08/23/2012 05:16 pm ET Updated Dec 21, 2012

Where Are All the Good Men in Miami?

Oh, this old chestnut.

The ever-eternal inquiry, this pesky riddle persistently plagues Miami's single female set. And, much like the cockroach -- also a serious problem here in South Florida -- it just won't die. (Read into that what you will.)

Dating in Miami is a disaster, especially for the foresighted female with an end goal. While the question above is a multifaceted topic that can be dissected on many levels, let's begin at the beginning: the seemingly severe lack of eligible, quality, dateable dudes. (Guys, don't get your panties in a bunch -- I've heard it goes both ways. But one grievance at a time.)

So who, exactly, are we trying so hard to find?

A good (Miami) man is that elusive unicorn who wants to get serious (about a relationship or any aspect of his life other than partying), has a real job (read: doesn't vaguely "do business"), and who can exert the slightest bit of effort (i.e., knows how to dial a phone, not just text on one). And that's not even considering his level of attractiveness. Sigh.

I used to wonder where the good ones were. And then I realized I lived in Miami, and resolved to stop worrying about it. I suggest you do the same. (Spoiler alert: The below is peppered with generalizations for the sake of argument.)

You have to understand the mindset of the young (or not-so-young) Miami male and his Animal Planet-style natural habitat. In Miami, perhaps more so than any other city (Las Vegas notwithstanding), the emphasis is on play. With a cool-factor culture of clubs, cocktails, coitus and chic affairs, it's a veritable incubator for a raging, commitment-phobic singles scene. That, for the most part, is the draw for the non-native Miami transplant.

You think he woke up one morning and convinced himself that South Beach was where he could REALLY get serious about life, further his career, grow up, find the one love of his life, settle down and start a family? Girl, please. Guys don't move to Miami to make responsible life decisions. Here, you'll find many boys still playing in the sandbox.

Almost every guy I've known here moved to Miami for the lifestyle, whether one of "work moderately, play the hardest;" surf and sand (which requires a responsibility-free "career" that allows him time off during the day); or a freeballing "alternative" one.

That's not to say you can't mitigate the madness. You want a serious guy? Fill your calendar with seriously fun events involving art, film (no, Magic Mike doesn't count), lectures, sporting activities. Host a dinner party. Start a book club. You know, something other than clubbing or day drinking. Your agenda should be more about enjoying the nuances of this city, less about relentless man-searching.

It's not impossible (I've found at least one good guy here, had relationships and all that jazz), but be cognizant of your dating context. You're wading through a higher-than-normal concentration of douchebaggery and phantom swag (that phenomenon where a guy appears to have a healthy dose of sexy confidence but, in reality, needs money/name-dropping/a wingman/alcohol to seal the deal).

So take it easy (just don't BE easy), stop trying to force the issue and date smart. Do your dating due diligence and you can avoid building castles in the sandbox. Otherwise, you might get sand in your eye and that burns something fierce.