L.A. Affairs is our weekly column about the current dating scene in and around Los Angeles -- and finding romance in a wired world. If you've got a story to tell, we want to hear it. We pay $300 per published column. Past columns and submission guidelines are at latimes.com/laaffairs
There is no more "quintessential place" to meet a prospective date in Los Angeles than on a film set, and that is where I encountered Ben.
I'm a production manager, and I was working on a made-for-TV movie that was shooting in a Simi Valley mansion. It was a beautiful property, and the location basically screamed, "Romance happens here!" We were shooting for two weeks, so there was plenty of time to get acquainted with the crew.
Ben was in the camera department, so he was the "artistic type," always trying to work an angle (for both filmic and romantic purposes apparently). He was very respectful on set—professional-- and good at his job, which made him all the more attractive. (It is, unfortunately common, for women on set to be catcalled or hunted down by every man in the near vicinity because entertainment is such a male dominated profession. Picture being the only woman on a deserted island with a bunch of guys, add cameras, and there you have it.)
When you work together for 12 hours a day, you become pretty close. We chatted and casually flirted throughout the production, but no moves were made. Meanwhile, two other guys in the camera department had slept with the same actress in the same week, just to give you an idea of what I was working with here.
On the last day of shooting, Ben asked me if we could "chill sometime." (Side note: Gentlemen, can you use the word "date"? Is that word currently even part of your lexicon? If not, I highly suggest you add it because that word is a powerful wooing tool. Even if your only goal is to get a woman into bed, asking her to "chill" or "hang" is not the most obvious way to achieve that goal. )
Even though I was put off by his vocabulary, I agreed.
A day passed, and Ben hit me up via text, asking if I wanted to grab some food and watch a movie at his place. At 10:30 p.m. (Another side note: Women dislike being booty-called late at night almost as much as we dislike being an afterthought.)
I declined and reminded him that 11 p.m. is not a suitable time for a first date (yes, I used the word "date"). He told me he was sorry for giving me the wrong impression. He valued my friendship, he said, and assured me he wasn't "just in it for sex." We made future, albeit vague, plans to hang out. He asked me to come over a few more times that week, but going to "watch a movie" with a grown man at his house as a first date is not what I was after.
At that point I decided I needed to do a little reconnaissance on Ben, so I did what any doubting female would: I requested that he be my friend on Facebook. He accepted almost instantly, and I began my creep-session. It took me about 10 seconds to scroll down his feed to see a post from a woman, written on the same day he booty-called me to his place. It went something like this:
Want to wish Ben a happy anniversary!!! He is the love of my life!!! We have been going out for three years and four months, and the time has flown by. We have done so much together, traveling together and dealing with long separations. And we are stronger than ever. I love you more every day. #missmysuperman
First of all, who proclaims their anniversary of three years, four months? That seemed strange to me. Second, my "shady" detectors were spot on because Mr. #superman was clearly taken and just trying to get some company while his long-distance girlfriend was away.
The story got better. After this discovery, I turned to two of my female co-workers to pump them for any tidbits of intelligence they might have accrued on set. Turns out they both had slept with Ben after the show had wrapped.
So, after the bout of "OMG, he's a player"-induced nausea passed, I laid in wait. The inevitable 10 p.m. text came in, inviting me to his new home. I immediately asked him what his girlfriend of three years and four months would have to say about him asking another woman over late at night to watch a movie.
His response? "That's between me and her."
So who's the bigger idiot? The woman who doesn't see what a player she's dating? Or the player who accepted my friend request without doing some serious profile editing first? You be the judge.
Bozek is a production manager who lives in Los Angeles.