Los Angeles Dating Syndrome

08/01/2017 05:55 pm ET

Los Angeles dating is different from dating in any other place in the world. I live in L.A. and I have dated a lot, so I should know. I’m even writing a book about it called, “Dating for Dinner, Ordering Love.” People from other countries have confirmed this phenomenon to me with endless stories about how dating here is so hard that they’ve considered moving back to England, Singapore or wherever they’re from just to get back to the “normal” way of dating. “Normal” to them is courting one person at a time to see if it can work out, not courting the entire Laker Girls squad in one week. I know that even after weeks of dating a guy, I’m just one of many in his dating schedule and this way of dating in Los Angeles is what I call the “L.A. Dating Syndrome.”

Dating for Dinner, Ordering Love
Howard Warman
Dating for Dinner, Ordering Love

Guys and girls in Los Angeles look past the date in front of them thinking someone better is just beyond their reach and that's appealing. The mix of the Wanting-What-You-Can’t-Have Syndrome and the Peter Pan Syndrome, of never growing up, has become its own super strain called the LA Dating Syndrome. L.A. daters are so afraid of making a wrong choice and thinking the better choice is still out there, that they never commit past an, "I might be free later if you want to hookup," 10 PM text. They are so busy chasing, that they really don't even know what, or who, it is they’re chasing.

For guys, the fantasy of the perfect woman and thinking that even at 50 years old, they will land a 20 year old, makes them swinging dicks. The bottom line is that girls in L.A. don't expect much and the guys get away with acting like unavailable jerks who make false promises to lure girls when they have no real intentions beyond casual sex. (This isn’t true of every guy, just some of the ones my girlfriends and I have dated.) Guys put so little effort in, and girls are so used to it, that when a guy steps up and texts back and actually makes plans, it sometimes scares girls off. Women have been conditioned to think a guy is normal if they never hear from them. I had a guy tell me we were in an exclusive relationship after 2 dates and then not hearing from him for over a month. He was confused when I texted him that I found a good guy and wished him luck, he said I cheated on him.

For girls, myself included, we don’t want to invest too much into a guy because we know he is on every dating app and there’s no guarantee of a future with him. We see that the guy we are talking to and making plans to take things a little further, like having sex, is always on the dating apps. ALWAYS! Like kids in a candy store, they have become accustomed to shopping endlessly with no real intentions to buy. I know this because while I was writing my book and doing research on the apps, I saw guys who I was really interested in on the apps nonstop. I have a hidden profile so they didn’t see me or I guess they would think the same about me, but I wasn’t shopping, I was writing.

My guy friends tell me that the girls here are flaky, dishonest, unfocused, uninteresting and are better at taking a sexy instagram than having an intelligent conversation. A guy, who I actually dated briefly, told me that it’s very expensive to date here, the traffuck (spelled correctly) is horrendous just to get to the date, and every girl has the same stories about celebrities and their rescue dogs. He also complains that the girls are always heavier in person than in their pictures and that he has a hard time connecting to the crazy girls here. To me, that sounds like they’re dating way below their peer group and have too high expectations considering we all know the deal: Los Angeles is crowded, expensive and immature.

Let’s talk about flaky people. I have had to cancel a few dates because of things that came up last minute and I feel terrible about it. Then there are times that I know I’m not into the date and I know it won’t go anywhere, so I think about canceling. Then I try not to be so judgmental and give the guy a chance so I go and I suffer through another rendition of, “My ex took all my money.” I’ve had guys cancel, show up late, lie, ask me in the middle of the date if I like them, and get mad at me if I don’t want to go on another date. I try to just stay positive and realize that everyone is just trying to find love (or who-knows-what) and not get upset with a guy’s behavior because there’s nothing I can do about it.

Now let’s talk about how L.A. has the most beautiful people in the world with new boatloads of young gorgeous dreamers arriving daily. That’s why it makes sense that no one wants to settle down because they don’t want to settle when a fresh group of daters arrive by the hour. There are a lot of wonderful guys and girls here and they are married. Just kidding, they are just beginning a divorce or just beginning their fourth divorce. Despite these experiences, there are great people here to date and if you really want a real relationship you can’t give up and for the love of sunshine, don’t become a bitter asshole. Immerse yourself in the things you love to do and are passionate about like walking up the canyons (which is called hiking here) or going to museums because you never know who you will meet and they obviously already share your interests.

Single people join the dating apps and hope that the one person in this city who wants to start a life with someone is on the dating apps too. I’ve heard that lots of people are on all of the apps all at once, I focused on one-at-a-time as even just one was overwhelming. I found my share of guys who wanted insta-girlfriends, deleting their profiles after our first date, and my share of guys who never committed to meeting in person. I will never give up looking for my soulmate, twin flame, or at least a good kisser. I’m hoping that the few people who really want a relationship and not just a temporary pen pal, will find each other eventually, but it is a search that feels endless, I should know. Dating is different here but LOVE IS WORTH IT! Oh, and there are plenty of celebrities to date here in La La Land but like a crazy cat lady once told me, “You're only special if you didn't sleep with Elvis!”

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