Love Letters from LA: An introduction to the LA dating scene
In the first of her new series, relationship coach Laura Yates explores the LA dating scene – and how the lessons she’s learned can apply to dating anywhere in the world
Coming to LA has been an eye opening experience in so many ways! As a single girl, I thought it would be fun to try my hand at the LA dating scene and share my experience and observations through this blog series.
The main thing I’ve noticed about LA dating is that, straightaway; many people tell you that it’s difficult. Telling friends out here that I was looking to dip my toe in the dating waters was often met with comments like ‘Be careful who you trust’, ‘It’s fun but everyone is looking for the next best thing’ and ‘Whatever you do, don’t date actors, models or comedians. They’re all crazy.’ The latter is especially difficult because 80% of the male dating population in LA seem to fall into one of these three camps. You rarely see someone on a dating site who lists their job as something like Marketing Manager, for example. Plus, when you work for yourself and spend time working in cafes, chatting to people, you meet a lot of ‘industry’ people there too.
But I suppose that’s to be expected. LA is the entertainment capital of the world after all, and a large percentage of the people who come here are trying to break into the industry. What’s brilliant about it though is that anything is possible here. People go after their dreams and ambitions. And people talk to each other! What’s not to like about that mindset? It’s refreshing.
LA dating ‘research’
So, with these warnings in mind, I jumped on a few apps and approached it with optimism. I think that wherever you’re dating in the world, you have to go into it with excitement and optimism. The idea is to have fun and meet new people. So, my first tip would be to not let other people’s perspectives tarnish your own judgement. Having heard that LA was the world’s toughest place to date, it would be easy to say ‘Nah, it’s not worth the hassle’, but why not embrace the chance to meet new people in a different country? After all, the whole point of going on a date is to meet someone new, learn something, and have new experiences.
The first date that I went on was with a very handsome 37 year old writer and producer. We met at a café close to where I’m staying and the date started well. He was friendly and had a gorgeous smile. We got talking about our work. He was fascinated by what I do and, turns out, he’s writing a new show about dating. Who knew?! So, what I thought was supposed to be a date quickly turned into what felt like a research session, and I’m still not sure if this guy was just using dating apps to find potential contributors for his show or not! Needless to say, that one didn’t go anywhere!
Still, the experience was quite funny and there are plenty more fish in the LA dating pond! My next date was with a very cute guy who worked in the start-up world – something I’m definitely a bit more familiar with. I felt good about this one from the outset. He was very proactive in arranging the date and chose a good location: the very chic rooftop bar of the Shangri-La Hotel.
Be decisive and don’t play coy
One thing I have noticed is that, compared to the UK, men out here seem to be very decisive. They don’t want to message for days on end. Instead, they want to establish that you have some things in common and then get straight to meeting in person. Maybe that’s because people have more flexible schedules here and the good weather encourages you to get out and about. I think it’s a great way to approach online dating. A website or app should just be the tool you use to make contact with someone. Don’t spend too long messaging because you can think you’re building up a connection, only to find out that they are completely different in real life to how you expected! And ladies, don’t be shy about making the first move and suggesting a meet-up. If you’re both on a dating site then there’s no need to be coy.
The date went very well. We had lots in common and the mimosas were flowing – but not too much! I never like to drink too much on dates, especially first dates, because I want to have clear judgement – and stay safe, of course! He was funny, a little cheeky (just the right amount) and a gentleman. I left feeling the buzz of quite a few butterflies. I decided to treat myself on the way home with a trip to Whole Foods and offered one of my muffins to a homeless man – we both had to laugh when he asked whether they were gluten free or the ones with flaxseed in them (his favourite) – how very LA!
Stay tuned to find out what happened next with Mr. Start-up (and some other dates too…)
Laura Yates is a relationship coach and writer who specialises in helping people through break-ups and heartbreak. Laura provides clients with bespoke tools, techniques and mindsets that enable them to deal with their emotional struggles whilst moving forward in their life with renewed energy and focus. Laura also helps people to build up their confidence, communication and interaction skills when getting back into dating.
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