Single in Atlanta revisited

I’ve just finished reading the cover article to this week’s Creative Loafing – called “Single in Atlanta: Debunking Atlanta’s dating myths”. I’m wholly unimpressed. I’m not entirely sure what myths it supposedly debunked or what, really, the whole point of the article was, but it did not provide an honest look into the complexity of dating in Atlanta. Let’s look at what Ms. Abkowitz did for each of her “dates.”

#1 Barhopping – Okay, yes, singles hang out at bars. And yes, meeting people at bars is tough. Fill in those comments with a couple of “man, I feel sorry for guys because they have to hit on girls and it’s hard” comments and you’ve got the entire gist of this date.

#2 Answer personal ad – Bowling and a “good night smooch” with a warning not to “pre-judge” personal ads. The thing is, it sounds like she actually might like this guy, but there is no follow up. Is one meeting supposed to be enough to find someone special?

#3 Post personal – Okay, online dating is an interesting phenomenon. I have friends that have met in this method and are dating happily (I’ve also heard plenty of horror stories). I’m just not sure it’s a staple of Atlanta dating that needs to be covered in an article about finding a date in Atlanta. I’m really also not sure that sex-site is where the “eligible bachelor who will like [her] for something more than [her] perky ass” is to be located. In fact, it’s probably the place to meet some one who will like her for her perky ass.

#4 The Bitter Ball & #5 Lock-and-Key Party – What a shocker! She goes to two anti V-Day single’s events and finds plenty of desperate single people looking only to hook-up. You mean, the best bachelors and bachelorettes don’t go to meat-markets looking solely to hook-up with people ?! I’m shocked. Absolutely shocked.

#6 Jewish Singles Wine Tasting – To be honest, I think that these types of events show more potential than the AtlantaIllustrated or WNDC single-fests. Our author doesn’t give us a chance though, it seems, as every conversation she has she determines is bland an uninteresting. What’s the old saying about only boring people getting bored?

#7 In which she pretends to be a lesbian – Surprise! It didn’t work. What a shock. You mean, I’m not going to find love by pretending I’m into a gender that I’m not actually into? I’m shocked. Absolutely shocked.

#8 Blind Date – This one, I’m giving her credit for. She’s set up by friends – typically the best way to meet new prospects – and she gives it an honest chance. The guy, however, is way too close minded about abstract art and I think I would ditch some girl who was so violently against the more prominent expressions of our age. It’s one thing to like classical art better, but you don’t have to be a traitor to our times. PLus, he has a really bad, unoriginal, uninteresting nickname – Chaz. From The Royal Tenenbaums.

#9 Craigslist and #10 MySpace – Her ads are placed with this in mind “I have a degree in anthropology from Emory, so naturally I’m curious about the psyches of guys who venture into the ‘Casual Encounters’ territory.” If you approach dating like an anthropology experiment, then you are going to get the weird people that get studied in anthropology experiments. It doesn’t take a degree in anthropology from Emory to figure that correlation out. Another thing it doesn’t take a degree in anthropology from Emory to figure out is that if you have a peronal that says “Seeking hot man who knows how to please a woman in all ways” then you will get people describing what they want to do to your body. Don’t be shocked about that.

The big moral at the end of the story as equally disappointing as the entire story itself.

The funny thing is, while “researching” this story, I actually met a guy I liked. He wasn’t one of my dates, he didn’t send me dirty e-mails, and I met him through a friend – he’s actually the guy who accompanied me to Q100’s Bitter Ball.
Sure, the online services and lock-and-key parties might help some singles find love – or at least some booty. But from my experience, meeting a good match happens when you least expect it.

Let me attempt to provide a better moral that she may have better learned from her experience. Don’t approach dating so disingenuously. Don’t approach it with an attitude where if the other person isn’t the most interesting funny person the first time you meet them then they aren’t worth your time. Don’t approach dating like you are researching. It doesn’t work and you won’t find anybody worth anything. Atlanta has a wonderful single and dating scene. There are so many great things to do and great places to meet people in this city.

But here’s some rough caveats. If you try and meet someone in a bar, then you will meet someone who picks up people in bars. If you meet someone at a hook-up anti-Valentine’s day event, then you will meet someone who is looking to hook-up. This isn’t anthropology at Emory so everyone should be able to get it. It’s no surprise that the guy it seems to be working out with was setup through a friend and she was, probably, open with.

Do things that you like doing. Go places where the type of people you might like are likely to be. Be sincere and open when you meet someone. Give them a chance. Except if they hate modern art. Even I have my limits.

11 Comments so far

  1. mingaling (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2005 @ 10:30 am

    Wow, interesting. Although #3 doesn’t seem to be a good fit for Atlanta. I met the boy through in a smaller city, but it still draws more of a “selection.”

  2. Thomas (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2005 @ 10:57 am

    Don’t be so immediately dismissive of the “Nerve” personals. It is an open secret that the personals section of Nerve is run by SpringStreet Networks, a shared database that provides various partner-branded portals to the same pool of participants. Some of these partners include Salon, The Onion, The Village Voice and even our very own AJC (a partial list is on their site). So the guy that signed up through the Esquire magazine personals might just find a girl who walked in through the JANE magazine personals.

    And do people ever find that earth-shaking and life-changing someone through such sites? You’d be very surprised. I know I was …

  3. Daniel (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2005 @ 11:09 am

    Thomas – I didn’t mean to sound so dismissive of it. What I meant to convey was that we shouldn’t be surprised that the majority of responses to a personal posted on would be sexual in nature. I know that people meet wonderful people through this method. But you do have to work at it and can’t run frightened the moment some… uh… differently minded people respond to the personal ad.

  4. (unregistered) on March 7th, 2005 @ 1:25 am

    Hey there. I’m a buddy of Alyssa’s — we work together — and I can fill ya in a little bit on the purpose of the story. It wasn’t so much debunking myths of dating as it was exploring the dating scene here in the Atl. It was meant to be light-hearted and self-deprecating. Now, whether or not she succeeded is of course open to interpretation. I just thought I’d fill in some background :)

  5. Daniel (unregistered) on March 7th, 2005 @ 7:11 am

    Laura – that does change a bit the wholetoneof the story. I guess the writers just don’t have that much control over their headlines… stupid editors…

    Re-reading what I wrote here, I was a lot harsher than I intended to be in that beginning paragraph. I didn’t mean that I was “wholly unimpressed” with the piece in general. In fact, I found it enjoyably well written. What I did meanis that I was unimpressed with its debunking of dating in Atlanta – or it’s attempt to show how dating in Atlanta is. That’s what the headline led me to believe the story was about. However, if it wasn’t…

  6. (unregistered) on March 8th, 2005 @ 8:36 am

    I hear ya. I wish that Alyssa had written a story about her *real* exploits in the dating scene here — instead of the ten dates in ten days scenarios. Her real life is far more entertaining.

    But yeah; writers don’t write the headlines. Most of the time, that’s a good thing, but every now and then …

    And a p.s. — how does one become involved with this Metblog? I’m the process of relocating here, and I’m interested.

  7. Cully (unregistered) on November 30th, 2005 @ 4:07 pm

    Coming up with good articles is always tough, especially when it’s on a subject that people know all too much about. I don’t live in Atlanta anymore, but I used to dread Buckhead and going out trying to meet people. To enjoy dating means trying things out that you might not try out to begin with. I only recently met someone that I feel might last…and it was online. I think if you’re looking for people not just trying to hook up, might help–it launched recently, and it’s free, so you might as well put up a profile and see what happens over time. I know, it’s a blatant plug, but I believe in the service and that’s why it’s free for now…

    Cully Perlman

  8. Jeff Crecelius (unregistered) on December 17th, 2005 @ 1:18 am

    If you are 40-65 and looking for 3 great events to go to with great music, great location and nice people, go to these events sponsored by Singles Dances Atlanta.

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  10. Jeff Crecelius (unregistered) on February 10th, 2006 @ 3:22 am

    If you are a Single adult ages 35-65, Come to our great singles dances!

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    Marriott Century Center
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  11. Bob Hendrix (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 2:32 am

    It’s time to get out and have some fun and get dancin’ at Gwinnett Singles Dance. The Atlanta Sound Machine bring tunes from the 50’s to the present. A friendly environment for dancing the night away. A variety of music, dances and singles. So don’t stay home this weekend. Get up and get out! We’ll see you at the dance.


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    Join us for our Gwinnett Singles Dance on Friday, February 17th, 2006 at Inviting Events at 3485 Highway 78 Snellville, GA 30078 across from Dwight Harrison Volkswagon. Dances are held every Friday. Doors open at 7:00 P.M. & dancing begins at 8:00 P.M. til midnight. Everyone is invited and open to the public.

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