It might be the spiritual home of the romantic comedy, but many single men would argue that there’s nothing funny about finding love in Los Angeles. There may be 4 million people in LA, but this is no ordinary dating pool. You’re competing against some of the best-looking, wealthiest and best-connected people on the planet. When even your barista is an aspiring actor, it can be hard to make an impression on a date. But if you can date here, you can make it anywhere. Here’s how to impress dating prospects in Los Angeles.
The Quirks of LA Dating
Getting the attention of single ladies in LA can be like catching that of a cat with a laser pen, so get used to having people’s divided inattention. Yes, women outnumber men among the biggest single demographic in the city, between 25 and 29 years old, but everyone’s keeping their options open. Ghosting and flaking are unavoidable aspects of LA dating. That means you’re going to have to do your homework fast on anyone who takes your fancy. Spokeo is your go-to people search tool, even if you’re new to the city. Search through billions of records with a simple email search to see if your suitor is active across every dating platform under the sun (aka a serial dater), already married or catfishing you.
The other challenge is that while LA is an incredibly diverse city, it can have quite a segregated social scene, particularly according to location. East LA and Orange County might share the same city, but they are two different worlds. You might find you have to “niche down” early just to get started.
Where To Find a Date in LA
Your standard dating profile on Tinder has as much chance of getting picked up in Los Angeles as your script for an oddball buddy movie. It’s not just that the mainstream dating apps are swamped with scammers in LA, but that they’re too basic for somewhere so status-conscious. If you want to see any swiping action, you’ll have to join an exclusive app like The League, invitation-only Raya or community-specific apps like Lox Club for Jewish dating. The struggle to meet women in the wild in LA is real, but if you must, try to find like-minded souls at the gym, pilates class, cannabis dispensary or bar.
Where To Go on a Date in LA
Accept that if you do manage to find a date in Los Angeles, you’re about to embark on a long-distance relationship in most cases. There are three of you in any Angelino romance, and one of you is an Uber. Logistically, it’s just not practical to date anyone who lives a two-hour drive away, and you’ll find that many LA girls don’t date outside their ZIP code or consider The Valley to be strictly off-limits. Nevertheless, popular dating spots include:
- Santa Monica if you want to ditch the car and take a stroll along the Pacific Coast.
- Echo Park just south of hipster-haven Silver Lake for a romantic day in nature.
- Downtown for arts, bars and buzz.
- Hollywood, West Hollywood or Beverly Hills if you’re looking for someone who is a) way out of your league, or b) a tourist.
First Date Tips: Etiquette in LA
When you’re new to Los Angeles, some things can take a bit of getting used to. If you’re picking a venue for lunch or dinner, for example, you’ll want to set the search filter to “vegan” rather than shortlisting the local rib shacks. Typically, whoever suggests the date should pick up the tab, but you might look like a cheapskate if a big part of your dating pitch is about your crypto portfolio or podcast series advance from Spotify.
On that note, don’t lead the conversation with your flashy connections — you have more to offer than your social status. Name-dropping in a town where everyone is “in the industry” marks you out as a newbie. Don’t be surprised if your date turns up with her TikTok house camera crew, stylist or lawyer in tow.
How To Dress for a Date in LA
One of the perks of living in Los Angeles is the benign climate, but the go-to California casual dress code can also make it hard to impress a date with your style. Easygoing is fine, but stop short of flip-flops or board shorts. Take things up a notch after dark. As a general rule, if your neighborhood is packed with designer stores, the bars and clubs are going to be pretty style-conscious too. It can also depend on where you are in the city. Artsy and vintage are acceptable in Echo Park, whereas the startup billionaire look is the bare minimum for Silicon Beach. Above all, leave your Celtics jersey or Giants cap at home.
Up for the challenge? It’s tough out there but not impossible, and let’s not forget that Los Angeles is home as much to fairytales as horror stories. Is she a 400 square foot studio renter who’s posing as a bonafide homeowner? Is she hiding an on-again, off-again boyfriend? In general, is she who she says she is? Turn to Spokeo’s confidential name, phone number or email searches for peace of mind. Before you navigate the LA dating scene, know who you’re dating thanks to the wing man in your pocket.
- LA Times – LA Affairs: Why Dating in LA Comes Down to ZIP Codes
- Time Out – 14 Weird Things About Living in LA That You Just Get Used To
- Thrillist – Best Date Ideas in Los Angeles: Fun & Romantic Spots for Date Night