Dating Life 2011 for D.C. locals was definitely one of feast or famine. Perhaps in parallel with the current state of the job market and global economy, some fared really really well and hail it as a stellar year, while others feel it was the year from hell and can’t wait to usher in 2012.
For some of us here, the dating life began with a bang, literally. It was pure fireworks rating right up there with the ball dropping in Times Square, the long meaningful (and sexy-ful) kiss and whirlwind romance: “She’s my princess, my everything.”
For others, it was a slow burn that warmed to a great flame, only to be effectively snuffed out by the year’s end. “It was like sizzle, drizzle…and then complete fizzle. I have no idea what happened” or, “We got on really well…but I doubt it will go anywhere…not good timing.” Yet, a few also report they are still reaching greater heights: “We really connected and have more in common than I thought.”
Others report that they came out of the gate at a slow ramble, or hardly at all, and ended up at the finish line more or less singing “Ha-lle-lu-jah!” “I didn’t date at all at the beginning of the year and am now dating two to three guys per month all due to the fact that I decided to be more open, honest and confident about what I want in a relationship.”
A (not so) surprising number of people interviewed can best be described as somewhere in the middle. Some of them argue that it is simply a numbers game. They are the ones who have no qualms about playing the lottery…er, I mean are willing to take a chance on the singles dating sites (such as OkCupid) where, similar to the game Monopoly, you sometimes get to “Pass Go. Collect $200” or, where you do not pass go, do not collect $200, but go directly to jail (but we won’t go there).
One respondent described dating in 2011 as an “an emotional rollercoaster.” Even less savory was one who reports that she “started it with a sociopath” which ended halfway through the year and then later “continued on with a few flaky dates” but now finds herself with a nice guy. Caveat? He is, unfortunately, “still recovering from a breakup” (read: run now?).
And then, there are those who’ve just elected to sit it out all together, preferring to focus their time, energy and (much needed financial resources) on just getting back on their feet: “I’m exhausted and just don’t have the time, energy or inclination to play all the apparently requisite games associated with dating in this city.”
“Oh my God, the egos! Most of the guys I meet here seem to have zero interest in getting to really know you. They just want your parts, and if you don’t go along with the program, early on, they are just gone! There just must be lot of women out here who go for anything and they’re screwing it up for the rest of us.” Possibly. For her, it boils down to what a man wants (just sex) versus what she wants or is seeking, namely quality, or a genuine connection. I would be remiss if I did not also note the plentiful ratio of hetero-sexual women to (purely) hetero-sexual men here which can make it a little more challenging. Incidently, D.C. did dropped from No. 2 to No. 5 in the Top Cities for Single Women in 2011, but an important variable was left out of the reasons cited.
It was a mixed bag, all in all.
This is not terribly surprising. Yet curiously, what did account for the magic of the “Haves” in 2011 versus the “Have-nots?” Who can say truly say? Is it timing, where you happened to be, the alignment of the stars, your attitude or perhaps even some chink the armor of your modus operandi?
If you do not find yourself at this year’s end where you’d like to be or had hoped you’d be, looking ahead, are you considering resolutions as to what you will do differently in 2012?
Chillin’ for 2012? or Balls to the Wall?
Have you decided to adjust your strategy or attitude toward dating in 2012? Will you just let the universe and time take its course, or will you be more aggressively outrageous and open and opt for a more hands on approach to the process?
One thing appears to be certain, more of us are saying “I don’t” and deciding to delay getting married. The handful of people I spoke with seem to be much more relaxed and/or ‘trigger shy’ in their overall attitude and approach towards dating and relationships.
“Actively searching has proven fruitless for me” says one respondent, while another has opted to “play the field and see what happens. Playing the field allows me to discover more of what I’m looking for in a relationship. It’s refreshing to be in a no strings attached relationship.”
“I’ve just decided that if it happens it does, and if it doesn’t I’m ok with that too, for now. I’m just going to trust that it will happen when it does.”
Pretentious in DC?
Keep in mind there is also an oft-wielded plaint about dating in the DC-metro area. In addition to being perceived as pretentious, there is the issue of “The List.” The list of requirements in a partner that many are accused of having but pretend they don’t (i.e., what you do for a living, how much you make, where you live/work, if you’re healthy, fit, and/or connected, etc.). It’s often the silent killer. You thought you connected had a great date or two and sometimes even three, and maybe you did for the intended purposes, but for whatever reason, “poof,” it evaporated without a trace, a phone call, an email or any follow-up whatsoever.
“It’s hard to date in the DC-metro area. You have to meet certain requirements in order to qualify. Give a chance to the short guy, to the chubby one, to the funny one. The chances are your Prince Charming is not Will Smith or Bradley Cooper…maybe he’s more like Jack Black.” One respondant insists that he’s “done with” trying to date. “Some of them just have outrageous demands. They want to be treated like princesses, ‘take me here, buy me that,’ but they don’t want to do anything for you!” Then again, for some men, better known, officially, as “PUAs” or Pick Up Artists, dating in the DC-metro area can be apparently quite good and relatively easy. Evidently, there are even seminars to help you develop and perfect your dating skills.
It can be hard to date here (or quite easy) for an infinite number of reasons. The DC-metro area being the power center for the nation and in some instances the globe, it is home to quite a melting pot or “stew” of diverse individuals, so the Magic 8 Ball says the overall outlook is “good” and 2012 appears to be poised to make it even moreso.
The Good News? Fresh Pickins’
If you’re ‘single and looking,’ the good news is that the “The District” is currently enjoying the lofty status of being one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. over the last decade – a whopping 2.7%. Likely a direct result of a slumbering economy, people are moving here in record numbers, not just from other states, but other countries as well.
We also happen to rank #10 as one of the 25 best cities to find a date in 2012. Ergo, if your dance card for 2011 was a little skimpy, wimpy (or even empty), your luck may be about to change and perhaps even in the next few hours. Happy (Dating) New Year, 2012!
Your comments are greatly appreciated and welcome! You can also write to me at email@example.com. I can also be found on Twitter at DCSocialLifesty (no “le”).