I feel like I’ve been dating since the dawn of time.
I’ve had countless setups, am active on the apps and even had a stranger in the steam room try to introduce me to his daughter (yes this happened).
So when I met someone in real life, or IRL as the millennials call it, I was shocked.
It was a Saturday night and my friends and I decided to shake things up from our normal dinner routine and head to a block party on South Beverly Drive.
After the event, we migrated north to Cañon Drive to a new restaurant called Citizen to enjoy extended happy hour.
We sat at one of the bar tables, enjoying one too many libations and good conversation until fate intervened.
“Are you using this chair?” the blond asked, as she approached our table. I replied, “Where are you taking it?”
“To the bar. Why?” she quipped back.
“No, no, you don’t want to sit at the bar. You should grab your friends and come hang with us,” I suggested.
She pondered my request for a moment. “OK, that works.”
K. had just moved to Los Angeles from Chicago. She’d been staying with friends for a few weeks but was moving into a new apartment in the heart of Beverly Hills. She worked in digital advertising with aspirations of being a writer on the side. She also happened to be Jewish.
The parallels were frightening. I work in digital advertising, am an aspiring writer on the side and am also Jewish. These coincidences might seem like nothing in your early 20s, but when you’re on the later side of your 30s, every bit of overlap makes a difference.
The next week, we went out to dinner at one of my favorite haunts in West Hollywood — Petty Cash Taqueria. After six margaritas, some tacos and countless chips, salsa and guacamole, wrapped up into 4½ hours of conversation, we shut the place down.
I made a point of not making a move and had even gone into the date thinking nothing would happen. We waited at the corner for our Ubers and embraced goodbye but began kissing. Going off script is so much better.
We made a plan for the following Saturday and continued to text almost every day with funny anecdotes from the week or clever captions of celebrities.
That Saturday, I picked her up and headed to Santa Monica to Blue Plate Oysterette for seafood.
We walked along the beach holding hands, kissing under the moonlight.
I took her home and she invited me in for a nightcap. This date was that much better than the previous one.
We kissed goodnight an hour later, and I headed home with a smile on my face.
I texted her the next day, “Great time last night... Let me know if you need any help getting situated with your move.”
Almost five hours later, I get a response with a simple, “Thanks, you as well.”
That good feeling evaporated quickly.
The next night, I sent her a funny text about a celebrity, hoping to lighten the mood.
She responded the following day with, “Haha, yeah I saw that.”
She was just obliging me at that point.
I sucked it up though and left her a voice mail two days later.
No call back, and there I was, wondering where it went south. I’d been officially “ghosted.” I’ve been known to do it to others but was surprised as to why it happened since I had a good feeling from both of our dates.
I worked out with my trainer the following week (yes, this is L.A. and I have a trainer) and told him the story. He encouraged me to try one more time (against my better judgment) to see if I could get some feedback.
I swallowed my pride and sent her another funny text. People usually say that you need to shake things up if it’s not working. Well, I tried again and failed. No response.
After a brief period of hibernation, I emerged one month later, at a private event at the new supper club called Delilah in West Hollywood.
I walked through the crowd making my way toward the bar. Fate intervened again.
K. was directly across the bar about 15 feet from me.
We waved an obligatory hello and went about our paths of navigating the scene to see if anyone was worth talking to.
My second dirty martini set off an alarm, however, that changed the course of my night. I found K. standing with her girlfriends near the bar.
“Hi, how are you?” I asked.
“Things are good. I’ve been insanely busy getting my place organized and looking for a more permanent work situation,” she said.
We exchanged menial small talk until I decided to shake things up further.
“So, we’re adults. What happened?” I asked. She was caught off guard but proceeded to tell me it wasn’t a great time for her with her move and lack of steady employment. She said she meant to call me but felt bad since so much time had passed.
I told her that I understood, and pulled a Hail Mary, asking if she wanted to give it another shot. She smiled and said she would. I hugged her goodbye and went off to enjoy my night.
A few nights later, I took that third swing and gave her a call. Her voice mail picked up. I told her it was great to see her and asked her to give me a call.
Three days later, the inevitable set in — I’d been “ghosted” yet again.
L.A. Affairs chronicles the current dating scene in and around Los Angeles. If you have comments, or a true story to tell, email us at LAAffairs@latimes.com.
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