Thursday, January 20, 2005

to meet and date in l.a.

For this week's LA Insight, the topic is dating in Los Angeles.

1. Best place to meet someone new?
2. Best place to take your first date?
3. Your worst first date?
4. Great date on a budget?
5. And a date with no $$ limit?
6. Ever been on a blind date? How did it go?
7. Your most memorable dating experience (good, bad or ugly)?
8. Is there romance in Los Angeles?

I have a lot to say here, so I'll dedicate a post to each question.

1. Best place to meet someone new?
Although everyone seems to agree that online is the best place to meet new, I don't know. In a moment of weakness I took the eHarmony profile (a break-up right before the holidays has a funny way of bringing you to your knees) and I have to say I'm so underwhelmed by what I've seen so far. All the guys seem nice enough, but they kinda sorta come off sounding like saps. I asked many girlfriends to review my personality profile results as well as the guys who were a "match" for me and they all agreed: not only do the guys give the impression of being saps, but so do I. Months earlier another friend convinced me to take a personality profile on another online dating service, OKCupid. I did it because his results were hilarious and dead on. I wanted to know what my profile would say and not necessarily for dating purposes. There is a huge difference between what eHarmony believes to be true and what OKCupid had to say about me. I know the truth lies somewhere in-between. So I will stay offline for now.

I have dated guys that I met in restuarants, film screenings, gallery openings, concerts, and dinner parties. Bars, not so much. I used to go to Pete's Cafe on 4th and Main a lot. I've been avoiding it lately because the bartenders there have seen the parade of dates and it is a bit embarrassing. One bartender asked me if I even had a discernible type.

A date took me to Pete's once. He ordered well, we were having a great time, very sexy. Then a guy at the next table started chatting up the both of us. He was nice and friendly, but not overly so. My date mentioned that when I went to the restroom, he was asking him all sorts of questions to ascertain if we were "dating" or if he could take a shot. About halfway through the date, I realized that someone I went out with the previous week was at the end of the bar, watching everything. And so were the bartenders. The friendly guy at the next table cooled down eventually (or so I thought), but when my date brought me home, friendly guy was in the lobby of my building waiting for me with his phone number, and last week's date had already left a message on my voicemail. That was a good night. I have to say that Pete's and Banquette next door are both well-stocked ponds. So is the restaurant at the Arclight Theatre in Hollywood, Creative Screenwriting's film screenings, the rooftop bar and the restaurant at the downtown Standard Hotel, the ALOUD series at the Central Library, Trader Joe's, and Berri's Pizza Cafe (open until 4am and I mean people dancing on tabletops until 4am).

I figure I should just go about my business, do things and go to places where I would normally go, or attend events I'm genuinely interested in. If someone in attendance is attracted to me, we must have some common ground. After all, I don't meet guys at Chili's, Hooters, the multiplex that shows Meet the Fockers and Christmas with the Kranks or whatever lame movie 20x in one day, at the mall, or sitting in the audience of American Idol. Just avoid places where people who drive you nuts hang out. Like the Valley. Or the westside.