Paul's Blog

The Well-Grounded Yuppie

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Best City For Singles - Washington DC?

I recently read an article from AOL voting Washington DC to be the best city for singles in the US, and I only half-agree, depending on what you want as a single person. The decision from AOL was made by different stats, such as high amount of young singles in the city, growing of "creative class", high amount of night life (such as number of bars and clubs per capita), etc. But I’m guessing the person who came up with the conclusion of Washington DC being the best city for singles, either never lived in DC for more than 2 weeks, or wasn’t single when s/he lived in DC.

Although I mostly stay in the suburbs (Northern Virginia), but I go to DC to party/hang out/drinking after work or on weekends here and there, and below are my experiences.

Work culture of DC: DC is full of hard-working young single professionals, who put in 50-60 hour work weeks to get ahead in his/her career. I’d like to think that as a group, young professionals in DC are probably the most ambitious people there are in the country. But the majority of those people sees DC as a "stepping stone" in their career, nobody I know was "raised in DC", most people moved to DC for work, and probably will move onto other parts of the country after DC "launches their careers". Knowing that, singles remain single for that specific reason. It’s nice to find a "nice girl who will move anywhere with you", but that just doesn’t happen, especially when the "nice girl" also has her own career to think about, probably just as seriously as guys do or more.

Social aspect of DC: Due to how much young professionals care about their own career, they care about each other’s just as much. When meeting a new person, and playing the 20 questions game that everyone likes to play so much (sarcasm), I often hear the question "so what do you do" before hearing "what do you enjoy doing", that just sums it all up for the social culture of DC. I’m sure it happens in all major cities in the US, but none as blatant as DC. I’ve always found southern girls are nicer, easier to talk to, and don’t automatically think you’re a threat when you ask them for directions. In downtown Charlotte, if I need directions, almost everyone stops when I say "excuse me", vs about one out of three people stopping in the city of Washington DC.

So statistically, AOL might be right in their stats, but they didn’t evaluate why. There’s a reason why DC has an extremely high amount of single professionals (population percentage wise), because a lot of singles want to remain single, and the "DC Culture" isn’t to the advantage of the ones that don’t. Lots of bars mean young people can have a great time in the city on weekends or after work, but it also means people have less motivation to "find a boyfriend/girlfriend" because they always have something to do. Dating definite is a lot more common than relationships, that might be a factor why DC was picked "best place to live for singles", but personally, as a single guy, I’d much rather live in a society where people are friendly, both singles and people that’re in relationships, instead of a society where people are defined by their jobs or status. But if you're single, want to stay single, and mostly stay/hang out with your clique of friends (like I currently do), then I guess Washington DC just might be the right place for you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mayor Of The Friend Zone

I just watched a clip of an old episode of "Friends", and it was about Ross and Joey, talking about Rachel.

Joey: It's never gonna happen.
Ross: What?
Joey: You and Rachel.
Ross: What? (pause) Why not?
Joey: Because you waited too long to make your move, and now you're in the friend zone.
Ross: No, no, no. I'm not in the zone.
Joey: Ross, you're mayor of the zone.

This is a joke that I always reference to with my friend Matt, when talking about "dating strategies", and we can't just "mayor it up".

Here's a paragraph from Wikipedia:

The friend zone is a folk psychology concept found in many texts geared towards a male audience about "dating advice", or "seduction advice". In that case, that man would be mentally categorized as a "friend" rather than a lover, i.e. put into the friend zone.

A woman does not easily change her mind and become sexually attracted to a man she has already placed in her friend zone. This is said to be very different from how a male's mind works, and as a result leads to a string of false expectations on the part of the man. It is not impossible to get out of the friend zone as it is stated in many texts.

Here's a paragraph from a friend's AIM profile:

A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, "You're a really nice guy, but I don't like you in that way." This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, "You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired.

Open question for all to vote on: If after date 2 or 3, the girl still backs off when the guy makes his "advances", such as turning away when the guy attempts to kiss them, etc, what should the guy do?

1. Keep "mayoring it up", and keep her as a "female friend" and reap the benefits of having a female friend, such as getting girls' perspective on things, fashion advice when you're buying new jacket, etc
2. Drop her, end it with "Sure, give me a call if you'd like to get together sometime". If she isn't into you enough, chances are, she won't call you, she'll just forget about you unless you call her.
3. Try a different "technique", such as a more romantic spot, different type of alcohol, etc, hoping to change your luck.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Loft 1523 Lounge in Charlotte

I took a trip to Charlotte over the weekend, always fun, always exciting, always great to reconnect with people I've been friends with for years.I hit up this martini bar/lounge called "Loft 1523" on Friday night with a friend. Maybe I just didn't get into this type of "scene" after I left NC, but Loft 1523 is great. I didn't know Charlotte had these types of bars. It's the lounge-y type, played moderate house/trance music, cool colored lights, round couches, lovely environment, great balcony with the bar overlooking the street below, great great bar for some friends to get together for a drink or two.

The drinks were more expensive than usual, both my friend and I had mixed drinks in tall glasses, and they were about $10 each. But I'm guessing that's the bar's way to keep this place the welcoming sophisticated environment it currently has, instead of having it taken over by people looking for cheap drinks.

Overall, I'd recommend Loft 1523 to anyone who's looking for a lounge bar to have a few drinks.