Single in the City v Dating in the City

It is no secret that I love this town. It is young (or young at heart at least),  fun, vibrant, laid back, and there is always something to do. I know you can say that about a lot of cities, but there is something different about Austin, and most Austinites would agree.

We boast list upon list of best places to live, work, retire, have pets, raise a family etc. etc and one thing I keep hearing is that we are one of the best cities to be single in. After the past few months I told my friend that I would have to disagree. I was just saying to her the other day that I didn’t feel like anyone really “dated” any more these days and that I heard Austin was supposed to be a great place to be single in. She brought it to my attention that it IS a great place to be single in, it didn’t say anything about “Best City to Meet People,” or “Best City for Dating” and so yes, Austin is a great place to be Single in, but the question is do I…or anyone want to be single…FOREVER?

PROBLEM #1: NO ONE IS EVER GOOD ENOUGH…

In a town where there are tons of good looking people, always things to do with your friends, a very hoppin’ night life for young professionals and on top of that–a very well educated city at that…no one wants to settle. I have expectations. I think everyone should. There are times when I have gone out on a date or two with someone that doesn’t necessarily meet all the requirements on the list, but I felt the need to give them a fair shot. Big mistake. I know I am not the only one that has regretted giving up a Friday night for a lame-o date. And so the search continues…

The willingness to take time out from meeting new people and a fun night with the girls, to a few hours spent with someone new (which could be the most awkward few hours of your life) becomes less appealing.

PROBLEM #2: CHIVALRY JUST MAY BE DEAD

Guys who open doors, say nice things, offer to pay or heaven for bid go out of their way to do something nice is few and far between these days (or is it just me?). (Sigh). It is kind of sad when you think about it. I know it isn’t 1955, but don’t guys want to impress girls and make them feel good and show them how awesome they are? Have they not read that book about “The Game” or seen a Rom Com once or twice? Women like and appreciate the little things, and if you have ever seen Chris Rock’s stand up, we also love compliments! Maybe it is us ladies to blame, when we put up with certain things we are then lowering the standard, instead of demanding more…or at least what we deserve. We don’t have to go to a fancy dinner, we can go grab a bite at the trailer park eatery, play some putt-putt at Peter Pan, even walk Lady Bird Lake with our dogs for all I care! I am pretty laid back, and so are a lot of chicks here in Austin, can you please just make a plan and follow through with it…nicely? One time a guy told me that he wasn’t going to “spend a lot of money on someone he wasn’t sure about” Who said anything about spending a lot of money?! You don’t have to impress a girl by buying her Eddie V’s one night. And by making a plan I don’t mean get my number and text me or add me as your friend on facebook. I don’t even care if you do the three day rule or three hour rule, if you want to see me or hang out with me, let me know. Which leads me to my next “problem in the dating world”…

PROBLEM #3: TEXT MESSAGES

Ok, I admit it. I text a lot. I multi-task, I keep in touch with most my friends this way and my voice mail even states, “…or you can text message me for a quicker response…” But if there’s any lesson I have learned regarding dating, it’s not to resort to text messaging. It becomes to easy of a form of communication….or miscommunication. Do you know how bad my typos are on the iPhone for texting?! There’s a reason there’s a website for such disaster, and I cannot believe I don’t have more entries on there. Secondly, you can never judge someone’s tone and thirdly it is a cop out! Guys, if you got a girl’s number: call her. If you do text her it should only be to say: Hey it’s _ from the other night, now you have my number can I call you this evening? Then you follow through–and call her that evening, because believe it or not if she gave you her (correct) number, chances are she is maybe (yeah, just maybe) excited about hearing from you…and your voice. THEN when you talk you make a plan. And if something comes up (and it shouldn’t, it really shouldn’t) you don’t send a text stating you have been really busy with work or whatever your sorry excuse is, you CALL the girl and explain. In addition to calling them to set up a date, if the date is a few days away, on the day of or day before the date–let them know you are still on or you may even go out of your way to be chivalrous and say, “I look forward to seeing you tonight,” I would let a text message be acceptable in this case. Can you tell this is something I have experienced and learned from?! ha.

PROBLEM #4: GEN Y GEN X

Perhaps some of today’s dating woes and frustration lies in not only cultural differences, but the social and economic changes of today. When I lived in New York City dating was more…”acceptable”, is maybe the word I am looking for. Not to dog on Southern men, because I am from Texas, but there was something kind of refreshing about the forwardness of men in the Northeast (not all of them, but more so than men I have met here in Texas). They’d buy you a drink, and get your number and call to hang out, simple as that. No games, no silly texting, and often times it wouldn’t be that dumb “three day rule,” but “well, you’re kind of fun, are you free tomorrow night, want to catch a movie?” And again, when you live in a city like NY the options are endless, so it brings us back to Problem #1…no one wants to settle because they feel like they can always find someone better! When I lived in Kansas City, MO, on the other hand. I felt like everyone around me (and I worked at a fairly young company) was engaged or married. The single scene was quite pathetic. It was hard for me to find other similar singles to hang with and meet others. I can see why so many people meet online after living in Kansas City, which is funny because when I was doing some reading on Austin being the best city for dating, I came across THE WORST CITIES FOR DATING, what do you know KCMO was on the list! So besides every city being different due to its make up of people or origin, the way our parents dated back in the day is probably not along the same story of what you will be telling  your children of how you met your spouse. “Yes, daddy winked at mommy online, and from the first email I knew he was a keeper!”

PROBLEM #5: ME!?

Maybe it is me? I don’t like the games. I hate following these stupid rules of “not calling back” for a while or being available but not TOO available. And why can’t I suggest we do something? I know I mentioned being somewhat traditional above, “the guy should call, the guy should plan the date, etc” but what if I am free and feel like hanging with the guy, is it wrong for me to suggest we do something?  I have learned: yes, yes it is. Somehow engrained it our genetic code is the need for guys to be able to chase. Don’t get me wrong, being single is fun. I enjoy it. I often wonder if I would have time to really “date”–whatever that is, anyway, but some times I just want someone to hang out with… not a girlfriend, not my dog, Jack, someone different, intriguing, someone fun, someone easy to talk to, nice…and all that other good stuff.

IN CLOSING

Don’t really know what to say to end this rant on being single in Austin. I have mixed feelings. Single life is fun, lots to do, always new people to meet,  no one to answer to or worry about, just go with the flow and take time to get everything selfish out of the way now. Single Life in Austin= Good. Dating Life in Austin= Not so good, but do I blame the city or the way dating is in 2011? When it comes to dating I wish for a little more honesty and straightforwardness…I know I always try to be upfront about my feelings, and have to admit it is lame when people fall of the face of the planet Don’t just not answer me–be honest, or at least make up something not lame! Often times there’s nothing there-that spark, or butterflies, so can’t we just be friends? Oh another thing I learned regarding straight men who don’t work out to date: not really, no you cannot just be friends with a guy, they won’t have it. Ha.

And that is all I have for now, be happy being single!…or dating…or whatever you like to best spend your time doing (and with whomever)…

My First Date “to do” Suggestions:
Peter Pan Golf
Highball for bowling, karaoke with friends or a sing-a-long
Stroll Lady Bird Lake
If you both have dogs: Dog Park date
Walk S. Congress and have a little Amy’s Ice cream
Stand Up Paddle boarding or Kayaking on the Lake
Free Tango Lesson at Caffe Medici
Salsa at Enzo
Live music..just about anywhere
Austin Duck Adventures
Tour the UT Tower or Capital
Pottery Making/Painting with a Twist
Whole Foods Cooking Class
Picnic at Sunset at Mt. Bonnell (ok this romantic act could scare her off)
Austin Rock Gym
Coffee and People watching at Jo’s on S.Congress or 2nd Street
Esther’s Follies after (dinner/drinks…so you get your conversation in, then laugh together)
**Key to a good first date in my opinion is getting to know one another a little out of your element, but still doing something you both enjoy. Movies and quiet low-lit places come a little later in my opinion…

Would love to hear your feedback on great date places in Austin!
Above is a photo I took of the Austin skyline at Sunset on the Lamar People’s Bridge, touched up the colors some in Photoshop. Another fun thing you can do on a date: Sit and talk as the sun goes down and people watch from the bridge.