Pot, lid, kettle: Dating in the D.C. kitchen sink

The ratio of friends leaving town versus moving back to the city is at 2-to-1 on a good day — more like 5-to-1 or some equally heinous ratio. I got word that one friend is thinking about coming back, and then I learn that we’re losing another two to four in the next month or so.


I was speaking with one of my lovelies, who lamented the fact that it’s just downright impossible to meet a good man in good ole D.C. I had read an article on Forbes.com that listed our fair capital city as one of the most lustful in the country based on condom purchases, but that speaks more to getting screwed than making love, IMHO. (I hear there’s a difference.)

Anywho, my friend said it’s disheartening — to be part of an amazing circle of beautiful, intelligent, educated and outgoing women who have no luck whatsoever in the dating game. And that it’s a gaggle of eligible women who are either settling or going without finding even so much as an imperfect mate, she rationalizes that it’s the city — NOT the women — that has something wrong with it.

I couldn’t agree more.

I say this because I was at the ballpark the other day — a natural habitat of the ever-elusive male species. I’m no dummy — I don’t expect to meet ’em at shoe stores or chick flicks. Nah, I’ve learned that an appreciation of sports and even having a favorite team or two can go a long way.

* * *

Anyway, I ran into someone I had a couple of dates with toward the end of last year — nothing exotic. I mean, nice guy but nothing clicked. It happens … er, rather, sometimes nothing happens and it’s cool. Sure, you go through that phase of “Is it me? Why doesn’t he like me?” until you realize that “Hey, wait a minute. I wasn’t into HIM, either!”

Or maybe you knew you weren’t into him but you were also willing to hang in there and see what transpired because — again — see “no eligible men in D.C.”

Standards? What standards? Oh, right, those things I’ve started tripping on. *headslam*

* * *

Anyway, I met the latest (I’m sure) replacement. It was nice to see him and slightly horrifying to meet the new girl and to act like I was never a girl who came before her. (Heh. I made a funny.) I am content being a “friend from a past life.”

No need to make anyone uncomfortable — besides, women will presume that other women in their male companions’ lives were either bedded or he WANTED to get down and dirty with them. And while I’ve had/have platonic male friends, well, desperate times plus desperate people blah blah blah you know where that all goes.

But I had one of those oddly triumphant moments in which I realized that those two? Are a perfect couple. Really. I say it as a compliment but maybe it’s a backhanded one. (And it’s just between you and me, Internet. And you’re not going to tell anybody, right?)

* * *

I had struggled to figure out why he didn’t seem to be all that into me — despite my having a lack of interest in him — for that very reason. This wasn’t George Clooney or Brad Pitt (not that they’re my type, but I digress because I’m hardly starstruck by anyone) or anything like that.

It’s not that I WANTED him to like me, but — and I mean this as nicely as possible — I was clearly out of his league. He was obviously into New Chick, and from her absolute, uh, non-descriptness, I say if that’s what floats your boat, then no wonder two or three dates with me didn’t turn into anything else.

Seeing them together at the ballpark reminded me of a simple phrase: pot: meet lid.

And it was an important lesson for me, one that I shared with my delightful-yet-disillusioned friend: We are better than what we get.

* * *

Or, more accurately when it comes to the men my friends and I are meeting: Calphalon, meet dollar-store cookware. Not only do these lines not complement each other together aesthetically, but they don’t function together very well.

I shared this theory with a male friend, too, and I think a lot of us are on this same sinking ship:

Most of us have big personalities. We are the PRESENCE in the room. We are dynamic, well-versed, confident, successful and downright magnanimous. And to some extent, we already expect that we will be the bigger personality in the relationship.

But …

Are the people we’re seeking out/dating simply lackluster in comparison to us, or are they simply, well, just lackluster?

* * *

My friend is contemplating going back to a city where she had no trouble picking up men. But what about me — I had no trouble in my motherland, but I’m in the city I want to be in. I have no concrete plans to draw up anchor and start sailing away in the next couple of years.

Why do I have to choose between a city with excellent dating prospects and a city with excellent career opportunities? Why can’t I find both in the same/neighboring zip codes?

One of my guy friends joked that he’s lowered his standards substantially, and he hopes to meet a woman with equally lowered standards, so they can date either happily ever after or at least until they want to kill each other.

And in that, is the perfect summation of “Dating in D.C.” Here’s to hoping that whomever gets elected brings some awesomely hot fresh meat blood to town to shake up the dating pool a bit. That’s always the good news — 9 times out of 10, the people you dated leave and you never have to see them again.

Too bad, though, that the nature of this town also sends the GOOD people on their way to less-expensive, lower-velocity, higher-dating-pool-quality areas, too. *sigh* Good luck to all my lovely lady friends who are seeking the important things in life elsewhere.

And better luck to the rest of us who are going to continue looking for that proverbial needle in the haystack while sorting through all the other pricks in the process. …

16 Responses to Pot, lid, kettle: Dating in the D.C. kitchen sink

  1. DCBlogs » DC Blogs Noted :

    […] Dating in DC explained: One of my guy friends joked that he’s lowered his standards substantially, and he hopes to meet a woman with equally lowered standards, so they can date either happily ever after or at least until they want to kill each other. Caterwauling […]

  2. Foilwoman :

    You’re falling prey to the logical fallacy that most high-achieving single people fall prey to (heck, most single people, scratch “high-achieving”). You think that finding a long-term mate should be easy. Get over that. There’s no shortage or men or women on an individual level. There’s just a shortage of people any of us would willingly spend 10 minutes with, much less 10 years. And it takes time to find the people who will become lifelong friend, much less lovers, partners, or spouses.

    But we’re all lackluster in some way, so be not too hard, etc. Oh, and none of us are guaranteed a lifelong mate or a quick and fun fling (neither Mr. Right nor Mr. Right Now are a given, and the same for Ms. Right and Ms. Right Now).

  3. Angelo De La Vega :

    I’ve been listening to the same sob story since I attended Rye Neck middle school in Mamaroneck NY. It got mildly louder in high school, it was positively deafening my last two years at the University of Maryland, and here we are again: no quality guys exist in the ENTIRE CITY!!!

    I suppose I should be thankful that the competition has clearly been subpar my entire life, but somehow I don’t believe that’s the case. I’m willing to wager that nearly any where I go, the sounds of whiny women are bound to follow.

    As a place loses its excitement, the people start to appear boring and dumb. I believe humans reject stagnant living arrangements and that we’re probably meant to live nomadic lifestyles. It’s so easy to fall in love while abroad… but state side I struggle to find a woman I don’t want to strangle. I, however, am cognizant to the fact that they aren’t the problem – I am.

  4. The Goddess :

    I’m the first one to say that if I were a beauty queen myself, maybe I wouldn’t have these challenges. There are plenty of eligible men in the area — and everywhere, for that matter. But we’re all captive to our full-time-plus jobs and life commitments that we have to be on hyper-alert just in case “the next one” walks by.

    I’ve had my heart set on people and it didn’t work out. I may always have my heart set on some of them, in one way or another.

    I don’t really think this is a “whiny women” issue — it’s friends reassuring each other that even if we don’t have a man to appreciate us, we still recognize our own worth and value and we must ensure that a fellow sister (or brother) knows how valuable they are and how special they will be to someone outside of the circle of friends.

  5. lacochran :

    Consider joining a club or going to a meet-up that actually interests you. If you meet someone, great, at least you know you have an interest in common. If you don’t, well, you still have a good time because you’re doing something you’re interested in, not doing something in order to find a man.

    Gotta tell ya, that “we already expect that we will be the bigger personality in the relationship” may be part of the issue. By all means, be who you are, but there aren’t that many moths out there looking for a flame. Why not seek someone who has as much personality as you? Imagine what a great couple you could be.

  6. vvk :

    Enh… There are plenty of good men in the area… and they’re whining about the fact that there are not good women in the area.

    You’re assuming that just because you and your friends can’t find quality dates, that they don’t exist. You’re wrong. Shake up how you search for the men. Don’t leave it up to the man to ask, ’cause a lot of them are like you, they’ve somewhat given up on finding a quality woman, and so aren’t going to approach one.

  7. Food Rockz Man :

    We’re here, in DC . . . quality men, that is. And I’m confident that I’ll meet another great woman in the not too distant future. I’ve had several great relationships with women that didn’t work out for one reason or another . . . but I haven’t given up hope and I’m not interested in settling for less than great. Sure, I’ve had a series of short relationships in the past 7 months, since my last long-term relationship ended, looking for the next and hopefully everlasting great one. But I’m comfortable with the fact that it’ll have to do some searching before finding another match.

  8. devon :

    Hmm…I am all for all of the positive energy in these early comments. However, I totally agree that sometimes it IS them and not us. If there are good guys hiding out there, I haven’t seen any of them in a WHILE. My dating experiences don’t even muster up to lackluster. They are just hilarious in the worst, least productive way. I don’t need Brad Pitt, I just need a distraction so that I don’t think about all the work I have to do constantly.

    OH, and I’m totally going to the ball games now. Big guys drinking beer…here I come!

  9. homeimprovementninja :

    If you want to attract and meet a quality guy, why don’t you start by being the type of person that someone like that would find attractive.

    I don’t know anyone that is given the choice between two women who are equally attractive, that would choose the one with a negative and defeatist attitude. So be the other one…the one who sees the glass as half full and can find something positive to take away from any interaction, no matter how unpleasant.

  10. Biff :

    How many men have you called up, invited out to dinner, and paid for their dinner and yours?

    Yes, that’s just biologically impossible to do. I know, guys are born with that responsibility tattooed on their chest. It goes along with having to pay child support for unplanned parenthood.

  11. The Goddess :

    How many men have you called up, invited out to dinner, and paid for their dinner and yours?

    A few, actually. I appreciate how hard it is.

  12. RicanDC :

    Lets face it, dating in general sucks. First you have to find someone that is at the same place and the same time you are, then they have to be at the same wavelength, meaning ready to date or want something other then sex (theres craigslist for that). Then you have to deal with all the idiosincrecies the person has…Its the same across the board irregardless of your sexual orientation. I guess thats why they call it the dating game…

  13. bobdole :

    In all fairness to men, it’s a joke in DC regarding position and power to get a date…..it’s in every punch line. I moved here with my girlfriend in August 2007 (soon after to be ex-girlfriend). Do I have a problem approaching beautiful intelligent women or intimidated by them….NO. Do I have a problem distinguishing the women who is a potential match vs. a woman looking for a man to take care of every want and need she so whims…..yes. Too many want me to jump through their hoops that I get exhausted just going on a date once a week. Enjoy the moment, and see what transpires…this is life at its fullest.

  14. Sas Shoes » Pot, lid, kettle: Dating in the DC kitchen sink :

    […] PInow.com StaffnH… a achromic environment of the ever-elusive male species. I’m no booby — I don’t move to foregather ‘em at footgear stores or cowardly flicks. Nah, I’ve donnish that an support of sports and add having a activity gather or member crapper go a daylong way. … […]

  15. Caterwauling :

    […] I say all of this because last week, I talked about running into someone who is better for/with someone else. And yesterday, I have another story about the opposite situation: I ran into someone — or, at least, a doppelganger of someone — and I just wanted to die on the spot because that one wasn’t so easy to give up on. […]

  16. dc_publius :

    It’s very simple.

    People’s expectations of their mate are not in sync with what they have to offer to people that meet their criteria. It’s all about the attractivemess factor – not just looks, but overall attractiveness. Every 5 wants a 7, and every 7 wants a 9 and in the end no one gets anything. Every average looking, local school educated secretary in this town wants a handsome ivy league lawyer. This is a very egotistical city, so it makes sense that things are this way.