By Richard Rushfield
In a provocative essay at The Atlantic, Amanda Hess examines the age-old conundrum of why it paradoxically sucks so much to be single in Los Angeles when so many people are single here. She examines the arguments both familiar (distance, too much choice) and less familiar (OK Cupid can’t refine its searches to a radius smaller than 25 miles), and in the end, throws her hands up and says the only thing to do is to fly an ex-boyfriend out to live with you.
A sensible choice. In fact, dating in Los Angeles is, on a theoretical level if not an actual one – impossible. The reason for this is simple, if looked at from its component parts:
• If you moved to LA most likely you moved here for the entertainment industry.
• If you work in the entertainment industry and you are successful, then there is a small chance you are not a horrible person. But if you are working in the last remaining industry where sexism, racism, age discrimination, physical abuse, child labor exploitation, unpaid worker exploitation and sexual harassment are all encouraged while creating a vacuous product that numbs the souls of the world, and if you have risen to the top of that world, chances are extremely strong you are a horrible person. There are always exceptions – there are elephants in LA but you’re not likely to meet one at the Soho House, so for discussion’s let’s just take it as a given that if you’ve made it to the top of the entertainment industry, you are in fact a horrible person.
• If you are a horrible person, then you probably have horrible values and that applies especially to your romantic life and what you think you want from that. And that makes finding a suitable life partner challenging.
• If you moved to LA to work in the entertainment industry and you are not successful, then everyone who moved to LA to work in the entertainment industry on some level wants to shun you as though you had the plague, which also makes finding a suitable life partner challenging.
• If you moved to LA but not to work in the entertainment industry – then what the hell did you move here for? The art scene? To be close to Burning Man? To pay 1400 dollars for a studio on a smog choked, traffic congested, crumbling street in Silverlake? Who the hell would want to go out with you then.
• If you are from LA originally, if you are a Native Angeleno, then you just go out with people and its fine and eventually it works or it doesn’t but you do it without talking about what it’s like dating in LA and hopefully manage to avoid everyone in the categories above.
The good news is however, if you moved here, there is no reason to go on dates anyway. If you go out with someone now, you’re just going to have to unload them when you become an enormous director/producer/executive/actor/etc and can get an actual star to go out with you. So in the meantime, you’re much better off just hanging out. There’s this amazing Armenian chicken place on Sunset. You should totally try it every night for the next 20 years.