14 Reasons San Diego is for Lovers

went-out-in-search-of-a-lover-i-found-san-diego

I will fall in love with you in San Diego.

1. My tongue will separate the vesicles of a lime, taken from its bed of ice, in the first drink I ever shared with you.

2. We will neglect the white and persistent sun, touching only interior glass, for another morning spent in your bedroom.

3. We will buy twin IPAs again in our favorite ramen house.

4. You will make me poor of money and rich of joy.

5. I will memorize the creases beside your smiling eyes.

the-distance-hides-the-ways-in-which-I've-run-from-you

6. My feet haven’t touched sand since last summer, but they will know the softness of your carpet.

7. We will stack pallets and douse them in butane. We will give away our fire, and go home to make our own heat.

8. We will plan vacations in places where oak trees grow.

9. You will spin a blade of grass between your fingertips, and tell me your secrets.

10. I will compare my feelings to the ocean.

duchesse-de-bourgogne-whistle-stop-bar-san-diego

11. My lungs didn’t hurt this much, the last time I held my breath under the water.

12. We never really do come up for air.

13. We are like a freeway and its frontage road.

14. You don’t hear the owl that flies across the beam of my headlights.

I will fall in love with you in San Diego.

 

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(Ask Sami) “How do I come out as a bi guy?”

Dear Sami,

As a bisexual man I frequently find myself at a bit of a loss in terms of how to identify myself to women I find attractive and might be interested in dating. Is there any way to avoid the “secretly gay” auto-dismissal?

Side question: how do you view the ethics of when to come out in this sort of situation? Being straight-forward (pun intended) is a recipe for being branded “best gay friend.” On the other hand, coming out later is taken as “deceptive creep.” Is there a way to be proud of who I am and still get a date?

xoxo,

A bi guy

Central San Diego

I reached out to a couple of my bi guy friends to help me answer your question. While I’ve used bisexual as a label in my past, the stigma for men and women are completely different flavors, as I’m sure you know. (Instead of being dismissed as secretly gay, I was just assumed to be mostly straight).

One friend prefers to be more strategic. He knows outing himself will change the nature of his interactions. Another said he likes to get it out there as soon as possible, because he wants to rule out bigots right away. Of course, the latter was talking about telling women during a first or second date, when he typically meets new women (usually from okCupid) — and he would presumably be past the point of gay-best-friendzoned. If you’re establishing yourself in a new friend group (with potentially datable women) who don’t know about your particulars, that’s different, too.

Ethically-speaking, it’s nobody’s goddamned business. Yeah, it’s shady to hide your past from a partner when things are getting serious, and it’s not a good way to build trust. Still, you should not be accused of being a deceptive creep just because you kept private things private. I think you should treat your past experiences with men the same as with women — if you’re bringing up the latter, then bring up the former, but don’t feel obligated to do so sooner.

Another point to consider: how you present information totally changes the reaction to it. The more you can coach yourself into showing your bi side as 1. not a big deal (which, besides being important to you and something to be proud of, it isn’t) 2. something you’d expect people to be understanding of (because they should) and 3. something that’s not going to be a problem (why would it be?)… then the more often your dates/new friends will take your social cues and react in kind. Look, it’s not your fault if bigoted people gave you some touchy hangups about your sexual identity, but it is your responsibility not to unload your baggage onto an unsuspecting love interest. Unless, of course, she’s a bigot and she deserves it.

Ultimately, I don’t think the paradigm of “am I doing the right thing?” is as helpful as coming at it from the perspective of, “what makes me feel best about myself?” My first guy friend is a little more private and starts his relationships more casual. When it comes time, he’ll unabashedly be himself, but he feels no shame for not bringing it up sooner. To him, it’s just not relevant until he feels it is. Maybe she has to earn his trust first. So, he feels fine about his strategy. My other guy friend is the type who is helplessly honest. It would be really weird for him not to share this part of himself. So, he’s happy with sharing as soon as possible.

You’ll figure this out. In the meantime, nothing replaces the support of a strong friend network filled with people who know the real you and get you. I have that. It takes a lot of the worry away about how my sexuality is perceived, and makes me incredibly happy. Find your people. That’s the mandate of this city.


 

IMAG1884Ask your own question…

Names/emails will not be published or displayed (but location might).

10 Things to Remember if You Don’t Want Me to Unfairly Compare You to Every Failed Relationship I’ve Ever Had

You may have seen some of the countless Lifehack articles coaching you on how to love people from the highly creative to the anxiety riddled (I’m sorry, I should say the more-neutral “those suffering with anxiety,” but, since I’m in that camp, I like to poke fun), and their knock-offs around the web. Ostensibly, Lifehack devised this listicle formula so that lonely and/or frustrated partners could improve their relationships (or just commiserate) by reading lists of X things to remember if you love someone with fuckin’ problems.

Yet I did not find these articles because I googled “My girlfriend is an introvert, halp!” I found them because people on facebook shared the links on their walls with the effective sentiment: “DUDE YES this is how you must love me and my special snowflake complex!!!” Like some sort of dating-pool memo.

I mean, I’m guilty more than anyone of wishing I could write an instruction manual on how to be my girlfriend. I actually have a small notebook in my night stand titled “A primer” which includes diagrams. I haven’t shown it to anyone for purposes of instruction, yet. Emphasis on yet.

Still, in honor of the self-serving bent of these articles, with much snark, I present:

15 Things to Remember if You Don’t Want Me to Unfairly Compare You to Every Failed Relationship I’ve Ever Had

  1. First of all, let me begin by asking you to remember that my flaws actually make me totally awesome. Or at least that’s what I think, because I’m obsessed with myself.victim-olympics-trophy-my-flaws-make-me-awesome
  2. My ex didn’t like how selfish I was. You will be my next ex if you also believe I need to change this about myself.
  3. Paradoxically, I’m going to ask you to “remember” that I do not have a really obvious and/or annoying bad habit that I do, in fact, have. Remember, I make the rules.
  4. I dated someone for 5 weeks who I found really boring, but kept trying because eye candy / I’m lonely / I needed the sex. Instead of examining how I should better select partners who actually are a good match for me, I will blame you if I am the slightest bit bored. Just FYI.
  5. Compromise is really important to me, just so long as you are the one doing all of the compromising.
  6. I will question you relentlessly for choosing to stay with me, because I have the self esteem of a cat forced into a clown hat. The moment you dump me, I will claim I was too good for you.self-esteem-of-a-cat-forced-clown-hat
  7. My “unique condition” happens to make me a really happy, well-balanced person. No I do not fall asleep with the dirty spoon from eating ice cream stuck in my hair, my laptop beside me on the bed with 20 open tabs evidence of my attempts at total internet oblivion so that I can avoid confronting who I have let myself become.
  8. I have strong beliefs about how my condition affects my physical health even though I have done little research besides a couple shallow internet searches and talking loudly about the possibilities with my bar friends.
  9. I swear to god I am datable.
  10. My ex pushed me to get outside of my comfort zone, which while I fundamentally understand I need from a partner, is something that will make me violently resent you for even trying to do.
  11. I need you to read this cheat sheet because I am desirably complex, not immature and needy. Read the statistics, duh.read-the-statistics-duh
  12. You will never understand me. Just like my ex never did. Which is why we broke up (not because I hooked up with that bartender on my summer vacation).
  13. If it seems like I’m not listening to you, it’s not my fault. I’m just dealing with the ramifications of my unique condition
  14. If it seems like I’m not communicating clearly, you are wrong. You are just being a terrible listener. Just try harder. God.
  15. Please be my mom.

OkCupid for friends and lovers – SD Survival Guide Critical Strategy and exposé

It’s not that San Diegans aren’t friendly. If I’m out at a bar, I need to just affect the breezy impermanence of a tourist at an ocean resort and feel quite comfortable talking to people. SDers are flakes anyway, so it’s quite safe to start conversations because, without considerable effort, you’ll never see these people again. Join the permanent vacation vibe.

But I’ll tell you what makes driving 15 minutes (every commute is exactly 15 minutes, right?) out to a bar alone, hunt down and panic my way into a parking spot, and pay for my own drink (the first one, anyway) worth it, and that is a gloriously awkward first OkCupid date.

mmm look at all my options

mmm….options

And for all you non-single monogamous / polyfidelous / otherwise-not-available people out there… OkCupid dates start out 100% as friend dates, anyway. Sure I flirted with them online, but most people I meet are savvy to the “friend-date unless proven otherwise” rule. I’m sorry, there’s just no way of knowing you’ll crackle my thunder ’til I meet you under the literal firmament. So, not only do plenty of people use the service for “just friends” (it’s an option), OkCupid culture naturally supports friend dates.

I learned how to really appreciate the awkward first date after a bit of practice, and if you follow my strategies, I think you will, too. The key is to go on enough of them that it becomes almost routine. And I tell myself that one of these is going to turn into a great story. I’m still ready and waiting for my first Trainwreck Date.

Overview:

  1. Write a smoldering profile…
  2. …but don’t rely on it. Force yourself to send messages out.
  3. Find that correspondence length sweet spot…
  4. …but hurry to set a date.
  5. Choose location wisely…
  6. …and score a new friend/lover/significant other.

1. Profile Writing

Write your profile like an intimate letter, not a résumé. Here’s how mine opens:

I rewrote the bulk of this profile because I realized I misrepresented myself as responsible and organized. I can do responsible and organized, easy, but that’s not the kind of cupid I want shooting my arrows.

For some reason this picture gets me the most OkAction

For some reason this picture gets me the most OkAction

I’m bragging right now, shamelessly, really…but I get a lot of messages (after this rewrite). And people tell me I’m a good writer and it makes me all happy on the inside of my body.

Anyway. I’ve learned that this is one of the few times where talking about what you are like and not what you do is probably more interesting (thanks fellow ‘Sam’ and OkCupid analyzer for that insight). Possibilities are more seductive than facts, and the romantic brain is an engine of imagination.

In other words, I deleted the part where I said I had a degree and a job yadda yadda and added this:

Yes and no are my greatest powers – and it feels like I always get what I want, now that I know what I want.

The goal is to just get all sparkly with your personality and show off what it would be like for them to have a conversation with you over a Sculpin.

The six things you could never do without

This is not the time for extreme literalism. No one thinks you are witty for being the 5,708th person who lists oxygen. This is time for hyperbole and passion and a little bit of adorable quirkiness. I included….

Seeing a non-human animal at least once a day

…amidst serious stuff like art, my brother, & a job that makes me feel valued.

You should message me if…

Steal this. Just steal it and put it at the very bottom. It gets me a ton of compliments, and even a few messages from shy people. It’s genius and I thought of it and I hope it goes viral:

*******
If you are shy on okCupid, just c&p this:

“Hi. I am really shy. I like your profile. Will you go look at mine and message me back if you are interested?”

2. & 3. Messaging & Maintenance

Facebook hack

You actually have a facebook email address. It’s [yourusername]@facebook.com.  If you don’t have a fancy pants smartphone (ugh…) with like, app thingies, and you check facebook all the time, you can set up OkC to send messages there. Then just be sure to drag one of the notifications from your “Other” to your regular “Inbox” messages and you’ll have an extra reminder that attractive people want to talk to you. Kinda buggy, though.

Send messages!

Experiment with these numbers, but here are my benchmarks:

  • (When you first start out) Dedicate 1 night a week to seek new people and start 3 message threads. Each query ought to be a paragraph or two long. Show that you’ve read their profile. Lists can work well, i.e. “I think we should meet someday for these reasons…”
  • Find the comfort-zone of correspondence with each person. Generally I go for two volleys (I write two messages, they write two messages) before offering my number and a date, but sometimes three. Offering my number too quickly makes people think I am desperate and/or creepy and/or a robot and they ignore me and I cry. Offering too late… well I mean if you don’t take this seriously you are not going to make any friends and you will be lonely and boring and sad.
  • Don’t get caught up on % matches or profile details. People poorly represent themselves and also don’t know how to fill out quizzes (seriously y’all drive me insane) and only people equally as neurotic as me score a 99.  Your goal should be to find people who seem to have some potential, you know, get the important stuff right, and hurry to actually MEET THEM. You really can’t know what someone is like ’till their face is three feet or less from your face.

The Follow-Up

There are two basic types, and they’re critical.

  1. You let a thread die and stopped responding, or just never responded in the first place because you were waiting for a time when you were less drunk at 3am in the morning to think of something witty.
  2. They let a thread die because you were too cranky / intimidating / boring / weird / they are such hotties their inbox is bursting with noise and they lost your diamond in the rough.

I like to get a little creative with these follow-ups, but the main goal is to give both parties the benefit of the doubt that messages aren’t perfect and everything still has the potential to be shiny.

Aww sorry I never got back to you. I didn’t get the butterfly connection at first and wondered what would make someone think of soft sweet jazzy pop from the 60s while reading my profile and was so despondent I got distracted.

Anyway I don’t normally ignore attractive PhD chasers with sharks on their heads and a 92% match score. How are you?

Again, it is IMPORTANT to follow-up with dead threads. If Katelyn never came back with her glorious witty comment, we’d never have met :( :( :( Good thing she is an OkC professional. I learned from the best!

[text removed for brevity - also her username is not xxxxxx...don't even try]

[text removed for brevity – also her username is not xxxxxx…don’t even try]

5. It’s just a freaking internet date

You are meeting a stranger. Off the internet. You do not need to invest heavily in this date.

Good locations:

  1. A dive or beer bar, like Bar Pink, Lancers, Small Bar, Tornados, Hoffers, Red Wing
  2. A coffee shop e.g. Lestats, Filter, the Living Room
  3. Mexican food. No? Haha. I’ve never done this, but if someone will agree to meet me for Mexican food, then I will like her already.
  4. Somewhere you would go anyway, and you could run into friends, and seem all popular… such as Gossip Grill or The Ruby Room Merrow

Also, I am desirable and important, so I save my Fridays and Saturdays for old-friends-are-gold-friends and first dates get a weeknight. It is pretty embarrassing how often I’ve re-used the Taco Tuesday theme. (El Zarape for dollar fish tacos & the best green sauce you’ve ever tasted sober….and Lancers for a $6 Bloody Mary, poured heavy, with like 5 vegetables, and spicy like I like it.)

6. Results

Guys, I got Katelyn from OkCupid. Enough said. <3

blurry-lesbian-love-our-first-pic-togetherBonus section: Don’t be an idiot

Rejection

Please don’t tell someone you’re “just too busy.” That’s exactly the same as saying “Well if I was lame and didn’t have activities I would be desperate enough to hang out with you.” Obviously you have a profile and you’re looking for something. If you’re too busy to build friendships/relationships then disable that monster.

It is perfectly conventional to just ignore the first message if you’re not interested, and many people are okay with not following up after one boring date. I agree that blatant rejection hurts more than mysterious no-response. I do try to give closure to people I’ve met for a date whom I don’t feel particularly drawn to befriend or befuck, but damn it takes a lot of effort.

One last thing

This question KILLS me. Come on, San Diego.

okcupid-stale-is-to-steal-89475

….Aaaaaaaand now you know I spend way too much time on OkCupid. Seriously though, it’s one of the best ways to break into interesting friend niches in San Diego. Unless you want to be a redditor forever…