L.A. Affairs

L.A. Affairs

Happy to be the step-boyfriend

4:00 PM PDT, April 18, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

Happy to be the step-boyfriend

I never really bought the "stay together for the kids" theory.

Waking from daydreams of blogger guy

4:00 PM PDT, April 11, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

Waking from daydreams of blogger guy

I hate meeting guys on the Internet. It's weird. It's creepy. It's not safe.

The surprising places improv comedy's 'Yes, and...' can lead

4:05 PM PDT, April 4, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

The surprising places improv comedy's 'Yes, and...' can lead

I'd been living in Los Angeles a short time when I found myself in an improv comedy class in Hollywood. A friend who was also an actress had encouraged, well, nagged me to enroll in what is now iO West, the West Coast offshoot of Chicago's ImprovOlympic. I was intimidated, but I also was lonely and looking for a challenge, so I went. That choice, to face my fears and connect with others, forever changed my life.

Searching for Mr. Darcy

4:00 PM PDT, March 28, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

Searching for Mr. Darcy

Approaching self-declared spinsterhood, I blamed Jane Austen. Having read all her novels and watched achingly gorgeous film adaptations thereof, I would consider only men who epitomized one of those gallant and stouthearted Regency-era heroes (barring the breeches and riding jackets because, well, I had to be realistic).

A love that gives her paws

3:00 PM PDT, March 21, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

A love that gives her paws

Could a cat lover from Pasadena and a dog lover from Mar Vista ever find long-lasting love? I was about to investigate this not-so-proverbial question as I zeroed in on my soon-to-be new love on my computer screen.

The greatest game he ever played

4:30 PM PDT, March 14, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

The greatest game he ever played

I went to UC Santa Barbara on a baseball scholarship after transferring from Cerritos College. I was a speech major and had a radio show on college station KCSB called "Sleep's Sports Shorts." I wanted to play pro ball or replace Vin Scully when he retired. (Take all the time you need, Vinny.)

After years of no luck, holding on for dear love

4:00 PM PST, March 7, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

After years of no luck, holding on for dear love

I will meet more single women this week than most men will in their entire lives. The women will touch me, hug me, laugh at my jokes — and then walk out to their husbands, boyfriends or Chihuahuas and hike Runyon Canyon.

Their chemistry sparked again almost 25 years later

4:00 PM PST, February 28, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

Their chemistry sparked again almost 25 years later

I had been dating a man casually for four months but hadn't heard from him in three weeks. He was nice and a perfect nonthreatening entry into the dating world, as I had been separated for 2 1/2 years and was just starting to think about dating. But I woke up a few days before New Year's Eve and decided this would be the last one I spent alone.

The man who toyed with his affections

4:00 PM PST, February 21, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

The man who toyed with his affections

When I met my husband, Brandon, online, we covered most of the essentials over email.

Facing breast cancer with love and hope

10:30 AM PST, February 14, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

Facing breast cancer with love and hope

I have to make sure when I get hold of happiness to seize the moment and soar to heights with it. I am grateful that I can still be joyful at times with simple and new things that were not significant to me before.

 Fraught relationships point the way to the real thing

4:00 PM PST, February 7, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

Fraught relationships point the way to the real thing

As I listen to my husband read "Hop on Pop" to our 22-month-old daughter, I still find it hard to believe I met this man through Craigslist.

Their love became a textbook movie romance

4:00 PM PST, January 31, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

Their love became a textbook movie romance

It had been only two years since I'd graduated film school, and I was beginning to get quite serious about a girl who was at UC Davis studying life sciences. Robin had a bright, empirical mind, balanced by a kind, adventurous personality, and I was in love with her. She was my perfect diamond — except for one, tiny occlusion.

A boundless love contained in a single ZIP Code

4:00 PM PST, January 24, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

A boundless love contained in a single ZIP Code

Our entire relationship history can be summed up within a 10-mile radius.

After a divorce, writer misses his dog

4:00 PM PST, January 17, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

After a divorce, writer misses his dog

This afternoon, I did something shameful. Something I shouldn't even admit to. I put on my windbreaker, loaded the pockets with Milk Bones and then drove to the Joslyn Park dog park off Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica.

Love across the International Date Line

4:00 PM PST, January 10, 2014

L.A. AFFAIRS

Love across the International Date Line

My boyfriend, Jason, and I have been in a long-distance relationship for the last several months. He lives on another continent, in Australia, technically in the future. My today is his yesterday, and his today is my tomorrow, making it hard to live in the present moment together.

The most delicious love of all

3:00 PM PST, January 3, 2014

L.A. Affairs

The most delicious love of all

Am I the only person in the world who has felt a passionate rush from a perfect mouthful of food? I didn't think so. Because for me, and maybe you, the line between food and sex is blurred beyond recognition.

In a downtown high-rise, a romance that couldn't be copied

3:00 PM PST, December 27, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

In a downtown high-rise, a romance that couldn't be copied

In each of our lives, there will be at least one day when a door opens and sunlight comes pouring in. I had such a day the first time I saw her. She was copying pages at one of two copy machines in our building, and my attraction was immediate. She was petite with long brown hair and matching eyes, but what I found most appealing was her captivating smile. I remember thinking, "That is a smile I would never grow tired of seeing."

In life, as in dancing, timing is everything

4:00 PM PST, December 20, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

In life, as in dancing, timing is everything

I attended my husband's first wedding fresh off a tumultuous breakup. It was my first big outing after a two-month grieving period. I was battle-worn and still reeling from heartache, but since he was such a dear friend, I decided it would be good to stretch my bruised socializing muscles.

 Her new life, lifted from lyrics

3:00 PM PST, December 13, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Her new life, lifted from lyrics

Like a great lot of self-professed Angelenos, I'm a transplant. I was living in Northern California until the bursting bubble of the first dot-com boom, but my husband had grown up here. There was nothing left for us after the Internet dust had settled, so we found ourselves heading south. It wasn't a move I was overly enthused about, yet somewhere along the line, the city and its sprawl seduced me into an enduring affair I never expected.

No longer locking away his Barbie collection

3:00 PM PST, December 6, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

No longer locking away his Barbie collection

I'm a Barbie collector.

So, why did she elope?

12:25 PM PST, November 29, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

So, why did she elope?

My husband and I were out with friends at El Carmen on 3rd Street recently. As we sat at the table drinking jalapeño margaritas, the couple we were with asked us the question everybody asks.

When gender reassignment changes the happy ending

4:00 PM PST, November 22, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

When gender reassignment changes the happy ending

"This might be a crazy question, today of all days," read the text that arrived one Monday in July. "But do you have any interest in going to see 'Despicable Me 2' at the Marina Pacifica this evening?"

He says she should look elsewhere, she says something surprising

3:00 PM PST, November 15, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

He says she should look elsewhere, she says something surprising

I was done.

New single woman looks for a real-world connection

4:00 PM PST, November 8, 2013

L.A. Affairs

New single woman looks for a real-world connection

"Nonfat, no-foam latte!" the barista called out to a crowd awaiting its caffeine fix.

After years of rehearsals, she found her movie's star

November 2, 2013

After years of rehearsals, she found her movie's star

After 11 years of married life in Paris, my French husband and I divorced. I packed up our two kids and returned to my native California, to Los Angeles — a place I considered not so much a city as a motorized less-than. No cafe-lined grands boulevards where the chic could stroll and discuss philosophy, just plenty of strip malls filled with doughnut shops and nail salons where regulars carped about traffic and cellphone service.

L.A. Affairs: A 'yes' she didn't mean

5:09 PM PDT, October 25, 2013

L.A. Affairs: A 'yes' she didn't mean

Two months had passed after my diagnosis last year, and I was in a panicked frenzy to escape the everyday with all its responsibilities and decisions and duties and connections and disconnections. I needed the freedom to just be.

The hazards of Halloween parties

4:00 PM PDT, October 18, 2013

L.A. Affairs

The hazards of Halloween parties

I always hated zombies. But I liked Gordon.

Mr. Right goes wrong with 'The List'

4:00 PM PDT, October 11, 2013

L.A. Affairs

Mr. Right goes wrong with 'The List'

I don't remember his name. It was something simple, like Paul or Mike. I'll call him Pike. I'd moved from Virginia to Los Angeles for graduate school, where I assumed most male students would be ripped blond surfer boys. When I met Pike in the music library, he was about as un-surfer as you get — thin, dark-haired, wearing an oxford shirt, khakis and deck shoes. But he reminded me of the East Coast, of home. He asked me out and I said yes.

Alzheimer's bittersweet tangle of love, loss and timing

4:00 PM PDT, October 4, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Alzheimer's bittersweet tangle of love, loss and timing

My dad was still alive when my stepmother, Carla, called to tell me she was thinking of going on a date with another man. "Do you think it would be all right?" she asked. And then she burst into tears.

Relationships with Joni Mitchell

4:00 PM PDT, September 27, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Relationships with Joni Mitchell

I held Joni Mitchell responsible for my status as a perennially single woman. Maybe that was too much to pin on a singer-songwriter. But early on, Joni's music schooled me about what might be ahead on the romantic front. Ever since I heard her sing "Court and Spark," her musings about love and California have worked their way into my psyche and my life.

Love can be a loser's game

4:30 PM PDT, September 20, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Love can be a loser's game

The day after our first date, I received a letter grade. "A+," she texted.

Holding on through the 30-date rule

7:00 AM PDT, September 14, 2013

L.A. Affairs

Holding on through the 30-date rule

It was the beginning of our second date. We were in his car, stopped at a red light, when he turned to me and said: "So here's the deal. I want to have a real relationship. I'm in this to see if we can make a life together. I don't want to mess around anymore. I want to get married and have kids. So either you're in or you're out."

When love was served cold

5:20 PM PDT, September 6, 2013

L.A. Affairs

When love was served cold

I am running errands on a rare free afternoon when I drive past the restaurant Little Door on 3rd Street and surprise myself by having an anxiety attack, pronounced enough that I have to pull over. I can't get a good breath. My hands are so sweaty they slip on the steering wheel.

A magic trick isn't a real relationship

5:00 PM PDT, August 30, 2013

L.A. Affairs

A magic trick isn't a real relationship

"I've waited this long for Mr. Right," my 38-year-old sister said as she leaned toward me over her albacore protein roll, the sushi restaurant buzzing with sake-soaked conversation. "I'm not going to settle for anything less than magic."

Food lover finds a mate who's just to her taste

4:30 PM PDT, August 23, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Food lover finds a mate who's just to her taste

He loves to cook, the way some people love to pray, or dance, or sing.

Soldier returns, but Afghanistan stays between them

3:30 PM PDT, August 16, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Soldier returns, but Afghanistan stays between them

I'm watching an unfamiliar man pace my room, sweat dripping from his scarred neck. He tells me I'm in danger. I'd been in a minor car accident, and he believes I may have suffered permanent injury.

When two writers make a wrong

5:00 PM PDT, August 9, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

When two writers make a wrong

We sit in the bar at the Palomar Hotel in Westwood. He keeps reaching for my hand. His fingers are smaller than mine. His touch doesn't exactly revile me, but it doesn't arouse me, either.

A rare type of bicoastal love

3:30 PM PDT, August 2, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

A rare type of bicoastal love

It was getting late, that point in the night at Sushi Roku when the bussers are discreetly cleaning around you and servers are stapling receipts to sales reports.

Together ... with children, 2 homes and dates

5:30 PM PDT, July 26, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Together ... with children, 2 homes and dates

She photographed me for the book jacket of a forthcoming novel. It was love through a lens. She had me at click.

School's over; lesson learned

July 20, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

School's over; lesson learned

I was driving south on the 405 Freeway to meet my former high school boyfriend at a hotel. I had met up with him a few months earlier at a class reunion. Gone was the Tom Selleck mustache that had been part of his macho look in high school, but he was still a catch.

Out of sexual confusion comes clarity and a clear path

6:10 PM PDT, July 12, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Out of sexual confusion comes clarity and a clear path

It was an interim period in my life, the time after a rotten breakup. I was in dating mode to prove that someone, anyone, might find me attractive and desirable. I was in my early 40s and having the kind of desperate fun you have when you can't distinguish the pain of being dumped from the pleasure of a new adventure.

Was geography really the biggest impediment between them?

July 6, 2013

LA AFFAIRS

Was geography really the biggest impediment between them?

Looking back, perhaps it was just timing. Or perhaps it was the peculiar ambience of the Saddle Ranch Chop House (mechanical bull, sticky floor and stale beer smell) that thwarted a connection. Normally I wouldn't have been caught dead in that place, but it was Christmas Eve, and I had agreed to meet my friend Rachel, her boyfriend and their friend Joe for drinks.

At the Huntington, young love blooms among the roses and wisteria

June 29, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

At the Huntington, young love blooms among the roses and wisteria

The Huntington Library is a lovely place to fall in love.

You have to love newspaper errors

June 22, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

You have to love newspaper errors

Had Facebook existed in 2001, my sons Jackson and Teegan would not exist.

Hopes that went flat as a pancake

June 15, 2013

L.A. Affairs

Hopes that went flat as a pancake

The first rule I hear after moving to L.A. is, "Don't date actors." I heed this warning (which was delivered by an actor) until a friend mentions a new guy in her boxing class.

From Strangers to You Really Got Me

June 8, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

From Strangers to You Really Got Me

I knew the relationship was over when she told me she'd never heard of the Kinks. I could overlook her mood swings, her occasional cruelty and even those all-too-frequent phone calls with her "ex"-girlfriend, but music ended up being the deal breaker.

40 years later and still stuck in neutral

June 1, 2013

40 years later and still stuck in neutral

"You're taller than I remembered."

After all <i>those</i> guys, at last, there's <i>this</i> guy

May 25, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

After all those guys, at last, there's this guy

After enduring exhausting, emotionally draining relationships back to back, I had decided enough was enough. I was 38 and had been doing the L.A. dating thing for eight years after a broken engagement. You name it, I had dated it.

But then a funny thing happened

May 18, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

But then a funny thing happened

I was on my way to a stand-up comedy gig in some Godforsaken place about three hours out of Los Angeles, and I asked the headliner, who was driving and rolling a joint simultaneously, if he knew anybody who might be able to tolerate me. He'd been married for more than 25 years, had a couple of great kids and his wife hadn't yet come to her senses. What could it hurt?

Newlywed's year of solo travel reinforces a bond

May 11, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Newlywed's year of solo travel reinforces a bond

Just four months into marriage, my husband and I were having trouble connecting.

After a lousy first date, a sweet grace period

April 27, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

After a lousy first date, a sweet grace period

First time on the market in 24 years. Good bones. Needs TLC.

He wasn't the marrying kind

7:00 AM PDT, April 20, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

He wasn't the marrying kind

From the well-lighted Argentine restaurant — my suggestion via Yelp — to the 70-degree night, all is well on this second date. As Dylan tactfully yanks shrimp from their shells, he tells me about his Japanese father, who strictly regulated all behavior in his mixed-race Kentucky home, from television viewing to bowel movements. How disturbing and interesting. Go on, I tell him with nods and eye contact.

A Westside story shifts to other parts of the city

April 13, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

A Westside story shifts to other parts of the city

As a kid I rarely found reason to venture beyond L.A.'s Westside. But as a new college graduate, I found my birthplace suddenly felt vast, unwieldy. I wasn't yet sure who I wanted to be or what I wanted to do, much less whom I wanted to do it with. The uncertainty seemed mirrored by my hometown's rambling, mismatched geography.

A real connection in a fabricated situation

April 6, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

A real connection in a fabricated situation

There is the real L.A. — smog, traffic, crime. Then there is the other L.A., pockets of life that have nothing to do with reality. Secluded pieces of the Hollywood Hills. Stretches of private beach. Gates and security codes.

A night to forget being a single mom and just dance

March 16, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

A night to forget being a single mom and just dance

I had to be one of the oldest patrons at the Wilshire restaurant in Santa Monica, completely out of my element, a woman in her 40s in a sea of twentysomethings. I had been divorced for two years and rarely went out, so when my friend asked me to go dancing, I accepted. I entered this adventure with no expectations other than to let loose on the dance floor.

Sliding off the balance sheet

March 9, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Sliding off the balance sheet

I've never been hung up on dating rich men. Sugar daddies don't cross my path too frequently. Sure, we all want to date gainfully employed men, but the size of a man's bank account (or lack thereof) doesn't automatically disqualify him.

A power play on the dance floor unsettles the score

March 2, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

A power play on the dance floor unsettles the score

Being swirled around the ballroom was different from how I approached life: in control. But there I was, being blindly guided to step, turn, twirl and dip to changing tempos.

A fly-by at the gym, then a long workout

February 23, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

A fly-by at the gym, then a long workout

Like so many romances in this town, ours started at the gym.

True love, just as she was about to spike it

February 16, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

True love, just as she was about to spike it

Crying my eyes out the morning after, I replayed over and over the events of the previous evening when Mr. Latest Flame had calmly stated that his fondness for me had flickered out.

A glutton for love and other delicious dishes

February 9, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

A glutton for love and other delicious dishes

I was 45 minutes late to our first date at Osteria Mozza when the Cute Gardener took one look at me over the rim of his glasses, pushed a menu toward me and asked if I would mind if we just ordered a bunch of plates to share. Flustered from my driving experience — it took me nearly two hours to get from Venice Beach to Melrose Avenue on the windiest night of the year — I sputtered: "Yes, you can have bites of all my stuff."

Love gives answers to life's trick questions

February 2, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Love gives answers to life's trick questions

Quick relationship quiz:

A short walk that crossed worlds

January 26, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

A short walk that crossed worlds

My daughter Peyton is nonverbal and severely challenged by autism. I once believed she'd never experience a meaningful romantic relationship. Then, at a monthly workshop in Los Angeles for people who communicate via keyboard, she met Gabriel, a young man who traveled from Ventura with his support team. Dressed in preppy khakis and a plaid sport shirt, he seemed to turn a few heads, including Peyton's.

Treasure beyond diamonds

January 19, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

Treasure beyond diamonds

An engagement ring is an expensive, seemingly indestructible version of those red tags taped to furniture that say: Sold. Move on, prospective buyer. This one's taken.

The can't-miss first date

January 12, 2013

L.A. AFFAIRS

The can't-miss first date

I pride myself on my instincts. I can tell my roommate is avoiding her chores by her walk. My predictions of early television cancellations are always on the money. My personal mantra is "I know," and when I'm sure, I'm sure.

Studying the percentages

January 5, 2013

Studying the percentages

I have now become the Ellis Island for bisexuals. I tried to avoid it, but they are drawn to me.

A wreck and sick bride were inauspicious beginnings

December 29, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

A wreck and sick bride were inauspicious beginnings

It started with a car crash.

A Christmas Eve night to remember

December 22, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

A Christmas Eve night to remember

It was our first Christmas together, and I was determined that it would be special.

A wave of heartbreak with Mr. Popular

December 15, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

A wave of heartbreak with Mr. Popular

It was a stormy fall day a year ago when I met my friend Dave for coffee. He in turn had invited another of his friends to join us. The two men had just returned from a European trek, London to Croatia.

Give her this day her daily date

December 8, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

Give her this day her daily date

After a breakup with a film and television editor, I decided that 2012 would be about being proactive and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I would attempt to go on 365 dates during a 12-month period — some of which would, I hoped, be amorous or affectionate. Others would be "documentary dates," in which I would get to know people's stories. I wanted to think about men for who they are, not what they are.

Love that's lasting, lucky and arranged

December 1, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

Love that's lasting, lucky and arranged

I married my wife after spending a total of one hour with her. The first time I kissed her was on our wedding night. Sound crazy? Here's what is crazier still. We will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary this month.

He hit the lottery &#8212; then really won big

November 24, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

He hit the lottery — then really won big

I was treading water at an ad agency in Toronto when I spied an unusual ad in the morning paper. It was an announcement from the U.S. government recruiting able-bodied Canadians to apply for a lottery to enter the U.S. legally with a resident alien, or green, card. I took the bait and signed up.

She was alone when he arrived with a cleaver

November 17, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

She was alone when he arrived with a cleaver

"If I were a horse, someone would shoot me out of compassion," I said to no one in particular. I was lying on the living room floor seeking relief from an aching back. Two months earlier, clear air turbulence had nearly ended my career as an L.A.-based flight attendant.

A moment of connection across pool lanes

November 10, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

A moment of connection across pool lanes

"The moment." In matters of love, it's that spontaneous, euphoric instant when two lives intersect.

Empathy for an ex's girlfriend

November 3, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

Empathy for an ex's girlfriend

Hello Homa. My name is Laura and I just wanted to ask if you are or have been with Carlos? He's my boyfriend and we've been dating two yrs. He wants another chance and I just want to know to have peace of mind. Thank you.

A high return on low expectations

October 27, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

A high return on low expectations

I was sitting at La Scala in Beverly Hills with my friend Karen and indulging in my chopped salad obsession. Once again, we were consumed with a question that dominates the conversation of many women.

Some disenchanted evening

October 20, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

Some disenchanted evening

I spotted him through the crowd on a busy Thursday evening at Finn McCool's Irish Pub in Santa Monica. He was tall and good-looking. Even better, he was accompanied by two friends, the perfect counterpoint for my own trio, which included my cousin and high school friend, all of us eager to socialize.

Suddenly, it's unfriendly territory

October 13, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

Suddenly, it's unfriendly territory

When you get dumped, not only do you lose the person you loved, you also lose the places where that love played out. Spots that once welcomed you become enemy territory — collateral damage that takes years to repair.

Her older, but not wiser, man

October 6, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

Her older, but not wiser, man

I was lying next to the Older Man in bed, our limbs barely touching in the nighttime heat. We'd come back to my place after a hillside party off Mulholland Drive, a raucous bash crowded with his music industry colleagues. Woozy from shots of Bacardi and too much time in the hot tub, I whispered a question that had been swirling in my head for weeks.

Silver linings when life turns on a dime

September 29, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

Silver linings when life turns on a dime

One morning, about six months after I'd given birth to what became the best parting gift ever, my husband rolled over, looked at me and said, "I don't really want to do this anymore." To my everlasting relief, before I could spew a tirade of "how dare yous," I heard myself sigh and say, "Me neither."

September 18, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

One man makes a stand for his pink T-shirt and blue mojito

It's startling to observe the changes you go through when you move to another country — changes in the way you interact with women and men. Even the way you dress.

When it doesn't pay to date

September 22, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

When it doesn't pay to date

We'd been set up by friends, and her stats were promising: mid-30s, attractive, athletic and smart. After the perfunctory call to ensure that we weren't blatantly incompatible, a date was arranged.

An unexpected relationship status update

September 15, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

An unexpected relationship status update

It's popular these days to have a love-hate relationship with Facebook … or maybe just a hate-hate. The IPO was underwhelming, and no one likes the new timeline or that annoying ticker that flows to the right of the screen. People worry about how their personal information is being stored and used. They even made fun of Mark Zuckerberg for being flummoxed by an ATM during his honeymoon.

The signs of a broken relationship were there from the start

September 8, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

The signs of a broken relationship were there from the start

From the moment we met, everything about our relationship was broken. I was bicycling at Gold's Gym in Hollywood, listening to Bob Dylan. I barely noticed the guy to my left. I'll call him Jay — tall, lumbering, utterly confused. He fiddled with the controls to his bike, trying not to look embarrassed.

How 'Survivor' helped make us a tribe again

September 1, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

How 'Survivor' helped make us a tribe again

The day my ex-husband earned a hall pass from rehab to see our children for dinner, I got in my car, drove to the Santa Monica bluffs and screamed and wailed and cried and pounded my fists on my dashboard. Then I went home and made Sloppy Joes and corn.

 The 'intruder' in his emotional fortress is really his best friend

August 25, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

The 'intruder' in his emotional fortress is really his best friend

"God," Julie said, "you're so cold. You don't care about anyone, or anything, except your animals."

He had the moves like Jagger, not to mention Hershey kisses

August 18, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

He had the moves like Jagger, not to mention Hershey kisses

When people ask us, "How did you meet?" we pause while we try to gauge just how much interest the person has in our story. If she's being polite, she'll get the short version: "We met through friends after college."

So close, so far, so close

August 11, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

So close, so far, so close

I was just months away from marrying my high school sweetheart and shipping off to the Peace Corps. I'd had a bright five-year plan that included teaching English in a faraway land. The idea of a new culture and new life filled me with the sense that all the pieces were falling into place.

Taking a turn into a commuter relationship

August 4, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

Taking a turn into a commuter relationship

We went for it anyway ... even though we were geographically undesirable. Love knows no bounds, right? So we flew in the face of reason and committed to a commuter relationship.

Why she dropped off the radar

July 28, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

Why she dropped off the radar

Looking for love is a journey. For the very young, that can be a quick trip, thanks to a huge pool of possibilities. For the rest of us, it's more like an expedition, with lots of baggage to lug around.

The advantages to getting engaged at 37

July 21, 2012

L.A. AFFAIRS

The advantages to getting engaged at 37

It happened on Friday the 13th, a day associated with bad luck and an exhausted horror-movie franchise.

In dating, women can be creepy too

July 14, 2012

In dating, women can be creepy too

The dating scene can be a jungle filled with suspense, pitfalls and strange species. Apprehensive women warn each other, "Watch out — there are so many creepy guys!" But while some men deserve that description, in my experience creepiness is not a gender-specific trait.

The merciful lie of 'I'll call you'

July 7, 2012

The merciful lie of 'I'll call you'

"I'll call you." Three little words uttered at the end of a date that no self-actualized girl wants to hear. For the inexperienced, "I'll call you" is filled with promise and possibility. Those of us more seasoned daters know "I'll call you" really means: I'm never going to call. Ever.

Step one: Get past the 5 kids

June 30, 2012

Step one: Get past the 5 kids

Dating is complicated when you have five children. What guy wouldn't be put off by a toddler at the front door asking, "You be our new dada?" But what can you do? You can't hide your kids in the basement.

How my boyfriend took me for a ride

June 23, 2012

How my boyfriend took me for a ride

I was publicly dumped after being with someone for years. My next mistake — let's call him the ex-con — was standing on the sidelines, waiting and watching the sordid drama play out. He was friends with my friends: trust fund babies, college acquaintances, assorted reprobates.

Kings, no Queens, one lassoed princess

June 16, 2012

Kings, no Queens, one lassoed princess

Jen and I met at Ohio University and started dating while she worked in Chicago and I worked in Washington. We came to Los Angeles in 2001 (her) and 2002 (me). Then, like all couples who move to Los Angeles, we broke up. After two years together, the "L.A. era" of our relationship lasted two months. We parted ways mutually, following an otherwise nice dinner at Bossa Nova on Sunset Boulevard. I drove past it for years thinking, "That place with the surprisingly affordable entrees is where we went the night it ended."

No kids, but yet also no sure answers

May 26, 2012

No kids, but yet also no sure answers

We're at Cirque du Soleil on the beach, amazed and giggling and holding hands. It's a children's wonderland. We're not children — my husband and I are in our 40s. But we're having the time of our lives, until we recognize a couple we know across the big top … also in their 40s, there with their small children and disapproving looks.

One journey he just couldn't take

11:30 AM PDT, May 19, 2012

One journey he just couldn't take

"Fine," he shrugged. "It's not eating at airports that I'm afraid of."

Some movie experiences have unexpected endings

May 12, 2012

Some movie experiences have unexpected endings

Attending a 75-week movie-screening series was a solo experience for a shy former punk rocker. But close proximity to another movie fan slowly built to a dramatic finish.

A glass of wine and a little distortion

May 5, 2012

A glass of wine and a little distortion

We met at the Santa Monica outpost of the Bodega wine bar. Though it was fairly dark inside, I recognized his face at the bar. I waved and walked toward him. As he stood up, his body did not match his face, or any of his online pictures. He was not the same guy surfing in the wetsuit, or wearing the tux, or looking all skinny with his bushy brown hair. He must have gained 50 pounds, maybe more. Beneath his beige button-down shirt I could see man boobs.

Body image can weigh heavy

April 28, 2012

Body image can weigh heavy

The first thing people often said when I told them that I, single and 30, was moving to Los Angeles: "Aren't you worried about dating? They're even worse out there than they are here."

Refilling the uncluttered heart

April 21, 2012

Refilling the uncluttered heart

Early in the summer of 2009, I was finally done. For real, this time. He didn't know it yet, but I did. And that was enough.

A net loss for a Net dating bumbler

April 14, 2012

A net loss for a Net dating bumbler

I've always been auditory, and I'm here to tell you that the online dating site — the 21st century's "cute meet" — only goes so far. You have to call them first. (And, before that, they have to give you their number.) Nothing's easy.

Beyond a love for Africa, he shared little

April 7, 2012

Beyond a love for Africa, he shared little

I walked into the crowded bar looking for an African man who led a nonprofit promoting social entrepreneurship among people of African descent. That was all I knew about him.

Online dating with White Swan, Black Swan

March 31, 2012

Online dating with White Swan, Black Swan

Several months ago, at the height of my disillusionment with online dating, I created a "Black Swan"profile for a dating site (My "White Swan" profile was up and running on the same site).

Connections, and then confusion

March 24, 2012

Connections, and then confusion

I met him at a Persian New Year celebration in Irvine four years ago. His goatee lay perfectly around his lips, as if it had been painted by an artist. His eyes were kind. There was a story behind them I wanted to know.But I could glance at him only when he wasn't looking. I felt shy — unusual for me, but the feeling persisted even as time went by.

Fiction with a friend-not-boyfriend pales next to reality at home

March 17, 2012

Fiction with a friend-not-boyfriend pales next to reality at home

There's an intimacy that passes when someone drives you from the Eastside to LAX during rush hour. The act of generosity, the panic of traffic and the fact that any wrong turn can lead to a missed flight is almost romantic.

Love lost and found in Los Angeles

March 10, 2012

Love lost and found in Los Angeles

It was on a smoking patio in Echo Park that an older woman named Annie shattered my illusions about finding a suitable boyfriend in my 30s.

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