In February 2014 I wrote a blog, “Single in the City,” (www.vanbranchblog.com/single-in-the-city/) which talked about current dating trends and my experiences with online dating. Surprisingly, 18 months later, not much has changed. I thought moving to a big city would have more opportunities for finding someone special.
When I moved to LA seven months ago, I was given explicit instructions from my friends pertaining to dating. I had to date for atleast 6 months before settling down and get to know my new city and have some fun. My friends knew this would be hard for me because I prefer dating one person at a time but I stepped out of my comfort zone and followed their instructions. I joined a few sites with the hope of finding some good eligible bachelors.
In January 2015, I started going on what I call “meet and greets.” Most of the guys I met online; we would communicate for a few days and based on those conversations we would decide to meet for coffee or an adult beverage. Two things usually happened: either they did not look like their online picture or they could not hold a decent conversation. However, I figured if I went on enough of them I was surely going to find one or two good ones. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case!
So I read this article on Facebook, “4 Things You Should Do Instead of Playing Hard To Get” (http://www.pride.com/coming-out/2015/8/10/4-things-you-should-do-instead-playing-hard-get), which actually triggered this follow-up blog. The article made me think how others view dating, so I decided to ask a few single friends about their experiences and how they feel about dating.
Male, mid thirties and recently single:
“Based on my experience as a gay black man, I find that dating in today’s times has been difficult because the value of an exclusive relationship has been devalued due to the easy accessibility of sex.”
Male, late forties:
“Dating/a relationship requires great timing. Both people have to be ready for the experience. I meet some great people but we seem to be in different places: just getting out of a relationship, in a relationship but unhappy, scorned or simply enjoy sex without strings. I must admit that men under 35 are more inclined to want to settle down and men over 35 who I find interesting don’t want a commitment. My spirit will not commit to someone under 35 but I’m trying to ignore that advice because men of the younger generation appear to be ready for something great. Ultimately, I think the younger generation is going to make a huge shift in same gender love and I may need to get my head around the fact my soul mate may be a bit younger.”
Female, late twenties and recently divorced:
“Experience = lack luster with the occasional cheap thrill.
Why it’s hard = value systems from individual to individual are highly skewed, with the media as the primary culprit.
Settle down = not in this world. In a picture perfect world, yes. But since everyone is so ‘fucked up’ I would say that I have to do more self-reflection, to know how to properly sift through the bullshitters to pick an appropriate mate. I’m just not there yet.
Reflection, I need to know how to sift.”
Male, early forties:
“I enjoy dating as long as it’s with a quality person who is involved with life, a man who lives and enjoys living. As I get older, dating seems to become a bit more complicated because it seems guys my age (44) want younger men and the younger men are looking for a daddy. When I meet a man in my age group who is interested in me, he doesn’t have his shit together because he still wants to roll like he is in his 20’s.”
Even with all the missed connections many of us experience, we must still remain hopeful without getting discouraged, jaded or sad. Remember that love is uncertain and sometimes risky and loving someone leaves us emotionally exposed. We open ourselves to being hurt and even hurting others. But think about your life without love or being loved— to me, the risk is worth it.
Please feel free to share your thoughts!
I’ve decided to give up online dating and let things happen naturally……whatever that is! 🙂