Two Tips I wish Someone Gave Me About Dating After Moving to a New City

Wolexjoe
Wolexjoe
Aug 24, 2017 · 4 min read

Without a solid friend base, even if you meet a significant other and don’t stink of desperation, chances are that you’ll end up being too in need of that person, or worse, the person will see you don’t have much else going on beyond them and it will scare them away. Or at least make them think less of your potential as a mate.

1. Focus Your Time and Resources on Friendship More Than Dating

When you have a solid foundation of friendships; filled with activities and comfort, it becomes so much easier to succeed in dating. This is especially true if you’re a romantic who expects to meet “the one” in person and not through online dating.

Here are a few benefits of a good friend over a good bae when you first move to a new city:

- A new friend will quickly introduce you to their own friends and help you expand your social circle;

- Better yet, a new friend could introduce you to people you can potentially date. There’s nothing that makes you hotter than being the new mysterious untainted kid in high school… I mean addition to the adult friend group;

- You can invite a new friend to random activities with less concern about shame or looking desperate;

- Most of all, a friend is a long-term investment with almost guaranteed long-term payoff. Meanwhile, although a new date is filled with all kinds of awesome potential, many new relationships you form when you’ve not yet created your own social life end in… ending. Investing in friendships when you just moved will more likely result in a person who can be there for you in the long-run, even if you both get busy and end up as acquaintances. I’ll take a long-term acquaintance over a short-term fling any day.

2. Don’t Date as a Reflex

I was 21 years old when I filled up my Honda Civic with everything I owned and drove 22 hours from Des Moines, Iowa to Los Angeles, California. At that point in life, I didn’t know how to be completely single. I had one of those college lives where I was either in a relationship with someone or actively dating women (unfortunately, sometimes both) throughout my four years of college. Arriving in Los Angeles as a completely single man meant that my first instinct was to build a network of women to date or potentially date. Reflexive dating is what it was.

The childish instinct to build a network of women to actively or potentially date may be simple in a college setting. However, in an adult setting of a large city where I knew almost absolutely no one, the negative consequences of reflexive dating kicked in and very quickly went into overdrive.

I found myself choosing people to date based on the sole criteria of “is female and is kind of into me.” Not only did my dating life become a time-wasting exercise that resulted in a lot of random dates that had no real spark, it also got expensive in a city as pricy as Los Angeles. Add the inevitable traffic and ruthlessness of the city (every coastal city is “ruthless” compared to the Midwest I guess) to the mix and you have the following love story — boy meets girl on dating app; boy drives long distance to take girl out; boy finds out girl is a jerk; boy still tries to make it work (gas prices were high back then); boy ends up regretting things.

Eventually, I realized that I needed to elevate my reasons to date. This didn’t mean I suddenly became a romantic.

It means that reflexive dating just for the heck of it is even a lower level reason than the other reasons to date like lust and sex.

After some work and reflection, I found myself in that happy median between lust and romance. My ideal reason to date became ‘if you meet women you can communicate well with and have a good time being around, the possibilities are endless.’ But getting to this reason meant I didn’t just start dating reflexively once I got to a new city.

Each person can find their own ideal reason to date.

I will not purport to know the perfectly right reasons to date. What I will do though is say that reflexive dating is not the answer when you move to a new city. One of the few wrong reasons to date is ‘for the heck of it’.

What Does This All Mean?

To sum things up — if you move to a new city, first develop your friend base and take time to settle into your life there before you start dating.

Without a solid friend base, even if you meet a significant other and don’t stink of desperation, chances are that you’ll end up being too in need of that person, or worse, the person will see you don’t have much else going on beyond them and it will scare them away. Or at least make them think less of your potential as a mate.

If you do find yourself in a new city and start feeling lonely, I recommend trying meetup.com or other sites geared towards meeting large groups of friends.

Ironically, right when I had just moved, I found more interesting dates on friend-based sites than I did on dating sites.

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