Coming from another country, it has been a steep learning curve transitioning from what I know in Australia, to what I don’t know (and find very difficult to understand) here in LA.
When it comes to matters of the heart, one would think its fairly simple. Meet someone at a bar, or at a local supermarket, chemistry ensues, and boom, you have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
How foolish of me to think that something so simple wouldn’t be made overly convoluted in the modern age. If something isn’t broken, let’s just go ahead and f*ck it up anyway.
Put simply, we have created a monster. Insert technology and laziness, and what do you get? RSI (for one) and the likes of OkCupid, Tinder, Hinge, and whatever else is in your arsenal of “Netflix” binge dating.
There is a completely different terminology in America when it comes to ‘dating’. There are phrases like ‘exclusive’, ‘non-exclusive’, ‘seeing someone’, ‘boyfriend’, ‘hanging out with’, and none of these mean that you have an actual boyfriend!
I once asked a guy I was ‘hanging out with'(?) to explain what all these terms meant. I think because I used the word ‘exclusive’ as part of that conversation, it scared him off. Meanwhile, apparently it was OK for him to refer to me as his ‘Aussie Wife’ from the second time we hung out. And I’m the clingy one?
After vehemently being against dating apps in the past, my expectations were forced to be reset. I have used dating apps for about a year now. I suppose you have to try new things in this new dating world, but I have self-diagnosed myself with app-fatigue. The last date I went on a few weeks ago was with a guy from an app. He fronted up on his bicycle, 15 mins late. Not a great start. Then he regaled me with stories of him being catfished by his last date. Awesome. Meanwhile he had a lazy eye and I wasn’t sure if he had in-fact ‘catfished’ me.
Going on a date with someone from a dating app usually goes something like this:
1. They walk through the door and I know in 2 seconds that this isn’t the one, not even a potential. Hopes crushed.
2. I now have to sit through 2 hours of pleasantries, all the while knowing that there will not be a second date.
3. Being distracted by my mates texting me wanting updates, most likely being more entertained by these messages than I am with my date.
4. Pretending they aren’t crazy, that they aren’t really gay, that they aren’t an actor/valet etc. whilst being told exaggerated stories of being catfished and crazy chicks before me who have made a mockery of being a ‘lady’.
5. Knowing that even if we do get along, and there is some chemistry, they will disappear in 2 weeks anyway.
People ask me “Amy, why are you single?”, “what’s it like dating in LA?” My answer always is “there are only boys, not men”. I also let them know that my ‘type’ are tourists or men that haven’t been in LA long enough to be infected by the LA mentality.
I also show them an example of the calibre (*cough*) of guys that are on these apps and once I do, they understand very quickly. Example below for your viewing pleasure 😉
You see, the boys here seems to be afflicted by the grass-is-greener mentality. So no matter what I do, it will not work because they always want to know who’s next. Which one of the 10 girls standing in line behind me will be easier/prettier/more crazy/less-employed than I am.
They are also experts at being magicians! They have the disappearing act down pat. At about the 2-ish week point, they disappear off the face of the planet. Never to be seen again, unless its an awkward run-in at a bar or passing each other on the street.
And then, once you finally forget about them, you randomly see a photo in his Instagram feed of him in LOVE with a new beau. Sprouting rom-com-worthy comments about their new love. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely happy for them, as I seemed to dodge that bullet, but at the same time left thinking ‘what the?’
I am proud to say that I have a real job and career, have an intelligent head on my shoulders, not a model but certainly not unnattractive, have standards, and live in a great neighbourhood. Apparently in this city, those are disadvantages. I once wanted to conduct a social experiment of acting “cray cray” and unintelligent at a bar to see who I would attract. But the idealist in my mind told me, Amy, don’t do that because the ONE time you don’t act like yourself will the one time that your man that you are meant to be with will see this ridiculous person and not your actual amazing self. You see what this town does to you?!
I know my Prince Charming is out there, I think he just got a little lost. Those freeways are very hard to navigate. I’m going to find that needle in the LA haystack. The playing field has certainly changed, but the rules of chemistry remain the same.