Alright, alright. Yes. YES. Dating in DC is hard. But I just can’t cop to it being harder than anywhere else. (I’ve been getting asked this a lot.) The reason I say this is quite simple: In every place I visited when I was dating in other cities for my book experiment, there were always at least two women (and sometimes 10) who told me how hard it was to date in Charlotte, Denver, NYC, LA. (Not Chicago. I don’t have data for that. I’d love to hear from anyone who has a hard time dating there.) Also, if dating in DC really is that hard, then I’d have to move and I really don’t feel like doing that.
The women I talked to all had varying reasons for why they had a hard time, though it often revolved around the complaint of “no quality men.” Nine times out of ten, the men in all of these cities did not think dating was hard and most of them really liked it.
So what’s the deal? Are all men everywhere dolts and duds and just not raised right? Are women just too fucking picky? Is it a more fundamental problem of Mars and Venus? I seriously can’t subscribe to the first idea because I have girlfriends who meet and date awesome guys. I don’t know that women are too picky, either. I think it’s the Mars and Venus thing, sort of. I have an evolving theory:
Expectations change our perspective on dating and whether it feels fun or it feels hard. Perhaps women have higher expectations because they feel like more is riding on the dating process (biological clock ticking etc), and, with men, most of them are of the mindset that it’s just a fun night out with no thought beyond that, which is refreshing and infuriating all at once. For me, dating isn’t as hard as I thought it was 3 years ago because I have mostly reeled in my expectations. Like: A date is just a date until it’s more. This realization took 35 years to settle in. So…yeah, it’s all about setting expectations. (Like I said, the theory is evolving.)