Single female. Los Angeles. How do I do this?
March 30, 2010 3:04 PM   Subscribe

How and where does a chick in her late twenties meet guys in Los Angeles? I'm single for the first time in eons, and I'm just starting to come out of my shy shell, too. I'm looking forward to the casual dating scene, except I'm clueless as to where to go (and what to do)! I *don't* want to try anything internet-related (not even meetups) this time. The internet's always been a crutch for me, and I want to overcome that. I will sometimes be with other friends, but sometimes I'm going to be on my own. Which I'm excited about! ...but a total n00b. Help me figure out where to go and how to attract some attention without desperately clinging to a friend's arm.

More facts: I feel more comfortable in the 30s-and-over crowd, and I seem to mix best with professionals. Is there a good, fairly classy bar to visit? ...does it look bad if a woman does this on her own? Are there other places where my sort of singles congregate and mingle? I'm located close to Hollywood, by the way.

If it helps, this question seems to be looking for the same sort of place, only they're in NYC and a little bit better at this than I probably am.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Were I in your position I would approach the problem thus: by experimenting. You say you feel more comfortable in the 30s-and-over professional crowd, so the best thing to do is try the bars dotted around the financial and business districts. I am assuming here that Los Angeles obeys similar rules to most other metropolises, insofar as it has business and financial districts. So you go there on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night. You find one bar. You have one drink. You get the feel for the place and for the crowd. Crowds are different on different nights, naturally, but you get a sense of the general atmosphere, a rule of thumb to work with. After trying one place (and one drink) on Tuesday, you do the same on Wednesday and Thursday. You're not hanging out, you're just popping in for a drink after a hard day's work.

You'll soon have built up a catalogue of impressions. Once you've picked a couple of places you like, and that have good crowds and good drinks, you go there with a friend on a Thursday or Friday and you stay for more than one drink. You're open to conversation with people. One of those conversations, possibly, ends with "I usually come by here on xdays at x o'clock, will I see you here then?" And you go from there.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:32 PM on March 30, 2010

If I lived in LA, the first thing I would do is check out MeFi's own Miss Lynnster's HiddenLA website and especially the hugely popularrelated facebook fan page. She hosts regular get togethers that are publicized on the facebook page.
posted by The Deej at 3:35 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd stay away from downtown/financial district bars -- those're meat markets, loud and brutal. I'd suggest cafes -- there're a wealth of cafes in your area that are rich social scenes, and after some hunting around I'm sure you would find a few places where you dig the vibe and the people you see. The laptop-centric places and the drive-through spots won't be of much help; look for lots of people talking and hanging out and lots of foot traffic. It's easy to bring a book and strike up a conversation with the person you're sitting next to. It's also a lot less pressure than a bar, I think. Intelligentsia in Silver Lake is an embarrassment of single-people riches and I wish it had been open back when I was dating, although for your tastes it skews more hipster than professional.

In seven years of LA dating, about half the women I went out with I met at cafes. I married one of them. YMMV.
posted by incessant at 4:15 PM on March 30, 2010

Where in LA are you?
posted by klangklangston at 4:39 PM on March 30, 2010

HiddenLA is Miss Lynnster?? My mind is blown. The world is small.
posted by sweetkid at 7:10 PM on March 30, 2010

Friday night jazz in the L.A. County Art Museum courtyard. There is a no-host bar and as many people talking and mingling as are listening. The galleries are open until 9 PM.

Farmer's Markets on Sunday mornings, especially the Santa Monica market on Main St. x Ocean Park and the big Hollywood market on Ivar at Sunset.

The areas with clusters of art galleries usually have monthly art-walks or openings. Free wine and people walking from gallery to gallery. Downtown L.A., Chinatown, La Cienega x Washington Blvd. in Culver City are three places that do this.
posted by conrad53 at 9:11 PM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Try going to shows (musical concerts, plays, art galleries, car show, 50's festival, oktoberfest, clambake, whatever interests you) and striking up converstaions with people in the down times between sets or in line at the hot dog stand. If you like theater, a lot of theaters will have fairly regular parties after show openings or for "night outs" where you can stay after the show and meet people.

I never got into the internet to meet people, but the internet is a goldmine for finding eventa at which to meet people (or just plain entertain yourself). Shift focus.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:35 AM on March 31, 2010

I am trying to do this myself right now, and it's not easy. However, I am not in LA.

I agree with the above- you can look up things to do online and then do them. It's not using the internet as a crutch if you find the events online. You still have to go out and meet people in person, but it gives you an excuse for doing so. I have used, but I also comb through event calendars and aggregates for my area, looking for things to do. Maybe it's a lecture, a music show, a free film put on by an organization, or whatever sounds interesting. I have signed up as a volunteer at some festivals and events, which puts me into the position of meeting lots of different people while working for a good cause. This has been a great way to meet and talk with people, because there's an instant conversation opener.

I have never been a big club-goer, but I've been breaking out of this shell lately by finding a place that has live music frequently and is not too expensive, and I just show up there often. I feel more comfortable in a place if I know what to expect. Live music is something to watch, and instant conversation starter between the acts. When I'm alone, I'm hit on far more frequently than when I show up with friends.

Don't forget that you want to meet both guys and girls. If you've been coupled up for a long time, some new single female friends who have a different attitude than your old friends about bars and clubs might be quite helpful when you want to hit a dance club but your friends are all busy. New insights from new people can help break down your old habits and inhibitions. New friends also come with social circles that might include boys that you want to casually date. Not that you should use them for that reason alone, of course, but you want to see what is out there!

And if you want basic pointers on how to meet people in bars or attract attention, there's the oft-linked SIRC Guide to Flirting.
posted by aabbbiee at 2:08 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

As a single male in Los Angeles, I've met girls for both romantic and platonic fun... the Silent Movie Theater the smoking area of the El Rey (people hang out there even if they don't smoke) shows at the Echo Curio the pool room of Spaceland Sunset Junction festival
...on hikes bars on Abbot Kinney
...cycling the beach bike path from Santa Monica to Venice.

The list goes on, in varying degrees of classiness. Message me if you want more ideas.
posted by Conductor71 at 2:13 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

It sounds like the Laurel Tavern crowd might be up your alley.
posted by dhammond at 9:05 PM on April 1, 2010

« Older Body language---cupping hands under another's...   |   Irish Dougie Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.