Last night I posted The Enigmatic Flaneur’s piece on dating outside the capital. It’s interesting, because as one of those thousands of daters in the commuter belt myself, and having spent hours travelling in and out of London in order to add excitement and variety to dates, a lot of the article resonated with me. Not to mention the recognition that Mr SC drove two and a half hours each way to come on a date with me in Central London on our first date on New Year’s Day. Something I hadn’t properly appreciated at the time because I’m so used to commuting all over the country for this blog!
I wasn’t the only one who reacted to The Flaneur’s post, and shortly after it went live, Ruby sent me a reaction from Canada. Rather than simply add it as a comment, I thought it worth posting as a separate post in its own right.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
For most of my dating career I have refused to leave the city.
Not just refusing to leave the city, but actually the central part too.
Yes, this is part in parcel a safety issue- you don’t really want to have a date with a new person in a remote place- they could be crazy or, worse BORING and you’ll have to have a quick escape route!
But more so, I’m a city snob.
This is a lifestyle issue. People who live in the suburbs TEND to live a certain lifestyle I refuse to live. Their days are dominated by commuting, they tend to be home bodies. They tend to appreciate more space over an urban-amenity-rich setting.
The few times I did date a “suburbanite”, I hated every second if it.
Going out to the suburbs is the worst. You go out there to do ONE thing and one thing only- the day is planned around a single event. If, for any reason, that one thing falls through or is terrible, you are subject to this incredible feeling of being trapped far away from the city, where there are a multitude of things to do and more back up plans than a person with ADD knows what to do with.
The annoyingly long drive back to the city, also disables any option of having a few glasses of wine and wastes a lot of your life on the road (hah, can you tell that I’m a city snob?)
In Toronto, I wouldn’t even date anyone who lived North of Bloor (the upper city limit to what was considered central downtown). I once went on a date with a guy who chose a restaurant outside of downtown. I chose to walk there because I love walking. From my place to the restaurant is almost a 2 hour walk for most people. I did it in 1.5 because I’m brisk. When I told my date that I walked to the restaurant (and he was born and raised in the city- so, technically, should know it), he said, “So how long did that take you? 20 Minutes?” That response was possibly one of the bigger turnoffs of the night.
You might not really get why that was such a turnoff… but to provide such a ridiculous demonstrated that he knew NOTHING about what it is like to walk in the city. He drives pretty much everywhere and has no idea how long it takes to actually walk with your own two feet. It also spoke to his overall character, which was reinforced by other things during the night, that demonstrated that he lives a very different lifestyle than I do- one of driving place to place, never really ever experiencing the city or having to ever encounter people of difference.
I know this sounds odd and perhaps picky.
Why am I being such a city lifestyle snob?
But if you think about it- it’s the same reason why so many people despise LA (or love it). Los Angeles is a highway town- a really ugly looking city. But after a long drive you arrive at an Oasis of carefully expensively curated atmosphere where only the “in” people are invited. LA is a bunch of exclusive Oases spread across an incredibly impoverished highway expanse. If you drive across that highway expanse to just get to your little Oasis everytime, you don’t know what the real world looks like. You never have to encounter anyone different than you. You will always live in your world of privilege where YOU are the carefully selected.
Thank you Enigmatic Flaneur for reminding me of my own experiences with city-dating in your last post!