LA Affairs: Covid-19 Dating Lessons from a Pandemic
I went to another bar on Saturday night looking for a room and asked the same question. Are you meeting someone tonight?
Going out and trying to meet “The One” has almost become a chore. My friend and I spent hours getting ready, but when the cute guy across the room couldn’t inspire the courage to talk to each other (or maybe a lot of ego to strike up a conversation ) When this passed) I faced disappointment and frustration. And the man who got the phone number didn’t become a caller until a few weeks before the ghost appeared. He was exhausted, to say the least.
But then the world changed. I was in law school when the pandemic entered California and took over Los Angeles. I didn’t expect to take the distance bar exam a few months after completing my last semester online at Zoom University.
Even more shocking was the way my personal life changed overnight. My social calendar full of birthdays, weddings, networking events and more is gone. And it hit me: where and how I was supposed to meet someone now??
I didn’t like online dating. I have met people on the app over the years and have even formed relationships in some games, but I preferred to meet someone in person. In the app, conversation content was missing and swiping left and right became a aimless and meaningless game. Despite my beliefs, the optimists in me continued to slip away. Because, well, what did I have to lose?
When the LA dating scene reached a dramatic and unprecedented stop, I was full of updated photos and prompts, hoping that new standards would attract a new crowd of suitors to my queue. I returned to the app with the equipment. Within days, the conversation over drinks between the Huntley Hotel and Harlow took a back seat to “Hey” and the superficial “What’s your Instagram?” Chatting with locals and tourists in the hinges and in the bungalows has been replaced by waiting for a match to meet me in the bumble.
If dating apps were supposed to simplify the process, why did I find them so frustrating and difficult?
Indignant at the conversation that had died before it started, I drove through the empty streets of my town and recalled memories of bars and restaurants around town that felt like another life. When I passed EP & LP I congratulated myself with my smile and thought of a lovely guy who entertained me with his jokes for over an hour – he asked for my number. There were none. As I walked around Sunset Boulevard and passed Den and Skybar, I remembered a conversation with other Bruins and other students taking a break from their studies and enjoying the night. Passage in front of Bakari and Tokamadera on the 3rd I remember eating inside with my girlfriend and asking what I ordered at the cute guys table next door. It’s a tactic that has never failed when you needed an excuse to throw a combo.
The memory eventually led to the revelation.
My aimless walk in the city gave me direction through the period of my life when each day dragged into the next and time was meaningless.
It might sound cliché to say you don’t know what you have until he’s gone, but I don’t think there is a better phrase.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, I was fortunate enough to attend undergraduate school and law school in this diverse and exciting city with a vibrant nightlife scene. We had the opportunity to explore hot spots and hidden gems all over the city including Hollywood, Pasadena, Echo Park, and Beverly Hills, and meet some great people at the countless bars and restaurants in these areas. What made these experiences so enjoyable and memorable was the power of personal connection, which I took for granted.
In retrospect, these encounters were opportunities, not chores. This is your chance to meet “The One” (and some interesting people along the way).
So as life begins to come back as a normal event and virtual events again replace face to face meetings, I take a new perspective on dating and meeting new people. It is a prospect that I would not have had without this pandemic. Occurred.
The next time you’re in line in a blue bottle, ask the lovely guy next door what you daringly recommend. Tell the man who pays at the cashier next to Zara that he likes the jacket he chose. Hi, I would like to introduce myself to a man who is exercising in the Equinox bedroom.
Once again in LA’s original face-to-face dating scene, it’s not just about waiting for the city and dating apps on Saturday night. Accidental encounters transcend the borders of bars and restaurants. These possibilities are everywhere and I will accept them completely.
Because that’s the way to meet someone with me.
The author is a lawyer and writer from West Los Angeles.
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