Monday, September 2, 2013

Cray Area Dating

Shout out to the souls from OKC who are currently reading this. 

Dating is cray. Dating in the Bay Area is CRAY.

Not only do you have to navigate the normal who-pays-the-check stuff, but there's a bunch of other stuff that comes up more often than you would think.

You may be surprised. In the little less than a year that I have been dating in this area, I've found myself thinking and asking questions that didn't used to come up like this in years past. Is he polyamorous?  He probably works at a start up. Have I seen him on OKCupid? I've definitely seen him on OKCupid. He's allergic to cats? (.. this would never work out) Oh. He lives on the other side of the bay? I'm just not into long distance relationships. Do you think he's a burner? What if he likes Ayn Rand?

ANYWAY, I developed some dating best practices for myself that I thought I'd share (because obviously, you're on the internet and interested in reading about this, duh). A few things about this post:
  • This is just what I found myself doing after a while, and not a statement on what people should actually be doing. 
  • This is also reflective of when I was dating A LOT. Like, to the point where I'd schedule dates with people via doodle. 
  • I just read Mindy Kaling's book and it made me feel like I'm allowed to write in as casual, grammatically not-correct manner as I please. This is exacerbated by the fact that I grew up kind of near the valley, so.. right, here we go. 
  • If you don't talk to me often, or have never talked to me ever, this post will possibly just read ridiculously to you. I mean, it might still seem ridiculous regardless. I'm okay with that. 

On Dating:

Rule #1: I don't give out my phone number. At first. I give my email address first. And it's not my personal email address, or even my junk email address-- I actually have an email address just for dating stuff. Once I've kind of screened them a little bit, I'd give them a phone number. But even then..

Rule #2: I don't give out my real phone number. Get a Google Voice number and forward that ish to your phone! I don't really like to give my phone number out because what if you give your number to one of those dudes who always wants to text you? That's some level 2 attachment right there. Or like, what if the dude ends up being legitimately creepy? So anyway, that's why there is usually a couple layers of contact info before you actually get my real phone number. Once THAT happens, I fucking pray that they have an iPhone so I can speak to them in my native tongue (emoji, duh).

Rule #3: First dates are under $10. I love this rule and there are several reasons for it. One, if you're doing a sub $10 date, you're probably not going to a sit down dinner somewhere, which is great because that would mean that you're committing yourself to at least 90 minutes of a potentially bad time, and who has time for that? Not me. I have a subscription to 3 media streaming services and a DVR full of shows and movies that aren't going to watch themselves. A sub $10 date means meeting for a drink, coffee, or some froyo. Also, while I'm comfortable paying for myself on a date, you know what's the best thing ever? Not being uncomfortable. So when it comes time to pay, and we're doing the check dance (there's usually at least a round), if the guy is really insistent on paying, I smile and say thank you. And then I don't feel bad because it was less than $10 and not some expensive dinner. If the date is going well, or even I think the person is cool and want to talk to them more, the option to walk around and chat more is always there.

Rule #4: Schedule dates close to BART. It allows for a quick getaway if necessary. That and if it's close by, it's always nicer not to have to walk far by myself when it's dark. Or if it's somewhere in the East Bay that's not close to BART, I'll drive. But who am I kidding? I always ended up meeting guys who lived in SF, and anyone who knows anyone in SF knows that they never want to cross the bay. You would think you suggested that they swim across the bay. I always have appreciation for the rare unicorns that treat coming out to the East Bay like it's no big deal.

I know it sounds like I've built these rules because I'm paranoid, or so that I can easily escape any situation, and that's because those things are true. Dating is essentially meeting strangers whom I don't know much about, and until I can vet their character and decide if I want to spend more time with them, I'll stick to my rules.

Anyway, that's all for now. It's been a couple months since I've used any of these trusty guidelines because as luck would have it, I ended up meeting a really wonderful person at Barcraft of all places. He is totally awesome and he has TWO cats. I broke a few of my rules with him.


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