Allow me to weigh in on this;

Shut up shut up oh please for the love of GOD shut up.

I applauded when I read that. I applauded again when I re-read that. I had to comment.

Perhaps the reason why dating in DC sucks is because many of the people who are single do, indeed, suck.

I'm single, and try not to suck. It takes work to not suck. I don't care about my job, my income level, the political scene and what type of car people drive. I'm not obsessed by my stock portfolio, a condo in Columbia Heights or whether my children would get a quality education in DC Public Schools. I haven't waited in line at McFadden's nor have I hit on a woman who is younger than my Cure CDs. I like the music I like, and while the Black Cat and RRH get some great acts, I don't obsess over their schedules like a conspiracy theorist over the Zapruder film. I haven't grabbed the NYTimes Sunday edition and walked to the Starbucks at DuPont to do the crossword puzzle in pen.

And for the love of God, I refuse to see The Capitol Steps. They suck.

I'm 34, and a lot of my friends are within 5 or so years of me. Most of them are single as well, though a couple of married couples are beginning to sneak in. Still, the vast majority of my friends are regularly dating, or, at least attempting to date.

And yes, they gripe about how hard it is to date in this city, too.

Granted, DC does seem to lead the league in workaholics-per-neighborhood, there are way too many lawyers and lobbyists, and the Factory Town mentality of the city (the Factory in this case being the Federal Government) does seem to attract a more bookish sort. However, there are also a ton of unmarried folks looking for love. Surely the sheer population of singles should help, right?

Or, perhaps people are, as the song says and INPY confirms, looking for love in all the wrong places.

I can speak of this with some authority because of my association with MeetInDC. was founded several years ago as a social networking site, but the twist is that this site is for actually meeting people and going out and doing things. It's not about having 1,000 Myspace friends or whose Facebook Wall is more popular. Most major cities in North America have a local chapter, and its spread throughout Asia, Europe and Oceania. This site is about getting a group of folks together and going to the Smithsonian, walking the C&O Canal, or getting buttered at the Brickskellar. Want to try a new restaurant and can't get anybody to go with you? Put an event up on MeetIn and surely some folks would like to come.

I have met some wonderful friends through MeetIn, and have had some fantastic travels with various members of the group since I joined in 2005. I wouldn't trade them, and those who I have become friends with, I cherish.


There's a problem with Meetin. MeetIncest. As with all co-ed social organizations, there will always be a certain amount of dating that goes on within the group, no matter how "non-pickup scene" the group tries to be. College alumni associations, professional trade unions - you name it, and somebody's going to dip their pen in company ink. MeetIn events are often fun dates, like a movie, restaurant, picnic or hike, but without the pressure of a date. Often, such a relaxed atmosphere makes for prime dating, and it's not unusual to see folks spend more time talking to one or two people than to 20 or 30.

The problem arises when people go to events just to meet members of the opposite sex. ESPECIALLY to events where there will be lots of newer members. Then, it suddenly becomes a pick-up scene, and that goes against one of the founding tenets of the group. And the sad part is that not all of the people who fall into this category are bad people. They just want to date somebody but have no idea how to meet somebody outside of the group.

It's pathetic. And, a little bit banal.

This sudden, impromptu pickup joint mentality is brutal. Older members have complained that the group isn't nearly as fun as it used to be, attractive newer members get scared away because they're constantly being hit on, and all that leaves is a core of relatively desperate folks who have either dated their way through the group or who want to.

As you can imagine, this puts a hell of damper on those of us who like to attend events to hang out, meet people and see the sights.

I'll admit, I've dated women in Meetin, but only after we'd gotten to know each other through a series of events. It wasn't like I went to a karaoke night and said "I need me some action. I'm hitting on...this one!" and picked a random girl from the group. There's a big difference between getting to know somebody over the course of a few months and just grabbing a girl for a quick fling.

Is it any surprise that those who complain the most about this being a bad dating town are those who keep going to the same ole' events, seeing the same ole' people, and not doing anything different?


Those who don't study history, especially recent history, are doomed to repeat it.


inowpronounceyou said...

Glad you liked it! People in DC seem to want to cry about how much DC sucks...but they would be just as miserable in NY, London, Hong Kong...where ever.

Love the blog! Cracks me up.

Hustleman said...

I'm not a member of Meetin, but I have seen the same thing happen with a number of area messageboards that have held meet & greets in the area. Things inevitably change once people start hooking up.

Cheetah Kittens said...

Preach on, my single sista. :-)

PS - me blog is up again.