The dating landscape is a weird place in 2013. It seems like pretty much everyone I know who’s in a relationship now met their significant other in a very casual setting. My roommate met his girlfriend because he needed a partner for beer pong in order to attempt to knock me off my winning streak (we’re both way too old for beer pong, if you’re wondering). He didn’t manage to win the game, but I think he beat me overall, because he’s had a fun, stable girlfriend for a year, and I’m in a committed relationship with convincing myself I don’t have a drinking problem.
But the rest of us are still going on dates, much to our own dismay. And I’m beginning to see a pattern with some of the girls I go out with. I’m willing to bet you probably have too. Here’s a few types I seem to constantly encounter.
1. The Vegan
Let it be known, I do not have a problem with all you herbivores out there. I think your decision to eschew bacon, ribeyes, and pepperoni pizza for the rest of your life is admirable, if not completely insane. But what is it about your lifestyle that drives some women to militantism? Living in LA, I’m aware that there is going to be a disproportionate number of females who are trendy veggies. So when I take a girl out for dinner, I intentionally pick a place that I know has very good vegetarian/vegan options. I’m making an effort here. Hell, I even learned the difference between vegetarian and vegan for Christ’s sake! But I am not going to change my own ordering patterns to fit your semi-personal, mostly political agenda. It blows my mind that I’ve had to listen to the exact same “Do you realize where that meat comes from?” speech about my hamburger more than three times. I’m already pissed about the fact that my “gourmet burger” costs three times what buying a steak and some potatoes for me to eat alone would have; don’t lecture me about it on top of that. Just eat your damn soy nuggets and stop questioning why I’m on my third Old Fashioned already.
2. Daddy’s Girl
No matter what I do on this date, I will not be able to impress her. I could spend all the money I’ve been saving for my next Vegas trip, plus my “just in case my radiator gives out for a third time” savings, and it won’t move her needle a bit. Why? Because she’s seen it all before. Daddy’s in real estate/finance/consulting, and when we were both kids, she was skiing in the Alps while I was building an ultimately failed skateboard ramp with my idiot friends. All the guys she’s dated before me have been clones of her dad. The only reason she’s even out with me is because I’m funny, I can dance like a whirling dervish on an ice rink, and it will piss off her dad. She wants to make the point to her father that she can totally date whoever she wants, before ultimately marrying a guy exactly like him. I’m not a date, I’m a gadget in her toolbox. But my feelings are not easily hurt. I will press forward with this brief fling, knowing how it will end, and be satisfied by the fact that for a brief period of time, I got to put my gadget in her toolbox.
She’s got a good number of tattoos, and I can tell by their placement that she intends to get more. And the tattoos are highly premeditated. There’s no real symbolism or meaning behind them other than that they represent a carefully crafted exterior made with the sole purpose of letting everyone know that she’s cool enough to have tattoos. And I am the next step in her process. She already knows, consciously or not, that she’s gonna be batting for the other team very soon. But she needs a reason. And what better motivation to switch to the ladies than a final, failed attempt at heterosexual dating with another average, Southern born, LA-transplant who drinks more whiskey than he should, and shouts obscenities at his TV when his team’s head coach refuses to quit RUNNING THE DAMN BALL UP THE FUCKING MIDDLE. I’m her excuse for going gay for a little while. And yes, it will only be for a little while. She’ll enjoy her lesbian years, and ultimately settle down with a guy who probably won’t satisfy her sexually, but he’s nice, her friends like him, and he knows what wine to pair with dinner.
There is mass, cultural confusion of what exactly a hipster is, and I’m not going to address it fully here (I’ll save that for another column). But I have had the pleasure of going on several romantic outings with hipster girls. And contrary to popular belief, most of them are pretty cool. They’ll introduce me to cool music, they like whiskey, and some of them can swear better than I can (ok, I’m being generous with that one, but they do have a way with profanity). But like the vegetarian/vegans, there is a select group of them who are impossible to be around. And yes, I realize this is more of a human problem than a hipster problem, but the crux of the issue is, I can usually weed out the shitty human beings in my life pretty quickly. But when they dress trendy and like cool things, it sometimes takes a full date to realize that you’re interacting with female Ted Bundy in a Care Bears t-shirt and flannel overshirt.
It is a well documented fact that nerds are conditioned by society to restrain their inner nerdiness. Or at least up until recently when “nerdiness” became in vogue. It’s now socially acceptable to wear a “Han Shot First” shirt to a bar. In fact, some girls may even compliment it. I may end up taking one of those girls out. And when I’m talking to a girl over dinner, and she’s funny, and wearing sexy glasses, and then all of a sudden quotes Spaceballs totally in context with our conversation? Well that totally jams my radar. So all of that sounds great, right? Well of course. But then there’s the other type. The girl who grew up playing the oboe, and Dungeons and Dragons on the weekend, and didn’t get hot until after college. All of her resentment for those years of most people ignoring her has started to bubble up. Now that “nerd chic” is in, that’s all she wants to talk about. Our conversation becomes one pop culture reference after the other, interspersed with her complete condescension of every other girl in the bar as a bimbo who only gets attention because of her boobs. Well, I hate to break it to you, “girl who cosplays as ‘the original Nikita’ every year at ComicCon,” but your tight fitting Masters of the Universe t-shirt and constant use of the Chewbacca growl are just as shallow and contrived as Allison-over-there’s cleavage. And she happens to be a lot nicer than you.
If you can’t tell from the ranting, I’ve become relatively fed up with dating. I’m sure that there are dozens of lovely girls who enjoy just the right amount of Star Wars and sports, can handle their liquor, and can properly execute scatological humor. But this whole dating game is a minefield. And at this point, I’m not entirely sure I can handle getting my metaphorical leg blown off any more in search of that one plot of land that isn’t gonna explode on me. And I also fully acknowledge that my “type” is probably on a top 5 list written by a girl on another website. Basically, I’ve just decided I’m going to stop trying so hard. Because the good fish swim over when you stop splashing the water. Or something like that. Maybe I should just take the boat to the dock and have a beer. That sounds nice.