Dating in D.C.: The Date Me, D.C. blogger lives a public life
(This is the first in a month-long series about dating in D.C. For ways you can contribute, please see the bottom of the story.)
Things were going pretty well with Katie, the pretty young blonde across the table from me. I had gotten to Zengo 10 minutes early, scoped out the best table, and took the seat that looked into the back of a staircase. I made sure she got the nice view of the bar and the row of hanging lamps with their soft, yellow-orange light. Conversation flowed with few awkward pauses. We talked about her family and things important to her. I leaned toward her and made extended eye contact in attempts to tell her: I'm interested in what you're saying. I paid for the drinks at the end of the evening.
Yet there remained a wall between us. Could've been that digital recorder on the table with the solid red light. Might've been because I asked her to drinks via e-mail with a subject line of "TBD dating project," an e-mail in which I made clear: "This is NOT a roundabout way of asking you out. That'd be pretty lame."
Usually you want your dates to feel less like interviews. This time, I wanted my interview to feel more like a date.
It was necessary if I wanted to meet Katie in her natural element. As the 27-year-old blogger behind Date Me, D.C., she's become one of the deans of dating in our city, giving a public voice to the kinds of over-analysis and emotional swings that most daters reserve for private chats with friends. When she goes on a good date, her blog reads like a 1,000-word squeal. When she goes on a bad date, she offers brutal catharsis for every bad date you've been on.
"Dating is moments of orgasm-induced invincibility punctuated by soul-sucking disappointment after soul-sucking disappointment," she said while sipping on mojitos Monday night.
"You come into a date and you have a great time, and you see him again and you have a great time, and then he doesn't call again, or then he does something weird, or he says something racist on the date. And you go, 'Oh my God, I had just been calculating what my name would sound like if I took your last name. I can't do that anymore because you're racist.' "
On this night, she’s doing her best to control her “boys suck” mood. The entrepreneur hasn’t called her in about a week, and though he said he wouldn’t read her fawning blog posts about him, she suspects he caved and got freaked out. She gets her best dates from men who contact her after reading the blog, yet the entrepreneur might be one of several candidates that the blog has ruined.
She is, ultimately, focused on finding the one she has termed the “blog-ender.” In that way, much of her audience is rooting against her finding love. She’s blistering in her wit and relentlessly candid, you get to share in her disasters without enduring them yourself, and her fans don’t want to see the whole premise ruined by a lasting relationship. Who wants to read a blog about staying in and watching movies?
But in the course of the 50-some dates she’s been on in about a year, she’s comfortable making some generalizations about how dating works here in D.C. In summary: Men here tend to be power-hungry, self-important, and lacking in chivalry. Women here tend to be desperate and clingy.
“Anywhere I go, it is beautiful women and like four dudes,” she said. “Because of that, we’re more grateful for men’s attention than we should be. Just because a guy is talking to you does not mean you should be talking back to him.”
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