I would say it’s something in the water, but throw a few ice cubes in your glass and Florida water is as good as any.
For months I’ve struggled trying to pinpoint what makes dating in Florida so unenjoyable.
Lengthy conversations with multiple people have yielded the same answer: it’s just different down here.
And trying to define “different” in a state that’s flat and void of green grass is a challenge. I’ve heard theories that Florida is LA East, meaning the desire for fame and recognition is as prevalent as it is over in Hollywood. I don’t know about all that.
The best way to tell you what dating is like in Florida is to share my stories.
So here we go.
Example number one:
March 2019. I’m back after a year in China and have just been flown down to FL by my employer.
“Perfect,” I say to myself. “I’m going to spend every weekend at the beaches and bars chasing women.”
But then I got down there.
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My first date was with a co-ed over at USF. Blonde, slender, and possessing a nice smile, the possibilities seemed endless. We met up at the beach, hugged and sat down to let our pasty white skin get torched by the relentless sun that felt like it was only two inches above my head.
“I don’t like your communication patterns,” she admitted after a few minutes of awkward small talk.
“I don’t understand,” I told her.
“You’re too direct.”
“I guess I don’t know what you mean.”
“You ask too many questions.”
Mystified, an appropriate reply was difficult to conjure. “I’m just trying to get to know you.”
“Yeah, but I don’t like answering questions.”
As my eyes darted across the sandy beach in hopes of salvation, she switched course.
“Who did you vote for?” she asked.
“Does that really matter?”
“Well, I asked you for a reason.”
“Honestly, I don’t really like to talk about politics,” I admitted.
She sighed. “I think I’m still going to stay at the beach today,” she then said.
It took me a couple seconds to process that she had already checked out. A few minutes later, she had managed to hit me with a hyper-feminist rant, followed by calling me a member of a patriarchal fraternity I didn’t know I held membership in. She then picked up her towel and walked off.
Confused and alone on the beach, I simply shook my head and wondered how in the matter of 20 MINUTES we went from hugging and smiling to going our separate ways.
Example number two:
After weeks of being rejected online, I decided to switch my fortunes and head downtown to the bars. I stopped in at a spot and had a mojito. The waitress was cute.
“Do you know any cool bars around here?” I asked her.
“Yeah. There are a few.”
“I’m actually getting off in an hour or so,” she mentioned. “Do you want to meet up later?”
“That’d be fun,” I told her, thinking it was my lucky night.
When we met up later that evening, she kissed me on the cheek and sat down at the bar.
“So what do you do for work?” she asked.
“I am a writer,” I told her, just then about to share a little bit about what I do for a living.
“Oh, cool. So am I,” she said, proceeding to then go on a rant for the next half hour.
The only mention of her writing was that she wrote a poem in her notebook once. The other 29 minutes of her digression were spent detailing every aspect of her job as a waitress.
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When she finally took a breath, I shook myself out of a bored and intoxicated headspace to politely smile.
“My apartment is just down the road,” she then intimated.
“That’s great, but I have to get up early tomorrow,” I lied.
I don’t remember having ever rejected an attractive woman’s advances, but this woman’s discourse on the subtleties of clearing tables had broken my masculine spirit.
“Do you want to go to the beach tomorrow?” she asked.
I shrugged my shoulders but figured why not and agreed to meet again. Perhaps the next time would yield better results.
When we met up the following day, not much changed. She continued to bombard me with stories that left no room for my input or opinion.
By the time we got to the beach, my brain was fried, and we hadn’t even been exposed to the sun.
Mentally checked out and craving the comforts of Netflix and zero chill, she soon picked up on my disinterest.
“You have an attitude problem,” she blurted.
“You’re hot and all, but you have a terrible attitude.”
I couldn’t even muster a counter. This woman and I were from different universes.
We still had to take the shuttle back home, but my ears couldn’t handle one more minute of her voice.
“I’m feeling sick,” I embellished. “My Uber is almost here.”
“Oh, so no drinks tonight?”
When I finally got back home, a burden had been lifted. Then my phone vibrated.
“I had so much fun today. Hope to see you soon,” a text message from the woman read.
This had to be a joke.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve left Colombia and returned to The Sunshine State. And so begins the daunting task of swiping away on the women in Tampa. The contrast in the online dating pool remains the same:
Hot or not.
9s and 10s, or No’s and Hell No’s.
There isn’t a middle ground. No category of women who after getting to know them maybe will become interesting and wifey material.
And that’s the problem. Personality is lost in Florida. At least in the online dating universe. It’s either stunning women in bikinis sitting poolside, or chicks with bunny ear filters that distract from the rest of their bodies.
But in that sense Florida is a blessing. It’s not like New York or Minnesota, where you can hop on Bumble and immediately find educated women who are eager to go out for dinner.
Perhaps it’s a chance for me to reflect on the way I view dating and take a backseat to all the hoopla and comedy that dating brings.
I would like your opinions.
How is dating in FL different from the rest of the country?
Am I just missing the vibe?
As always, comment and subscribe.