Boulevard of Broken Dates

bored-now's Broken Heart photo used through Creative Commons license

As promised I am posting my lament about the horror that is dating in Los Angeles. Let me first say for years I defended L.A. in this regard. Having dated in Washington, D.C. and Madison, Wisconsin, I felt like I had enough boots-on-the-ground experience to say with some limited authority: no, it’s not L.A. per se that sucks so much as dating in general. It’s like a job interview except you have to eat dinner and feel bad that your tits aren’t big enough. Sadly my job history is about a thousand times more impressive than my dating history (unless you’re using impressive in a general but not necessarily positive sense). Regardless, I’ve always defended this town as not necessarily any better or worse than anywhere else for dating, but lately I have had a string of dates that make me reconsider. Maybe what they say is true and this town is particularly difficult.

Experiences I have had on dates over the past few months include, but are not limited to: someone showing up 40 minutes late for dinner on a first (and last) date, someone asking me out and then telling me he doesn’t date because he needs to be friends with someone for years before getting romantically involved, someone canceling a second date because during the one-short-week since the first date he launched into a serious relationship with someone else, and the pièce de résistance, someone who went awol mid-date. This last deserves special mention as the worst date I have ever been on, which is, I might add, a hard contest to win. He excused himself twice to go to the men’s room and when he got up a third time, purportedly to fetch a credit card from the front counter where he accidentally left it, he never came back. My theory: he was actually married and his wife or one of her friends was at the cafe at the time; an alternative theory: he was doing bumps in the bathroom; or perhaps both of these things were true. In any case, even if you suddenly determine that you are totally and completely not into someone, it’s not that hard to say to her that your stomach got upset or you forgot you left the oven on or the neighbor called and your condo is on fire or something. You don’t just leave the table never to return. This behavior is odd in the extreme.

The above list represents a sampling of the dates I’ve been on relatively recently. Not all have been that reprehensible and there are several I don’t mention simply because discretion is the better part of good manners. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Travis must look like a gorgon or have bad breath or be boorish or laugh like Elmer Fudd sitting on a juicer. Really though, my fellow can vouch for me when I say I am awesome-ish. Sure I have my issues–don’t we all–but come on, I’m a size 4 and I have a Ph.D. that should count for something.

And lest I come off like I’m trying to bust someone’s chops, I want to clarify that most of the guys I have been out with lately have been reasonably nice guys (except for the douchebag who left mid-meal–if you are out there db I hope your wife finds out you’re cheating on her). Some have been really cool, and I’ve become friends with a few of them. This town is filled with interesting great people, I’m really clear about that. But really dating here is frightful. I concede.

13 thoughts on “Boulevard of Broken Dates”

  1. OH GOD YES. My first dating experience in LA was a 3 month long quasi-relationship with a dude who, it transpired, had two other secret girlfriends at the same time. Best, creepiest part: we all looked exactly the same, and he had done the same thing in Chicago and Seattle, leaving an trail of bitter, glasses-wearing, redheaded women in his wake. And then afterwards I was stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of aspiring-but-talentless standup comedians, one of whom cleaned his glasses with his tongue (in real life, not as part of a standup act).

    That is to say: It’s not you, you’re awesome. I think dating just brings out the crazies.

  2. Travis, I was 100% on your side until you mentioned having a PhD. Everybody I know who has a doctorate in something has turned out to be totally flaky and/or extremely arrogant. Academics are even worse than actors, and I’m not the only one out here who thinks so. You seem very proud of your degree, since you mention it both here and in your bio, but maybe you should keep that bit of information quiet during the first couple of dates and maybe that will attract a saner crowd.

  3. I moved to LA to be with a boyfriend whom I later married, so I have never dated out here. And I must say, I think if the relationship had not lasted I would have RUN AWAY AS FAST AS I COULD back to Chicago (or New York, or really ANYWHERE ELSE).

  4. Zaps is unkind. I know plenty of people with Phd’s, some in my family tree even that are completely lacking the flake and arrogance factor. That said…I am so glad I am out of the dating picture as I’ve heard plenty of horror stories. Back in the day this song summed up my dating experiences pretty well and is on my play list. My wife says it sums up too many on my friends list.

  5. Okay, so Travis (who is SO awesome that I would date her and I’m straight and married) clearly you won’t be going out with Zaps, though he/she is clearly a passive aggressive type secretly hoping to date you.

    BTW, I have a HUGE rack and it never got me any dates. Got me hit on in Italy a few times, but that does not count.

    1. I’m in agreement. Having gone on several dates with Travis in the recent past — thankfully, I didn’t make it onto her short-list — she’s exactly as advertised: beautiful, intelligent, and super awesome!

  6. Zaps, I’ve had the same experience with people who mention NOT having a PhD! Those non-degreed folks are totally flaky and/or extremely arrogant!! They really ought to wait until the 4th or 5th date to mention that they don’t have a doctorate. Total dealbreaker.

  7. Uh oh, the clique is ganging up on me. Look, folks, I’m just sharing my observations; this is absolutely no critique of smart women. I myself am happily married to an intelligent, college-educated lady (whom I met while Internet dating in Los Angeles, in fact). In fact, I think it’s a fallacy to say that many out here are afraid of smart women. But let’s face it: the academic world is rife with insecure people who have frustrated relationships because a) they tend to over-analyze everything, and b) they are consumed by their extremely uncertain careers. All I’m saying is that if you come from that world, then you bring that baggage with you. (And no, I never dated or wanted to date a PhD, so this is not just sour grapes.) I do wish you happiness, if you can find it!

  8. Ah Zaps, I think they’re defending me as much as ganging up on you. For what it’s worth, I fled academia some time ago for a whole barrel full of reasons. But certainly, I’ve been labeled “overly-analytical” more than once. True dat.

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