Dating, Friendship, and the Seattle Freeze After Forty Why 20 thousand additional men in a city might make finding meaningful romance more difficult — for everyone. Jeff Reifman on March 22, She took off the last of her clothes and pulled me closer, kissing me and tightening her embrace.
I thought I knew what would be next. I reached for a condom and began to tear it open. Suddenly, she said she needed to go and fetched an Uber; she was gone within minutes. Apparently, in that moment, my date was asking herself the same question.
The honest answer to my question is that I was eager to have any kind of companionship — intimacy and sex of any kind have become increasingly scarce over the past several years. Sometimes I wonder if the opportunity to begin deeper social relationships has passed me by. I also hear it frequently on my dates — of which there have been many.
As ill-advised as it may seem, I want to share my experience with dating, friendship and the Seattle Freeze after forty. Seattle is infamous for its freeze. For a long time, I was a skeptic but the growth of the city and its male-dominated tech scene has brought a unique new chill. My housemates and I have hosted a number of fun dinner parties but in Seattle one serves as a perpetual host because the invitations are nearly never reciprocated.
After a while those unrequited relationships get really old. The company exists primarily to market deeply personal information about us to for profit corporations. As comfortable as I remain with my decision, my departure from Facebook has impacted my social life, as Portlandia so eloquently captures: I went to college far from where I grew up and settled in a town across the country from there. Isolation in the evenings is more pronounced than it used to be since few of us talk on the phone anymore.
Can you hear me now? Dating in Seattle Something broke for me when my Tinder date rode off in her Uber. Frankly, dating in my 40s here has sucked. The company refuses to release its technology diversity numbers. After my dating article, I began to take more notice around town — even geekily counting at times. Once at my favorite coffee house, there were 18 men and one woman. Cultures clash as gentrification engulfs Capitol Hill: The San Francisco-ization of Seattle is well underway.
When every community activity you attend is overpopulated by guys, it makes finding a potential match significantly harder. Another woman said that she frequently receives texts with unsolicited dick pics as soon as she gives out her number. This and the current demographic trends may have other consequences as well. In my experience, sexual fluidity and the opportunity for experimentation is scarce. However, I empathized with the husband who opened his marriage only to find that his wife was in high demand and he was not: She has hundreds of men lined up to take her out on dates and is gone most nights of the week.
Good luck with that. In their hands, they hold apps with queues of men waiting to take them out or take them home. Corinaldi estimated he might need to send four hundred messages to get a date. Yes, online dating in Seattle feels like work and as such has turned some users into professionals.
Many first dates feel like interviews. Checklists are inventoried and it often feels like people are swiping me left in their mind. The amount of time people spend on Tinder is ridiculous: Tinder may be the one-click ordering of the dating world for some but for me the opposite is true. If I want to feel badly about myself, Tinder is the go-to app. Dating technology creates a perception of abundance but many men and women feel left out. Even if you set aside time for a date, same day cancellations are epidemic — it happens about a third of the time: More recently, most of my exes moved so quickly into new relationships that we drifted apart or our friendship ended as their new relationships deepened.
Recently I had a promising first date that went well enough to last three and a half hours. I found you to be very relatable and I believe we share many similarities in terms of our worldview and approach to life. You certainly did and would challenge me to aspire to be my best self. In the past, I began a number of serious relationships with women I initially met offline.
It might just be me, but straight flirting seems dead in Seattle. I sense a distinct lack of availability. And I rarely sense that women in Seattle are open to meeting people in the real world, although if I were getting all those texts of dick pics I would probably be a little more closed off too.
The avenues by which we used to meet and build relationships in real life have been slowly closed off by our technologies.
Age definitely makes it harder to find partners that are health conscious and have a desire to remain active. These results have played out in my experience in the Seattle dating pool and in my own body.
An injury and surgery derailed me from running and hiking and keeping up with more active communities the last couple of seasons. I put on weight. Certainly, the demographics make dating an uphill battle I no longer want to struggle with. And unfortunately for Northwest guys, gender balance is nowhere nearby: As much as technology erodes our real world communication skills, I know it can bring people together.
But, at the end of a day on the computer , the last thing I want to do is get back online sending messages in the hopes of meeting new people. For a week, my Twitter feed was filled with rage and personal attacks. Some of the nicer folks said they were glad my photo appeared on the article so Google could ensure I never got a date again. Others mocked my Amazon post and suggested I look in the mirror, that the problem was me. Facing Yourself Living with sustained isolation has forced me to face myself and focus on changes I wish to make.
For me, yoga has helped build capacity for this process. This past year, my writing and consulting has taken off. I make time for people and I try to stay playful. But in Seattle, none of this has translated into deeper friendships or meaningful romance. But, after years of my best efforts, I have to accept that something in the soil here may have gone bad.
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