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Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

The City Mouse

I have been a country girl all my life. I grew up in Connecticut, went to college in New Hampshire, and then moved back home to Connecticut. It was a nice, quiet, lifestyle. So when I moved to Los Angeles a year ago, not only did my lifestyle get thrown for a loop (I mean, do they not know how to make good pizza out here?), but my dating life got flipped upside down. It really is a different breed out here.

Maybe I just ruined all chances of dating anyone, ever, by saying that, but it’s true. Being a country girl in the big city has its challenges. Just being an out-of-towner in general is daunting, and though most LA folks are from other areas, many from the east coast, it is still difficult when it comes to meeting people and dating.



There is the overall celebrity craze. I, for one, do not care at all about which celebrities you have met. Name-dropping will get you nowhere. When you meet me, please don’t tell me about which celebrities you hang out with (which means, really, you just passed them on a sidewalk once, and it wasn’t actually them, it was their publicist). I don’t care. Sorry, I don’t.

Then there are the unwelcome advances you get, and by unwelcome, I mean very unwelcome. I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard one evening (my own fault, I know), and a woman spanked me. Yep, it’s the truth. Then, she commented on how she liked my bum. Except she didn’t say bum, she said something else. I just said “thank you,” and kept walking. If anything, I could have been thankful because it was probably the most attention I had gotten in a bit, but on the other hand, it made me wonder—is this it? Have I hit rock bottom? Is this what my dating life has come to?

Maybe it’s because I’m the kind of girl who would much rather hang in than go out every night. Which doesn’t bode well for me, because in a large city, it’s all about the nightlife. People like to go out. But dating is tough wherever you are. Not to say it was very prosperous in a small town either, but it does have its advantages as well. And disadvantages—when you out, everyone knows about it. You can go into a restaurant for dinner and see all your friends, your parent’s friends and even your Grandparents. Then the next day, you go in for a teeth cleaning and your Dental Hygienist asks about how your big date was. She expects an answer too, as her hands are engulfed in your mouth cleaning away, because you can talk and all. Yep, good thing that’s not awkward.

So here it is, from a girl who has dated in the small town and big city, some tips on how to survive the dating world, or at least, how to scrape by:

Small Town Dating

» You know that little unknown joint that you’ve always wanted to try but you don’t know anyone who’s ever been there to ask how it is? Try it. You know that you won’t run into anyone there, giving you the opportunity to have some quiet, alone time with your date and not have to answer to anyone when they undoubtedly ask, with a nudge, “So…who is he?”

» Avoid meeting guys at local bars. Because you know that if you live in a small town, everyone from your small town still goes to the same bar. If you don’t want to be dating like you’re still in high school, then it’s not a good option to be looking for possible dates at these bars. For better choices, at least look for some new hotspots a few miles down the road. Check out some cool bars or hangouts at surrounding towns with a group of friends. You might meet some new, interesting people, and some fun, different areas while you’re at it.

» Small towns sometimes don’t offer as many activities to do, or rather, I should say, offer different activities to do. If you are looking for a concert or sporting event, you might have to travel a bit. Save these events for a little while into dating. The drive up will provide that perfect “getting to know you” time to chat.

Big City Dating

You’re out of luck. Give up now. Just kidding… It’s really not that bad, but it is a different approach….

» Happy Hour is a big one in the cities. People are consumed by work, so when work is out, it really is Happy Hour. So they hit the bars to relax, hang out, chat with friends, and have a drink. And while everyone else is doing the same, why not take the opportunity to mingle with other people and perhaps meet a new person or two? You never know what you might have in common, and just maybe, you hate your job just as much as they hate theirs.

» A friend of mine recently told me that when she moved to the city, she only she started meeting people because of her dog. So if you have a dog, bonus. You do walk your dog, right? Or take someone else’s dog for a walk. Or get a leash for your cat. Or for your roommate. Or just go for a walk yourself. Just not on Hollywood Blvd., because you might get spanked. Not that I would know.

» The city has many opportunities, from various clubs, community groups, volunteer organizations and of course singles and dating events. You can meet people, you just need to get involved. There are a lot of people out there, and oddly enough, they can be harder to find. It’s just a matter of matching up with the person who has a common interest.

Whereas in a small town, you come from the same background, life style and sensibility, when you’re in the big city melting pot, things are a little stirred. People have different beliefs, outlooks and backgrounds and dating can be a little tough. Small town dating is difficult too, trying to escape the background everyone knows you to have and date a person without them knowing about “that time, in the third grade…” But dating isn’t easy, and is certainly not a spectator sport, so whether you live in Manhattan or Montana, get out there and meet people. It’s the only way, after all.

I’m happy to say that I didn’t settle down on Hollywood Blvd., but am still searching for that datable someone. I can say that now I’m a City Mouse. Hey, it could be worse, I could be a rat. I think I’ve met a few of those, after all.

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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