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Posted at 2:53 PM ET, 08/16/2007

Dating in D.C.

By Julia Beizer

That was the hot topic in this week's Got Plans? We didn't want to conversation to end just because the chat did, so we're opening this forum up to you for your thoughts on the Washington dating scene.

What makes it so difficult for people to just talk to each other in this town? What would a guy (or gal) have to say to really get your attention? Does a group of approaching girls make a bunch of bar-hopping guys nervous? Let us know what you think in the comments field below. Since we didn't get time to post all of the responses in this week's discussion, I've pasted in some particularly good ones after the jump.

rva: I think it was hard to date in D.C. because I had no community connections. We all were come-heres who didn't know each other. Other places I've lived, I had community connections, a gang, people. I had a tribe to graze with. We were out because we wanted to be together and if we met guys, that was just extra. But in D.C., people were just out to meet others, so it had a vulturish vibe. In D.C., I was sorta drifting alone. It was harder to go places and harder to meet people in comfortable friendly ways. It had more of a pick up tone without the tribe.

Washington, D.C.: I tend to spend a lot of time commuting on the metro and men frequently strike up a conversation by commenting on my reading material. Now, I actually wouldn't mind meeting someone on my afternoon commute, particularly someone who likes to read. However, starting off with "Wow, you must be really smart" is not exactly the way to go. Sad really. It's like people are shocked that 20-something women read more than pastel cover novels.

Fritz is right: More than one girl may not be dangerous, but it is weird, and it bespeaks insecure pack behavior.

And finally: Rockville, Md.: Ugh. Apparently all the normal kids went on vacation, and only the crazies are left to chat.

By Julia Beizer  | August 16, 2007; 2:53 PM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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I think it's a vicious cycle where a man or woman who is new to the area meets too many jaded, cynical people who have come across the power-hungry egomaniacs in the population. Eventually, no one gives anyone else a chance to be different. Sometimes defeat is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This area is great for the depth and variety of people that come here to work and live. If you can approach dating here with an open mind and allow yourself to experience something that you may not have been expecting, you just might be surprised.

Posted by: M Street, D.C. | August 16, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"Late nights at work + yoga + drinks with friends + that masters program don't often leave a lot of time for dating on the side." (Julia's comment from the chat)

That's funny. That sounds just like my typical Friday night. (Well, except the master's program part. I already have one of those :-P)

I was saying recently to my friends (who were harassing me about not calling a nice-enough guy who asked me out twice) that between work, yoga and dance, and hanging out with them, I don't have time to find a date.

So you're dead on, Julia. My problem is that I'm over-programmed. But back when I was trolling the bars, everyone told me that if I wanted to meet someone I should get get a hobby. Well, I've done that, but I don't think most of the guys in my yoga and dance classes like girls.

What kinds of activities do single men engage in to meet women? I need to know because I think my license to call this other guy has probably expired by now.

Alright. I'm the only one left at work; and yoga starts soon. Gotta go.


Posted by: Cin_in_DC | August 16, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I really think the problem is people spend too much time in bar trying to meet others. Maybe folks should try doing something besides drinking on 18th St and testing out pick up lines. I've lived in DC for most my life and I compared with other cities I've lived in, the DC dating scene is not too brutal. At least in DC women don't come up to you in the club and ask you what kind of car you drive, like they do in Miami. Why not go to an art gallery or a museum on a Saturday and trying to meet someone? Lord knows we have enough of them in the city. It doesn't help that all the bars in Adams Morgan seem to want to be full-scale clubs, with the loud crappy music and ridiulous lines to get a drink. Maybe if you could hear yourself talk inside the bars here, you could actually listen to someone else. Just my opinion.

Posted by: Jake | August 16, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

People need to chill out. A lot of people just put too much pressure on themselves. They feel like if they cant meet that special someone on Friday or Saturday at the designated hot spot then finding a date is impossible. If you go out with the idea of having a good time then you will enjoy your evening and the dates will come.

Posted by: Mike | August 17, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I've lived in this city for a while and spent a lot of time in NYC, as well as other cities, and I have to tell you that it's harder to find a decent date here than anywhere else. It seems like a lot of guys are either insecure or full of themselves to make a move, and when they do, they act all cool, play games analyzing when to call, when she called back, etc.

Posted by: DC_dating | August 17, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I still think that DC is heaven compared to LA, where guys would call and mumble "I will be at the corner bar if you wanna meet up". Dating is definitely an obsolete concept out there!

Now seriously - people here are pretty driven and focused, many doing the 5-year-plan thing (how sad). Also, the DC dating scene is over-saturated: so many talented, well-educated, cosmopolitan people huddled together in this tiny district. And as Dave Matthews once sang, "it is a typical situation in these typical times - too many choices"...

Posted by: K street | August 17, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I have lived in DC for about five years now and have yet to find where all the good ones are hiding. They definitely aren't at the gym at 6:30am, in the produce section at Whole Foods, strolling around the hidden parks in DC and VA, or waiting in line at the car wash. These are all places that various sources claim are spots to meet people. Not so.

I even tried out online dating but found that most men (and women from what I hear) aren't necessarily looking for a significant other, merely companionship for one or two dates. I say "companionship" for sake of the censors...

My realization is that we are all so intimidated by each others' successful careers, good looks and/or political saviness that we overlook the mere fact that everybody here is human. If somebody catches your eye, even if it is while you are simply walking down the street, go talk to him/her. What do you have to lose? If everybody just took a leap of faith, maybe, just maybe, DC wouldn't be such a challenging place to meet people.

Posted by: Arlington | August 17, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Carolyn Hax would say find activities you enjoy, do them, and then meeting people of either gender is a bonus, but at least you then share some interests with new people.

I agree with earlier comments - doesn't anyone have a social life outside of bars?

Posted by: Reine de Saba | August 17, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't think dating in DC creates anymore of a challenge than any other U.S. geographical location. People seem to be afraid to "connect"...there is entirely too much emphasis placed on superficial conversation and no one wants to have a "real" discussion or ask deeper questions (i.e., what do you think of the president? Do you vote? are you politically active? are you truly happy with your life? etc). These are just my initial thoughts as i sit home on a friday night ALONE as an attractive, 40+ female in a big city. I, like most my age, have decided to take a break from the proverbial search for a mate because its all too exhausting and disappointing. GRRRRRRRR

Posted by: Cathy | August 17, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I have lived in the midwest, on the west coast, and now here. I find that the men in this area have a lot of money, and they think they control everything and do whatever they want because they have a lot of money. I find it hard to date here than in other places. What ever happened to simple manners, also? The atmosphere is not friendly here.

Posted by: TAV | August 19, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I would be delighted if more people in DC would think beyond the typical "dinner and a movie" and maybe a bar. That's an OK start, but DC is a wonderful cosmopolitan area with so much to offer, if we would just get out and enjoy it! There are museums, cultural events, theater, parks, sports, dancing, live music, all kinds of cuisine, even day trips... so much potential for interesting dates. If a guy comes up with an interesting & unusual date idea, he catches my attention as an interesting & unusual guy.

Something else I have noticed is that business networking is such an important part of so many careers here that often when we introduce ourselves to someone, we automatically do so in a way that portrays ourselves as smart, professional, experienced, and accomplished. However, when meeting a date, it can be a lot more effective to show that you are charming, warm, gentle, and sensitive. Networking and socializing sometimes overlap, but in overly developing our networking side, a lot of us have forgotten how to purely socialize for its own sake.

DC is also a very goal-oriented place. Some people have a dating "goal" in mind - someone to bring to the upcoming function, someone to marry by the time I'm 30... sometimes in looking for someone to fill a specific role, we miss opportunities just to get to know interesting people for who they are, because they didn't fit into the mold that we had in mind. There's nothing wrong with having goals, but let's not miss out on the joy of simply discovering the beautiful mystery of what another person is like. You might just end up falling in love!

Posted by: Cecilia | August 19, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Dating in *any* large city is going to present its challenges and DC is no different. And I have to agree with one of the men that already commented: just relax...then engage in the random banter the bloke across from you is trying to initiate. And for all the women in this city: your ambition, intelligence, and beauty help make this city what it is --- paradise! (and you don't necessarily have to take my word for it, as the following link ranks DC women the *hottest* in the country(!): )
I concede that this is hardly scientific, but still...

Posted by: nthobservation | August 19, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I have mixed feelings about the area for dating... I haven't had problems talking with really beautiful, smart, girls with personality at all or getting dates with them but it's just the initial contact that I have a hard time with. At a bar, I just can't get myself to walk up to a girl from across the room to say hi. I don't know if she was looking at the guy behind me or, if she just won't even acknowledge me. Or if she's with friends, then I have to feel the wrath of the bitter girl who doesn't want any of her friends to be in dating mode because no one wants to date her.

The hard part is just finding a girl that is genuinely interested in going out on a date to get to know each other better. Everyone is too busy working out after work, working weird hours, or fill their schedule with all sorts of social events that they don't really need to go to, but feel that they need to. I'm busy too, I have side projects in addition to work, but I still make time for dating. If the other person isn't willing to make the time, then that doesn't make me want to pursue it as much.

Posted by: DT | August 20, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Maybe people don't want to talk about religion or politics. I'm sorry, but hearing a b*tch session about the government and stating the obvious isn't my idea of intellectual or deep conversation.

Posted by: DT | August 20, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

My biggest problem with dating in DC is finding people. Where do all of you women spend your time? In fact, I've given up on going out on the weekends in Adams Morgan, Dupont, U Street and Georgetown...hell, I never even enjoyed that anyway.
House parties are the only places I've actually been able to engage someone in a conversation and hear what they have to say, but many of those just try to replicate the Brass Monkey experience.
DC is supposedly brimming with smart and fun women in their 20s, where could one go to meet them?

Posted by: bribri | August 20, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Cecilia's comment " let's not miss out on the joy of simply discovering the beautiful mystery of what another person is like. You might just end up falling in love!"

I've been dating on and off for the last 5 years and have chosen to be single mainly because it is what fits my lifestyle then. During these years, I've met guys that just are simply amazing and very understanding on how the professional life is in DC. Needless to say, when I least expected it ~ I did find the one that truly got my attention. It was important for him to be successful in his career, but it is not what drives him. Living his life to what truly matters ~ experiencing new things, value of companionship and eventually settling down is what set him apart from all the rest.

Not a lot of people in DC even when they have reached their late 30's are into appreciating the good thing of having a relationship.....this is what probably one reason why it can sometimes be hard to date in DC.

Posted by: DC Gal | August 20, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I agree with DT when he says that political discussion is not exactly a "real" conversation between strangers who are supposedly trying to get to know each other. It can be, of course, but often people use it as a platform to display something else - I have found that, in this city, if you don't have any idea of what to talk about, you can always resort to politics as a lingua franca.

But I also think there are plenty of us women out there who are genuinely interested in getting to know people better; unfortunately, after so many "trials and tribulations" (and some of them fun too, I admit), it is hard to make room for someone else. I kind of had an epiphany some time ago and I pretty much decided that in order for me to invest in someone, that someone has to earn his admission into my life.

I know it sounds a bit harsh, but so many of the men out there are so bland/non-committal/immature (really, emotionally irresponsible) that it gets to you after a while. And even though I realize this may mean I am not making myself as available as I could, I find it easier to deal with my singlehood this way - at least for now.

Posted by: K Street | August 20, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

One more thing - what do you all think about the following:

1) People tend to say that the problem is that there are a lot of good-quality women out there as opposed to men;

2) People say men tend to get intimidated by women like me and my friends - we are thirtysomething professionals, settled, independent, fairly cosmopolitan and attractive;

3) The older people get, the harder it is for them to open up and deal with someone who will invariably present some sort of "disruption" to their status quo.

Not sure what to make of the first one, but I have always thought the second one is BS. As for the third, it is true for me at least.

I would like to see what you all think of the above.

Posted by: K Street | August 20, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

K Street,
I agree with number 2 & 3. I am skeptical on #1 since I certainly do believe that there are plenty of good men out there. The question remains is if we as women ~ are we willing to give a man a chance to show us their good quality if they do not meet our standards such as the ones you listed on #2.

As for #3 - so so true! I can give you list of my male friends over 34 who are just so settled and set in their ways ~ I truly doubt or will be shocked if they ever get married. It's just the way they are and sometimes (once in a blue moon), I can agree on their reasoning.

Posted by: DC Gal | August 20, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

DC Gal,
That's the thing though - I do not have those standards for the men in my life. I mean, I don't need them to be successful in that DC kind of way. As long as these are men I can talk to, who make me laugh, who are reliable, who behave like men and not like boys, I am fine. I don't need to have someone who holds a PhD - it is more important for me to be with someone who is open-minded, self-confident, down to earth, and reads the newspaper (now that is something I am not able to compromise on)!!

As for #3, not only men - I believe that applies to us women in the same way. A lot of us are equally set in our ways and I think we either don't see it or we are in denial. And as my mom would say, it takes two to tango...

Posted by: K Street | August 20, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I think there's plenty to talk about... If you can't find something to talk about during dinner, the relationship is DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED. haha.

I saw an ex of mine two weeks ago sitting at a bar near my house with her boyfriend of a year. She said she had commitment issues, told me she loved me after a month, broke up with me two weeks later, a day before Valentines. She's been dating this guy for a year now and they were sitting at the bar like two bumps on a log, barely even looking at each other talking to each other.

I have a nice job, I have goals, good set of friends. I'm not ugly, and people ask me all the time why I don't have a girlfriend. I just tell them I haven't found one yet because there's no place for me to meet an attractive, personable, funny woman that likes to go out and try different things. You can say that guys are bland and immature, but you're meeting them at bars, and just because they're wearing a suit doesn't mean they're successful or smart or personable.

I was at a bar a couple weeks ago, and these girls were pushing one of the girls to talk to this guy just because he said he was a doctor. And it was based on that fact alone, nothing else. It was kind of entertaining to watch, but a bit disturbing at the same time.

I'll be 32 in a couple weeks. I go out once a week now instead of the three or four times a couple years back. I'm just over going to bars. If I see one more guy wearing three polo shirts with all the collars popped, I'm going to puke.

Posted by: DT | August 20, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

1) People tend to say that the problem is that there are a lot of good-quality women out there as opposed to men;

Everyone says that, but I have yet to see it. When I go out, there's maybe two to three women that I would be attracted to.

2) People say men tend to get intimidated by women like me and my friends - we are thirtysomething professionals, settled, independent, fairly cosmopolitan and attractive;

Nope. Only if they have baggage, then we get pretty intimidated. You don't know whether to stick around or not, like stepping on a frozen lake when it's a bit warm out. It could get better, or it might just break within two seconds. You don't see the baggage till later, because they keep it well-hidden. Trust me... I've seen it. Scary...

3) The older people get, the harder it is for them to open up and deal with someone who will invariably present some sort of "disruption" to their status quo.

I don't think so. If people can't deal with interruptions, it's because they just can't deal with them, no matter what age.

Posted by: DT | August 20, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I am afraid you got the wrong idea - I really don't rely on bars to expand my social and dating circles, and I also try not to generalize people - too much, there is ;) (I guess we all tend to generalize here and there). Meaning, people who wear suits can be either very interesting and mature or not. I have though realized that it is rfeally hard to meet people who will just, well, admit to being who/whatever they are right off the bat. It seems everyone is always trying to project a specific persona as opposed to reality. I understand that letting people in can be a scary proposition, but you have to risk it sometimes. What is it that people say about high risk and gambling and odds etc?

I am rereading what I wrote and trying to see where it was that I might have come across as someone who is impressed by suits - I thought I made my case as to the exact opposite... Not to mention polo shirts with popped collars - seriously, that is just pretty disgusting! And in my opinion, seriously metrosexual, which is something I run away from with all my might (another obvious sign is an enormous amount of hair gel and a subsequent elaborate hair sculpture)...

Posted by: K Street | August 20, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

DT, I have a few questions about your response to those three points I posted (and by the way, these are not my assertions but a collection of what I hear around me).

First - you say: "When I go out, there's maybe two to three women that I would be attracted to." What do you mean? Well, my point was not about physical attractiveness - if that is what you meant. It was about the overall quality of single women versus the overall quality of single men. And breaking your response down a bit more - 2 to 3 people in one night is a lot in my book, if you mean everything (not only physicality); and also, the fact that you claim to *only* be attracted to 2 or 3 a night does not address the issue of quality directly, it could be related solely to your own preferences.

Second, the baggage thing - men lovbe to talk about baggage. As a 32-year-old, I am assuming (and hoping) you would have *some* baggage. A person without baggage is quite scary in my opinion; it is like someone without a fingerprint. It is normal to have some sort of (manageable) baggage. Of course, I would have trouble with a violent past, a rap sheet, addictions, incurable diseases - duh - but on the whole, everything that happens in our lives is part of who we are and therefore inseparable. Wouldn't you agree?

Third, I would love if people could indeed deal with interruptions more easily. But would you really interrupt your life, your things, your plans etc for someone you barely know? That, I need to admit, is the scarier thing. In my 20s? In a heartbeat. Now? It is scary. I still do it, at least I try to, but it is not as natural as it used to be. Now, it all becomes about balance and harmony, when 10 years ago I didn't even think about such concepts. To me, it is important to be aware of such little walls; self-awareness is key.

Posted by: K Street | August 20, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I hear you... I was just generalizing on what I've noticed. I haven't done my experiment yet on whether females would talk to me more or not if I was dressed up vs dressing casual (jeans, skate shoes, and shirt)

My social circle is slowly diminishing as people are getting married. Dating sites are scams, with the sites misrepresenting the actual number of paying members that will respond back to you. Bars filled with yuppies and scenesters make me want to puke. Clubs and lounges are just shady as they can be. I've just been hitting up the neighborhood bars since last year. That's what older people do I guess.

From what I've seen, females around here spend alot of time getting ready to go out to bars only to stand around to be gawked at by fratty yuppies and then go home complaining why they can't find a nice guy. On the other hand, I end up going to the most random bars where there females are slim pickings or non-existent... I could go to a bar and brag about what I've done to impress girls but the last thing I want is a pro-ho.

Posted by: DT | August 20, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

K Street...
First question... I can read people pretty well, when I mean two to three girls per night, I mean quality overall. Not just model looks.

In terms of quality women to guys in general in the area? Hmmm. For me the ratio is always the same, so I can't really answer that. Just like how in every group of people of say 10 people, one or two people stand out. No matter where you go, the ratio is going to be the same.

If you want to ratio the number of women to men in the area, then cut it down some more to personality and education tests, that's a different story. No one will be able to answer that. I hear there are more women than men in DC, but I have yet to see it.

Immaturity in a guy to a girl is the same as baggage in a girl to a guy. It's the same thing. Almost. But it's the same thing for the most part.

I take chances. I'm willing to interrupt my life for someone. They just have to deal with the fact that I do have a lot on my plate but I do make time for them.

Posted by: DT | August 20, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Dating is a lot golf. Some holes you do well with while some you pick your ball up, take the loss and keep it moving.

There are some wonderful people here in DC and getting to know a few of them is good enough. You don't have to marry them...keep it moving.

Posted by: My take. | August 21, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Whether we want to admit it or not, DC is a city with a reputation very heavily focused on politics and a job as a status symbol. This is often the biggest complaint I hear from single individuals in the District.

The fact of the matter is, there is no wrong way or right way to approach dating. As I have know couples who have met at a bar, on the internet, at work, through a friend, or at a supermarket and have all been happily married. As well the alternative.

The ONLY advice you need to follow is put yourself in as many social sitauations as possible. If someone or something sparks your interest then pursue it. If it doesn't work or you get shot down then oh well that's life.

Maybe the REAL problem is that people spend more time talking about why they are not meeting anyone than actually doing something about it?

Posted by: | August 21, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Way to state the obvious. I haven't seen your website yet but I'm sure it's cheesy and it's a cheesy way to plug a nightlife site on here. Your advice is generic by the way. bahahaha oh man. I'm not even going to bother to check it out.

Posted by: DT | August 21, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

DT -

Just to let you know. Yes, some women WOULD notice you if you dressed better, but would you want to know them?

The truth is, you don't meet people at bars ... not ones you wind up having friendships and relationships with at any rate.

I'm single, female, employed and generally considered attractive. I am over educated. I have been married before and done the dating thing in the area for 5 or more years. And I have had a series of BFs. The latest is pretty nice guy. PhD, v. smart but down to earth, good shape, physically attractive etc etc.

What does he tell me? He wasn't able to find nice women to date. He didn't meet them at work (no women where he works), at the gym (where he power lifts), at the bars (they didn't think he was flashy enough)

So yeah, DT people look at the cover and judge the book. The smart ones, they look BEYOND the cover and find the real person.

And this more time consuming, and difficult to do than you might expect.

So, don't give up hope.

Posted by: CatKind | August 21, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse


"People look at the cover and judge the book. The smart ones, they look BEYOND the cover and find the real person." Based on your comment, it sounds to me like your personality is the EXACT REASON why you haven't found someone yet. Speaking as a female, it is that type of judgement and arrogance that turns us off! I would AVOID you like the plague!

In addition, it's the exact type of people like you that we count on to make comments that will inspire people to check out our website to see if it's really "cheesy" or not?

As someone who "just can't get theirself to walk up to a girl from across the room to say hi... because they don't know if she was looking at the guy behind them or, if she just won't even acknowledge them" you shouldn't be so quick with name calling. You might want to instead spend your time on some etiquette lessons - maybe then someone will be able to tolerate you.


Posted by: DCNightlifeRaw | August 22, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

way to advertise a site that's not even up.

You want to know why I don't go up to girls? Because 90% of the time girls are at bars, they are trying to fend off douche bags. And I'm not going to walk up to a girl and be like, hey what's up when she was looking past me or spent the last hour trying to get out of a conversation with some douche.

I'm fine with etiquette. I don't approach girls at bars with one liners. I usually end up talking to girls that sit next to me and usually have conversation about anything other than religion or politics.

You might want to find a better name for your website and someone other than your son or daughter to design it in Microsoft Word.

I would avoid YOU like the plague. Anyone who comes up with a name like DCNIGHTLIFERAW sounds a complete douche. Seriously now...I can't even make fun of it because it's such a stupid name for a nightlife site in dc. And I can't WAIT to see the design and layout you have planned for it. People like you are a dime a dozen.

I've dated lots of beautiful, smart, funny girls. I don't need a socialite wanna-be with a crappy website telling me that she would avoid me like the plague. What makes you think guys would want to talk to you in the first place?

I stay at home on Saturdays because of wannabe's like you.

Posted by: DT | August 22, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

DCNESLKJF or whatever it is,
Also another thing... I do more stuff in one month than you would ever achieve in a lifetime. Keep trying to promote your little website. It's funny when people think that when they have a website they've made it to the big time.

Besides... on the dating front. I've been going out on dates for the past month with a bunch of different girls.

How many guys have you tried to bang for money on Craigslist?

Good luck with your web site. You're definitely going to need it.

Catkind, I wrote a response to you earlier but it wasn't posted. But I wanted to say I agree wholeheartedly with you, especially with the first sentence. I wish I could repost my response but I can't remember what I wrote. I wish more girls like you were out instead of the DCNGSDLSK girl with the crappy website.

Posted by: DT | August 22, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I just read this article and I found it very interesting however, I couldn't help but SMILE after reading the article and its comments.

I currently do a weekly videoblog here in the Nation's Capital called The Gerry T Show and it deals with Dating and Mating and this very subject on or http://TheGerryTShow.Blip.TV

Check out a recent VERY INTERESTING and INSIGHTFUL segment I did with a female from Colorado that has moved to D.C. and her current dating experience in the Nation's Captial or lack of dating experience. The segment is called "What Sex Scandal?" Enjoy!!


Posted by: Gerry T | August 22, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Ha! This thread is great! "I've been going out on dates for the past month with a bunch of different girls." DT, You sound like a douchebag!

Posted by: Jenny | August 23, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I was away for a cou]ple of days but I must say - DT's last posting before I left was such a turn-off that I had a feeling things would become a little creepy here in no time.

DT, you had said in that post - "On the other hand, I end up going to the most random bars where there females are slim pickings or non-existent... I could go to a bar and brag about what I've done to impress girls but the last thing I want is a pro-ho."

I had this feeling that you and I were not really discussing the same thing and the way you finished that particular post only confirmed that. Pro-ho? Slim pickings? The way you are quantifying and qualifying women, oh my. I will have to agree with the people who blurted out that maybe your arrogance is keeping people away.

Remember, perfection is a very isolated and lonely country. If I were you, I would aspire to being, well, kinder - to others and yourself. And kindness does not mean you become a doormat, it only means you leave home without that big chip on your shoulder.

Posted by: K Street | August 23, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Im reading the comments on here and never realized how brutal the dating scene is in my hometown. I dont know I mean I moved to florida about 10 years ago but usually come back to visit family and friends . Whenever I go to the clubs or bars, I seem to be able to hold a decent conversation even with the gold diggers. i dont have much money or dress too flashy.

Now when I move back maybe Ill ahve a different story to tell but I just go in there and be a man. If they want to talk to me cool they made a very wise decision . If not well Ill just move on

Guys were outnumbered 15 to 1 by women in D.C. just go out there and keep an open mind and you might find the person your looking for

Posted by: Arthur | August 23, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

For a straight, independent-minded guy, DC is a depressing place to find someone interesting to date. The women I've met here take themselves WAY too seriously, lack a sense of curiosity about the world, and are sadly striving for what others define as "successful." (That may be true of the men too, but that's not my issue).

It is a sad scene.

Posted by: brian | August 23, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm a guy who's lived in DC for the past year. And anytime I am out with my friends, I comment about how many seemingly great women are around. The problem is that I am out with my circle and they are out with their circle. I dont know how to break into their circle without seeming like a "pick up artist." Do you know what I mean?

I think that so many women are jaded (rightfully so), that if I go over as a nice guy, they just assume it is an act and I am a slimeball who just wants one thing.

Ladies, can I get some advice on the best approach? As Fritz said, it is intimidating to deal with a crowd of 5 beautiful women. I just want to know the best way to get the conversation started.

Posted by: Mike | August 23, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Someone painted the typical DC scenario as these guys (girls, too, I guess) who sit with their eyes trained on the door waiting for the perfect woman (man) to walk in. They pass up perfectly good women (men) because, well, you never know if someone better might walk in next.

The end result of all of our fab-ness (degrees, money, power, interesting hobbies, travel, etc.) is that no one else ever measures up. We can't commit to getting to know someone because we're too busy looking for the next best thing.

I think that's why it's difficult to date here. This happens in both casual and professional settings. A guy walks in, stakes it out, decides I'm the best thing there (or maybe the only thing there, who knows), so he talks to me. It doesn't matter whether we're having a good time or not, as soon as a woman walks in who is a little bit prettier or sexier or whatever, that guy will eventually leave to go talk to that woman. And he'll leave her as soon as someone who bests her walks in. So even when you think you're making a connection with someone, you're really not because it's basically a free-for-all.

One last thing: I've never really understood the theory that you can't form a real friendship/relationship with someone you meet in a bar. The folks hanging out in the bars are real people with jobs and responsibilities and friends and lives just like the folks who hang out in museums. I dare say, in many cases, they are probably the same people (gasp!). Just because I'm in a bar on Saturday night doesn't mean I wasn't volunteering at a shelter earlier in the day or that I won't brunch and hit a museum or book reading the next afternoon. The "Bar Excuse" seems to be just a cover for not interacting when you're out. If you can make the excuse that you can't meet anyone "real" in a bar, then it doesn't matter whether you go and talk to the girl at the bar.

Posted by: Cin_in_DC | August 23, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I have seen some "good ones" that appear interesting or catch my eye while checking off my list in the produce section at whole foods or at the gym at 6:30am/pm ... but as secure and comfortable as I am, I am at a loss for words. What can you say to someone, out of the blue? Can you help me pick a good mango?

Posted by: Zoey | August 23, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I recently moved back to DC after a couple of years and I'd like to get into the dating scene. I see attractive guys everywhere I go. I am tall and attractive, yet these guys never even seem to look at me. I don't know if I am intimidating or if guys just aren't interested. I've never been one to approach guys, but if I am interested I will make eye contact, smile and show that I am approachable and interested.

I am a nice person and I just want to meet some nice guys, date, have fun and enjoy life. Where are these guys in DC?

Posted by: ella | August 23, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Ella, it seems like all the nice guys and girls in DC are posting on here saying how tough it is to meet someone in DC!

Posted by: Mike | August 23, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse


It might sound corny, but simply smiling and saying "hi" has always worked with me. If the person is interested, then they will see that its an opportunity to start a conversation. If they aren't interested, you'll find out quickly. And if they are completely vapid and can't think of anything to say, you might not want to talk to them anyway.

Posted by: ella | August 23, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

mike, i believe that you're right ;-)

Posted by: ella | August 23, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I have heard "hi" works pretty good. The problem is if I am the 20th guy who says "hi" and the girls are just trying to enjoy a nice conversation. Yes, I know I just need to suck it up and take the risk, but some of it is just trying to be polite and not harass someone who just wants to hang out with her friends.

Posted by: Mike | August 23, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

From my experience, a lot of people in general in this area are uptight. Maybe they just have a lot on their minds after a long week, I'm not sure. To make matters worse, I've run into so many women who feel that they're so much better than everyone else. If people got over themselves, the dating scene would be so much better. A lot of people seem to make assumptions about others by seeing what car they drive, who they know, and whether they buy a table in VIP. I don't flaunt my money, so I tend to get looked over. There's also the ongoing issue of women complainging about not finding nice guys and going after the losers.

I'm the type of guy who just goes out to have a good time. Too bad few people seem to think the same way.

Posted by: Terrell | August 23, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

DT needs to take an anger hostility course. Funny how all of his trashing of that blog just makes people want to check it out. She should thank him for the PR!

And it is up and running:

Posted by: anna | August 24, 2007 5:41 AM | Report abuse

i have to echo jenny's sentiment, "this thread is great!". touche! and w/ that, a couple of things.

first, to cin_in_dc, the following is my conjecture for why "you can't form a real friendship/relationship w/ someone you meet in a bar" theory: a-g-e-n-d-a. you are right when you note that the same folks that frequent bars -- at least in this town -- are the same ones who volunteered earlier in the day or who will coordinate a book club discussion the following day. these same folks also tend to be over- (or ivy-league) educated, ambitious, and upwardly mobile (all good things!). one simply can't pigeon-hole those that frequent bars in this town. and hell, one is rarely less than a stones throw away from an attorney (who doesn't love a fun, smart, ambitious female attorney?!) here in the DC metro region...but i digress. anyway, a bar (especially coupled w/ a few cocktails) encourages (generally, there are *always* exceptions) short-sightedness and pursuit of immediate gratification. alternatively stated, a perfectly normal, gentlemanly bloke may lose sight of his desire to cultivate a meaningful connection (and subsequent relationship) w/ a lovely, young woman in exchange for, err, the opportunity to bed said woman. I don't doubt that meaningful & rewarding relationships can be initiated in bars, I just think the environment in which the relationship is conceived makes it more difficult.

and to ella and mike, i agree that a simple, unqualified "hi" is the best approach, albeit i'm compelled to reiterate (and seek verification of?) ella's remark: "...if I am interested I will make eye contact, smile and show that I am approachable and interested". in my experience (which is limited and perhaps skewed), women -- and men, for that matter -- *know* exactly whom they want to invite into their world (at least the world they inhabit in that bar) and will indicate as much via subtle cues, e.g. non-verbal warmth. women are experts at surveying a crowd and determining immediately (nanoseconds perhaps?) who they are interested in and who they want to talk to -- if she is interested in you, her non-verbal cues should indicate as much. yes, you may be the 20th guy to utter "hi", but if she behaved as ella indicated, then i think the "hi" is, on some level, a solicited one (the preceding 19 could have all been unsolicited "hi"s!). of course, all of this relies on uttering that innocuous "hi"...gotta love the nuances of navigating singledom!

Posted by: nthobservation | August 24, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Nice observations. I could use you to be my wing-man/woman to let me know when a woman is giving those non-verbal signals to me. I've been told I am oblivious to them sometimes!

Posted by: Mike | August 24, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Okay folks I got an idea. Why don't we all meet at the local dive down the street from my place and shoot the bull over a couple brews? The crowd wanes but it's usually a fun time around regular folks (high-low if you're into that)...pool table, foosball, jukebox and a great bartender for basic drinks. Tag this post and I'll check it later today around 4 with a time, location, and a name. By the way Ella and Mike should consider going out...

Posted by: Local dive | August 24, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

This is an entertaining thread. I just moved to DC. I've been on the various alphabet streets for over a month now. I'm finding that people are nice enough in the club. I've given out numbers and received them. I haven't developed any relationships but I don't find the people cold.

I haven't been on the dating scene long but it feels like you have to do what's comfortable for you. I can't go to clubs every weekend. Maybe, once a month is cool. The club has all types of people. If you can keep your confidence after running into the snobs then you'll eventually meet someone that is cool.

Also, you have to check your ego at the door. I thought I had a decent conversation with someone I met and I they never called me back. You can't take that stuff personally. I'm just keeping it moving and enjoying the city regardless. I know myself. I cannot get caught up in the race of finding someone because I'm still finding myself. I just go out to have fun.

Posted by: Alex | August 24, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I think that the key is just going places where you can interact with people over stimulating things that strike your fancy. Small bars with bads, decent artwork, or a curious selction of beers. Thriftstores with weird old stuff. Since I am am now dating a wonderful lade, I'll give away my secret to starting metro conversations: cross word puzzles. It is socially acceptable to ask cute ladies around you for a 3 letter word that can either mean a fine sexy woman or a small woodland creature of the wild and fugacious sort. If they are interested, they might answer and thus have license to interact with you, if not, they'll shrug.

Generally smaller places where you have no option to sit off on your own worked well for me. I like the Galaxy Hut in Arlington for a bar. It is small and cozy, like the neighborhood's living room. You'll meet some odd ducks, but some interesting people too. It is easy to go from being a stranger to someone in a conversation there. It's not a meatmarket for db's like Whitlow's up the street.

For the daytime, I like places like the really catawompus thrift store on 14th street (On the southbound side near street I think). The place has a sketchy basement, a dilapidated back room off of an attached alley that looks about to collapse, and tons of crazy junk that invites a comment or a question to a stranger. They've got so much odd stuff, it is easy to ask, "Do you know what this thing is?" I've been hit on there a few times by cute girls. The place is dank, but it works for some reason.

Posted by: pants | August 25, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Very interesting observations and general frustration here. I have to say the best advice on here is to appear friendly and be friendly. I moved here a little over a year ago and find it a bit difficult to meet women at bars, etc. because I don't have an established group of guy friends to go out with. It is very difficult to walk up to a group of multiple women having a conversation. The times that I have done it were mixed, but as someone stated above, check your ego at the door. Oh, and don't think you are going to find 'nice' people at establishments that promote shallow, lustful judgement of others - think Cafe Milano.

I wish all of us the best and the peace and patience to wade through some of the muck in search of what makes us happy.

Posted by: Texasguy | August 27, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

people's standards/judgments tend to hold them back. dating to meet people is always possible even if there is not romantic connection...the opportunity to socialize with someone new is always good. you can learn a lot and even build connections to others which may lead you to better dates.

in general i think there is a problem with the expectation that a date must end with some sort of magical romance, or hook-up. this makes it weird for either party to say , "hey, you are a great person we should hang out more"...but in a friend-setting.

many people also are terrible at any form of rejection and tend to take what a stranger (their date) says to them as a personal attack on them instead of realizing that the person just isn't interested in a romantic relationship. when there's a wounded ego it's nearly impossible to build any sort of friend-ship connection.

i dated quite a bit in and around DC...but i had to go to switzerland to find someone who could understand my unique background and had the same interests in technology. life is short, and usually if you aren't happy where you are them something needs to change.

Posted by: gruyère | August 27, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I have friends who do very well with the ladies, in terms of instant gratification. The secret to their success is that they don't really care who the girl is, how smart she is, what she does, how she dresses or what her politics are. When they talk to women they keep the conversation about the women and pile on the compliments while presenting themselves as nothing but a happy, friendly and fun person.

The depressing thing is how easily women go for that fun-loving complement dispensor. But then isn't so depressing.

my friends are the anthisis of the typical DC guy or girl. They don't play games, they aren't pretentious, they are honest about what they want, they aren't critical people, and they include everyone around them in whatever fun they are having.

what's not to like? its a win-win.

my strategy is different...and it doesn't work. I'm not looking for instant disposable gratification, I enjoy having a girlfriend. I will approach any girl and talk to her. I get around her 'jerk defenses' by being self-deprecating, smiling a lot, asking her about what she does outside of work and finding a similarity in our interest and, if I can, by coming up with a joke that can be our inside joke.

I do those things. We get along. I get her number. When I am trying, this happens six or so times a weekend.

I call and... I get no response. I call back and... I get no response.

I'm not particularly bummed about getting no calls back from these women as I haven't been all that impressed with any of them. But it is frustrating because you can't really get to know someone at a bar and I get their numbers because I want to spend an hour or two with them on a weekday getting to know them better. It probably wouldn't work out anyway, but what is the harm in an hour or two out of a day?

Doing the same things in any other city I have been in has gotten me as many dates as i could fit into my calendar. Here...nothing.

My conclusion...women in DC that go out on weekends just want to have fun and that if i want a girlfriend I will have to try to bring a woman home on the same night that I meet her...which isn't my style at all. Or find another way to meet women. which brings me back to an earlier post of mine...where are you women?

Posted by: bribri | August 30, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

LocalDive, set it up, and I'm there. Got out of a long relationship a few months ago and am stunned by how hard it is to start fresh. Where are the other single people?

I'm ready and willing, but not sure where to begin, you know? Match--not for me, but thanks.

Posted by: JK | September 3, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

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