Two Girls, Two Coasts = The Same Conversation of “How Did Dating Get Like This?”

One of my favorite things to do is to eavesdrop.

I don’t mean to and I never mean it to be cruel, but no matter how much I try to stop, I can’t!

Why do I do it?

I guess you can say that the real reason is because I love people. I love hearing their stories, how they feel, what they are saying and how they are saying it.

What have they been through? What are their thoughts about the world around them?

I love hearing their words when they don’t know that somebody else is listening. The unpolished, unfiltered stories that come out when they aren’t performing in front of a judgemental stranger. The unfilter-ness that only comes when they are talking to a person that they KNOW.

So I was doing it, this eavesdropping thing in the size 7 shoe aisle at a TJ Maxx back east where I’m visiting for the holidays. Out of LA, out of the superficiality, out of the perpetual youths and back where “real people” are in the cold and snow of Pennsylvania. I say “real people,” because while there are “real people” in Los Angeles, during most days I feel that is not the case, myself included with my stylish threads, LIGHTLY Botoxed mug and “glamourously” labeled, but not so glamorous job in a “glamourously” labeled, but not so glamourous industry. Yes, I’m “real,” but I’ve also had my days where I look in the mirror thinking, “Who is this poser anyway?”

So even I, the seemingly down to the earth small town girl who just HAPPENS to live in Los Angeles, would look and SEEM different on the outside than my northeastern PA counterparts. All those big city versus small city stereotypes that are pathetic truths in some respects despite our fights to not be THOSE girls.

Nobody wants to be the small town girl and nobody wants to be the big city girl, Do they?

So here I was, in the aisle of TJ Maxx where I heard two “small town” girls, slightly older than myself talking.

“I would love to meet someone, but there’s just so many… many THINGS to contend with. You don’t know…you don’t know anything when you meet these people. It’s not how it’s supposed to be now. Dating isn’t supposed to be this way.”

From the big city west coast to the small town east coast, the same conversation of “How did dating get like this?”

Turns out, we’re not that much different, are we?

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J is a happily single 30-something currently documenting her stories of love and loss. Her blog, “I Quit Dating” features excerpts of her journey as she reflects on the lessons learned from the men she loved. A complete collection of essays detailing her walk away from finding Mr. Right in order to pursue a more fulfilled life will be self-published next year. She recently moved from Los Angeles to New York. Contact: iquitdating (@)

8 thoughts on “Two Girls, Two Coasts = The Same Conversation of “How Did Dating Get Like This?””

  1. My dating life and the dating life of others seem as different as possible. I just grew up assuming you date people you’re friends with and that’s what I always did. Never got the number of a stranger at a bar or had a blind date or anything like that. I just dated people I liked to be around. Seemed natural to me. I didn’t even consider other ways to go about it haha. (Oh, and I’m not saying how I do it is right.)


    1. That’s interesting. I can see that happening if you have a decent sized social circle. How has it worked for you? Were you able to be friends with them after? What happens when you run out? 😉


      1. My social circle wasn’t that big actually. I just moved slowly, haha. It worked rather well, I think. I had two girlfriends through high school and beyond. One for two years, the next for five-ish. I’m not really friends with them anymore, but I’m not friends with a lot of people from high school, so I’m not sure it would be accurate to pin it on our relationship. I can say that they weren’t messy, which is always good.


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