I'm 30 years old and recently, reluctantly, moved to Seattle. My daughter's mom moved here, so if I wanted to remain a part of my daughter's life, I had to move as well.
Long story short—I'm trying to meet people. I have been going out by myself, seeing local shows or getting in on pool games, but it gets old fast. People here seem open at a glance, but you try and start a real conversation, and it's like a wall comes down. I'm not churchy, so that's not an option. I don't work a job with many social possibilities, but that's also how I met the ex, so I'm too aware of the pitfalls of that scenario.
Meeting people off the Net seems a nightmare to me, like blind date after blind date. I don't know . . . I guess the options are all the obvious—I was just checking to see if you had any ideas I hadn't thought of. I'm not super freaky, but not exactly average Joe either— I have a lot of tattoos but have seen people here that look much more frightening than I. But I'm not sure that's my problem. I also tend to let people know right away that I have a daughter (because it's a pretty huge piece of information to withhold), and I think that scares a lot of single women away. What do you think?
Of course some ladies are going to have a problem with the fact that you're a daddy! So? Others might reject you because you're too short or read too many books or like the wrong sports team. Who cares what some dumb broad you don't even know thinks? Would you really want to go out with someone who resents your kid? You're absolutely correct telling them up front that you've got one—putting it out there weeds out the unsuitable. Not to say the child-free by choice are unsuitable—they're just not right for you. I am rabidly anti-child (as far as my own uterus and apartment go) and once went out with a guy who waited three hours into our date to spring his kid on me. Three hours too long, if you ask me. This was also shocking because I was convinced that his big revelation was going to be that he normally dated other men. So yeah, keep telling 'em up front.
As for dating in Seattle . . . well, I think you have a little research ahead of you. First, I recommend you thumb up toward the front of this here paper and give "Ask an Uptight Seattleite" a gander. Hilarious, but at the same time scarily on the money. Then go online and find Julia Sommerfeld's illuminating Seattle Times article from a couple years ago, "Our Social Dis-ease: Beyond the smiles, the Seattle Freeze is on."
Once you've had the crap scared out of you, take heart in knowing that not all Seattleites are impenetrable, sanctimonious prigs who'll give you a smile and then hand over the wrong phone number. However, the rep did not evolve out of thin air—the Emerald City does have its share of these types. It's up to you to either avoid them or conquer them with your out-of-towner charms. (You might also want to keep your ambivalence about Seattle to yourself when talking to potential sweeties.)
Hopefully, I have frightened you into giving online dating a try. It both amuses and annoys me when people list the myriad dater missteps they've made but poo-poo the Internet as something too weird to even contemplate attempting. Oooh, computers . . . scary!!! Um, you live in the town that Microsoft (re)built. Get over your technophobia or move back to Kansas.
To my endless irritation, my own sister absolutely refuses to try online dating. You know what I refuse to do—listen to any more bleating and complaining from people who won't utilize such an obvious and easy solution. It's like being stranded, shivering, outside the mall in a blizzard, butt naked, holding a fistful of 20s, but refusing to go into the motherfucking Gap store to buy a pair of pants because "chain stores are the devil, man." Meanwhile, it's one outfit and your feet are turning blue. Except in this case, it's your balls.
Dating dilemmas? Write Dategirl at email@example.com or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.