Monday, December 19, 2011

What's Wrong With Drunken Losers?

Originally published Sep, 2003.

Q: I am a young single girl that can't seem to find a date. The only guys that I seem to attract are drunken, obnoxious losers at the South Side bars. I just don't get it; I'm pretty, intelligent, fun-loving, and have a good personality. I had no trouble getting dates in college but the few that I've had since moving to Pittsburgh have been awful.

A: After being ranked as one of the worst cities for singles by Forbes Magazine two years in a row, we all know what a dating Mecca Pittsburgh can be. That aside let me get this: you are single, young, attractive, college-educated, fun-loving and still can't get a date? I can fix that easily enough, just drop me a line at the e-mail address below (do you like martini drinking columnists?) Of course your situation doesn't translate to good odds for those of us that aren't so blessed by nature. Hell, I should just throw in the towel now or at least drink more and try to be more obnoxious when hanging on the south side. Actually, your second statement contradicts your first. You can get LOTS of dates; the problem is you don't like any of the offers you are receiving. Are your standards too high for the average drunken loser? Picky, picky! Lucky for you, your situation is painfully common and I can offer a couple forms of advice. Take one, the other, or mix and match, you're in control here.

Lower The Bar: Maybe your standards for an acceptable date are too far above the heads of the local dating pool. There may not be that many millionaires, male super-models, or vacationing European royalty hanging out in da 'Burgh. You may have to settle for the occasional "regular guy". Also, think about this: alcohol can make anyone a little more obnoxious than usual. Hell, even yours truly, doctoral education and all, can turn into a total jackass under the influence (even sometimes without). Last I checked, drinking alcohol was one of the top activities people engage in while at bars, so if that's where you are spending your time, you're probably going to encounter a few drunks. Just keep in mind that not all drunks are losers.

Change the Scenery: I once knew a woman, an engineer that worked in a factory, who complained that she never met anyone that was as intelligent as her. When I asked where she went to meet people, she told me that she spent a lot of her social time attending happy hours at the bar across the street from her place of employment. This bar was mainly filled with men from her factory. Sure they were hard-working, attractive, and decent people, but they were definitely not the educated white collar types that she was looking for. Similarly, a friend once asked me how I managed to meet so many women compared to him (apparently he didn't know me as well as he thought). My first reaction was "I leave the house, there aren't too many single women sitting around my living room watching TV."

Of course, the point of both of those examples is that if we are not currently finding what we are looking for where we are, we should try looking somewhere else. You don't like South Side drunks? Well I know for a fact that there are no "South Side Drunks" in the Strip District, Shadyside, and every other neighborhood in this city. Of course, those areas have their own share of obnoxious drunken losers. It sounds to me that you are searching for an upscale, educated, professional crowd of people to mix it up with. With the disproportionately small population of college educated people in Pittsburgh, that's a problem for a lot of us here. If that's so then darts and pool probably ain't gonna cut the mustard. Perhaps you should try some of the newer establishments that are aimed at attracting that crowd. Places like these need the support so that they don't eventually succumb to the drunken loser crowd that you wish to avoid. Ellsworth and Highland avenues in Shadyside are full of great places frequented by the sort of people you may be interested in (you may even run into the good doctor G!). Try and seek out new experiences instead of frequenting those old familiar pre-college hang-outs. I think you'll find that Pittsburgh has a lot more to offer than you once were aware.
Be More Pro-Active: Who says you gotta wait for the drunks to hit on you? You are just as capable of being the aggressor. When you see a guy you like that hasn't noticed you yet, push the dork with the comb-over and the too-tight Hawaiian print shirt out of the way and step over to "Mr. Potentially Right". Never leave your dating life to the mercy of other people. Imagine how crummy your professional life would be if you just sat at home and waited for employers to approach you with job offers? Of course, I understand that, even in the progressive age we live in, directly hitting on men is something that most women are uncomfortable with. No one wants to look trampy or desperate, and as much as we like to separate ourselves from our Ohioan neighbors, there is a lot of the midwestern inhibition bred into the culture here. If this is the case, be passively aggressive. Position yourself near Mr. Right and throw him a few flirty glances until he gets up the courage to talk to you or his boyfriend comes back from the restroom, whichever happens first.