“Where have all the good ones gone?”
It’s the question that I am most commonly asked by men and women that I meet everyday.
People are constantly telling me “It’s so hard to date in a big city! Nobody here wants a relationship!”
That conversation is usually accompanied by a hefty list of first date disasters and daydreams about moving to a small town where – and I quote,
“They understand relationships more.”
Recently, a girlfriend of mine left LA because she believed the city lacked “quality singles.” To test this theory, she moved to the suburbs of Washington. She contended that her chances of finding a “better man” would increase exponentially in any place outside of the city.
“They care about different things outside of LA.” she said
A few months later I get an email saying, “The men are all the same”
This leaves me to ponder over one very important question:
“Are there really that many horrible daters in one city- or are we just really bad at picking?”
To check in with the latest on what’s happening with the cities singles, I gathered with a few of my favorite daters for a night of drinks, dinner and dating debate.
Tonight we meet at the ultra fabulous Sofitel Hotel, just outside of West Hollywood.
From the moment that you pull into The Sofitels driveway, you are greeted with “Bon Jour” and the scent of fabulous candles burning in the lobby. One is instantly whisked away to another universe of style and luxury amenities.
In the lobby, tonight’s trio of singles immediately welcome me with eager excitement!
First up, Brande. A gorgeous chocolate goddess who has recently called off a long-term relationship because “he couldn’t commit.” Brande’s smile and hug welcomes me firmly and I am treated with such delight as I hear her laugh!
Brande works in event planning and always has a story to tell about her adventures in getting to the altar. I’m hope she has a few good ones for me tonight.
Up next Matt, a thirty something gay guy with the looks of a twenty-one year old. It’s like he has an anti-aging super power and I am fiercely jealous.
Matt is a teacher who moved from Utah and is having a hard time acclimating to his new city. He too claims that daters in LA don’t want commitment, or at least the ones he manages to find.
And last, but certainly not least, Adrian, an art student who is as bright eyed and bushy tailed as it gets. I pick up on his nervousness and excitement as we shake hands.
Adrian is the youngest of the group and readily shares his eagerness to talk about dating. In an email to me prior to our night out, Adrian shared that he has never been in relationship before and because he’s also gay he needed as much advice from me as I could give him.
This is going to be a fun and exciting night.
As we head down the dimly lit hallway of the hotel towards the restaurant, the sexiness of The Softel begins to cast its spell over us.
The intoxicating scent of the candles still burning play second fiddle to the dimly light lounge and the shadowy images of couples sipping martinis and whispering in each others ear. This could very well be a scene from “50 Shades of Grey”; I am quick to dub this bar “foreplay” to any good date.
We settle into our table at “Estrele” the hotels gorgeous restaurant located just pass its bar and lounge; we begin to feel even more spellbound by the music, the décor and the smell of French food in the air.
Executive Chef Marius Blin has created a menu to take us all on culinary journey inspired by the coasts of France and California.
As I quickly scan through the menu, all my favorite words like cheese, wine and pasta all jump out at me all at once. They will set the stage for a night of dating conversation and love debates.
The table is almost immediately showered with wine and cocktails. This is my sign to get the conversation started.
“How do you know Its Time to Move On”
With no surprise, Brande leads with her answer first
“When you set a time frame and they cannot commit,” she says with clear certainty.
Relationships cannot be rushed. They need time to breathe, just like a fine wine.
But when, even after giving them time to breathe, does one decide that it’s time to call it quits?
The answer is simple. When you have fallen out of the partnership.
Relationships require two people to be working towards mutual goals in life. Goals like getting married, buying a house and having kids are such examples. Falling in love is just the start; it’s like the creation of a product. You must invest, package it, bring it to market and sell to the masses.
If one does not commit to the process, you end up with a product that no one will buy. Lots of time and money invested and ultimately wasted.
When your partner no longer wants to be in business with you in life and love, it’s time to call it quits.
In agreement, we all raise a glass and toast to the evening’s first line of advice.
“What about guys who don’t want anything serious?” Matt quickly offers up as our next topic of discussion.
“I have been seeing a guy for the last year and I want a commitment from him, but he doesn’t want that. ” Matt adds
Ladies and Gentleman, I want to try and describe the look on my face.
Stunned. Confused. Angry.
When anyone tells me that they are in an open relationship, I have to shake my head in disapproval.
Why? Well it’s because it’s a classic example of “Having His Cake And Eating It Too.”
Usually, one person is convinced that the only way to date this “no commitment guy” is to keep it casual and follow his rules. You think, maybe he will see you in a different light and magically wake up one day and realize he wants more from you.
But that doesn’t happen and at some point one of the two becomes emotionally attached and begins to need the commitments of a real monogamous relationship.
Then (and in this case, a year later with Matt) most people will realize that their relationship is non-existent, break things off and look back frustrated at the time they wasted.
Repeat these simple words: “I deserve more”
Matt looks around the table and takes a big swig of his cocktail
“I knew that’s what you would say. I guess I just needed to hear other people tell it to me,” he says
We raise our glasses and immediately all say with support and encouragement “You deserve more Matt!”
We are now on our second round of drinks and the amazing food has been passed around for all to sample. The savory taste of cheese, salami and seafood was so dreamy that it was gone almost as quick as it was delivered to our table.
Up next, Adrian, with our final question of the night. Thankfully this question will be served with desert and cappuccino!
“It’s less a question and more advice. Anything you can share about relationships for someone who has never been in one?”
The group seems to jump at the chance to give their advice. Seeing as we have the most experience, we are all eager to help steer Adrian from heartbreak’s way.
Brande imparts the wisdom of being independent and vocal about what you want from the beginning. Matt imparts the wisdom of dating mindfully, making sure that you dig deep by getting to know the person and not be distracted by the physical.
“In the end you want a partner not a super model” He laughs.
As for me, the only advice I can impart on the young heart and those still looking for love is this:
Finding the right relationship is a personal journey of self-discovery and discipline. You need to be fearless in the way you date. Leave no stone unturned and question your non-negotiables all the time.
If your heart gets broken, use that as an opportunity to rethink your strategy. Learn from all your mistakes and never settle for anything less than happiness.
If you keep focused on who makes you happy and brings support into your life, you will never be let down.
Our cocktail glasses have now been replaced with coffee cups and forks filled with dessert. We collectively toast to all the wonderful conversation, the yummy food and this amazing hotel.
The Novice (Adrian), The Explorer (Matt) and The Confident (Brande), and are all part of the great journry of life and love. Though they are separately at different stages in experience and wisdom, each of them is keenly aware of where they want their journey to end.
Honest quality daters are out there; you don’t need to move anywhere to find that out. Once you get better at filtering the bad ones out and learning from your dating mistakes – you will find that special someone.
Even in a big city like LA. I promise.
Till Next Blog-