Dating in D.C.: Let's share some wisdom
It would have made for a great story had Tyler Wean and Kristi Zecker, both originally from Pittsburgh, met eyes at a bar while waving their Terrible Towels. Maybe they’d have high-fived after a Steelers touchdown, then they’d sit down for a few more Iron City beers after the game.
But to their knowledge, they never ended up at the same bar for the same game. There were no common friends to introduce them. If she hadn’t mentioned the Steelers in her Match profile, they likely never would have met. Two-and-a-half years later, they were engaged.
You’re welcome to call it fate if you’d like, but luck would work, too. As our readers have shared in their stories of how they met each other, most every relationship begins with a seemingly random strike of serendipity. And in the course of our month of reporting about the dating scene in D.C., a few trends have emerged. Be sure to invite TBD to your wedding when this fixes your love life.
It’s a numbers game. If you think it’s a matter of luck, the people who extend the most invitations to serendipity have increased their chances of luck striking them. Wean and Zecker signing up for Match opened a window that would have remained closed, and it turned out to be the right one. Fifty lottery tickets is better than one lottery ticket.
With that in mind, the Date Me, D.C. blogger went on about 50 dates in the past year. 1 in Five strives to go on one date per week. People drawn to speed dating figure there have to be one or two non-losers in that group of 15 to 35 people you’re meeting for three or four minutes.
But the folks who really have this figured out are professional pickup artists. What separates them from the rest of us isn’t an innate smoothness or sexual allure; it’s an unflinching tolerance for rejection. They’ll approach dozens, maybe even hundreds, of women in a night. Many men would find most of those rejections humiliating, but to them it’s just part of the process. One phone number can easily wipe away 100 rejections from your mind.
To some, the idea of going on that many dates, or approaching that many people in a bar, sounds like pure hell. Fair enough, but it’s hard to argue it makes for a pretty good strategy.
No one plays by the same rules. The Date Me, D.C. blogger is adamant that men should pay on a first date, but obviously a lot of men disagree or she wouldn’t have to keep reminding them. While she watches other women waiting to be chased, the blogger behind A Single Girl Doing Single Things made the first move and it got her the date she wanted. Go ahead and poll all of your single friends on whether they prefer calling, texting, e-mailing, Facebooking or Gchatting between dates. Few of them will totally agree.
If no one can agree upon the rules, it makes you wonder why any of us bother keeping our own set of rules. If I think an X is worth eight points in Scrabble, and you think it’s worth 40 points, we’re not going to have a very good game. So stress all you want about how many dates to wait before sending that Facebook friend request; chances are the other person doesn’t care about the issue as much as you do.
Confidence wins. It’s the primary message of the pickup artists. They teach their students that it’s less about saying the right thing and more about being comfortable with how great you already are, and having the ability to present that. A lot of readers found other faults in their work, but that’s a sentiment everyone can get behind.
There are a lot of people who are trying to help. Between the dating sites (Match, OkCupid, eHarmony and JDate among the most popular), the singles events (Professionals in the City, DC Matchmaking and It's Just Lunch among them), and the blogs (including 50 First (J)Dates, City Girl, Dating D.C., Date the District, Dating in Ballston, The Marathon’s Mistress and Black Belt Bachelor), there are a lot of people out there who are concerned with your love life.
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