Via Craigslist:

How many new men do you think you?ll meet in a given year and be in a situation where you would actually have a chance to get to know each other? For a woman that goes out regularly and has a really active life — she may meet 200. The average is probably closer to 100. Let?s go with 150 for the sake of argument.

Now, how many of those men are decent enough (i.e. faithful, honest, not alcoholics) and have enough in common with you (i.e. similar interests, similar long-term goals, and common outlook and interests) to form a long-term meaningful relationship with? It?s probably close to 5 percent, or about 8 men every year that you have any hope of being happy with.

Now here?s the typical DC woman?s absolute unwavering and rigid requirements: must be over 5?10?, makes $50,000 a year, works out daily, and drives a jaguar. That describes about one-half of one percent of the population. So, the odds that any of those eight men you meet this year will measure up to your rigid requirements are pretty slim.

In fact, you?ll meet one guy in 25 years that is decent, has enough in common with you, and is tall and wealthy. Unfortunately, this guy is pretty damn popular, and unless you look like Halle Barry, you?re not the one he?s going to pick.

Now, you?ll meet one of those eight potential life-long lovers this week. Unfortunately, he?s 5?9?, and you just couldn?t stand to be seen dating a guy who?s an inch or two shorter than you. I mean, after all, what would your friends think? So, you pass him up. Two weeks later, he meets a girl who is much more mature than the average DC woman, and she doesn?t care about his height. Likewise, he?s more mature than the average DC male and doesn?t care that she has a few extra pounds. They get married next spring.

Next spring, you?ll be dating a wealthy, 6?3? lawyer. Unfortunately, he?s got a bad temper, and one night he?s going to have one two many. You guys will get in an argument, and he?ll end up slapping you hard across the face. You?ll be wise enough not to stick with this guy, and you?ll move on to the next tall, wealthy guy. Unfortunately, this one sleeps around, and by the time you find out he?s cheating on you, you have herpes.

And since you can?t accept any imperfections in your lovers, you?ll never notice them in yourself. The fact you?re insecure, fake, and petty will escape you, and you?ll never change. You are, therefore, doomed to a life of misery.

The good news is that all your friends will always be impressed by how handsome the guys you date are. That is until you get so old that the handsome ones no longer want you. But hey, maybe plastic surgery will extend your dating years until you?re 50. Then, of course, you?ll just be lonely. But you?ll have those herpes to keep you company and possibly a cat or two. And having finished this article, you?ll know that the reason you can?t find a decent man has nothing to do with the dating pool, and everything to do with you.

You can only be picky for so long until there is no man left who would pick you. The chickens are coming home to roost.

44 thoughts on “WHY IT’S SO HARD TO MEET A GUY IN DC

  1. nabeel

    DCB did you write this article, or was it some random person and you happened to catch it on CL?

    great article btw

  2. Irina

    I agree with what you’ve written. Well, I agree when it concerns an average DC woman. Being a 5’2 DC lady, I still want a guy who’s over 6′ tall. Kinda sad.
    The reason why it’s hard to meet guys in DC is because there’s NO WHERE to meet them. The only men you meet at bars (aka the ones that approach you) are generally looking for a girl to take home and never speak to again.
    If you can tell me where this magical place I can go to meet men is, I’ll run there right now. He doesn’t have to drive a Jaguar, or earn a ton of money. Just please be smart, maybe tall, and hopefully have dark hair.
    And let me tell you, that magical place is NOT Adams Morgan.

  3. Chaco

    DCB, by quoting this, every woman reading will think you are 5’6″, make $25k per year, and never work out. Having said that, I will make sure my girlfriend reads this so she will appreciate my being a one-in-a-million catch.

  4. Stephen

    To Irina:

    It’s easy to meet a decent guy, as its easy to meet a decent girl.

    Just be active. Do things. Don’t blame the bar scene, or say that’s the only way to meet someone.

    There are many, many more ways

  5. holiday

    I think this is totally true. It’s not to say that guys don’t have their own standards for women: hot, easy to have sex with, reads books occasionally. We’ve all got a list. Why hate for having standards?

  6. Irina


    I believe you, but give me an example. I’m a poor soul that commutes from Gaithersburg everyday. When I’m not at work, I am driving/ metro-ing. Sigh.

  7. Joe

    Holiday, I think the reason that this issue comes up so much in the context of DC though, is that DC women’s expectations are artificially elevated and, for most, unrealistic. And yet the vast majority hew to these kinds of standards when dating.

    If potential partners are statistically distributed along a Bell Curve according to desirable traits, the average 20-30 something single DC woman’s “cut off point” is shifted way to the right along that Bell Curve. Even if she’s no prize herself. They all think their Miss Thing or something, and “hold out” forever until the guy who meets all these criteria is bagged. What I saw in DC was that even average-looking women were holding out for the archetypal 6′, GQ, Captain of the Football team types.

    With guys, it’s a different dating/mating strategy. Guys will go for the girl who doesn’t meet all the criteria. Guys will even get involved with such a girl. Even the hottest guys will settle for a rather plain-looking girl for a few months if it meets the need for regular sex, and saves him the trouble of the Buffalo Hunt every week. But if the girl doesn’t meet all the requirements, at some point the “average” guy who is doing this will cheat big time and eventually the relationship implodes.

  8. Joe

    To Irina: Go work on the Hill. Numbers-wise and variety-wise, it’s one of the biggest unrecognized Meat Markets in America (I mean that in a good sense.) If you’re a halfway decent looking single woman, you’ll feel like a kid in a candy shop. I’ve seen female interns and staffers get flowers at their desks from absolute strangers they met in the halls, their first day on the job.

  9. RCR

    “Go work on the Hill.”

    Possibly the worst advice given in the history of mankind. I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone.

  10. Phoenix

    I disagree with the $50,000 criteria. I think the average D.C. woman wants a guy who makes more money than she does. Hence one more reason why successful D.C. women have an even harder time dating here and why successful D.C. men have an even easier time.

  11. Stephen


    1) Join a social group. There’s plenty around town

    2) Kickball, Softball leagues.

    3) Social Dancing (there’s Glen Echo/Chevy Chase nearer to you)

    4) Book Clubs @ Coffehouses

    5) Walk/Run/Bike/RollerBlade/etc. along the potomac on the weekend…people are always there, nothing says you can’t talk to strangers who are doing what you’re doing.

    It’s likely anyone you meet won’t be a love interest. But they may invite you to a gathering/party, and there you’d meet someone…the larger your social network is, the better the odds.

  12. Days of Broken Arrows

    Maybe DC women should start going to high school football games and scouting the Alpha Males early on — to get first dibs on them and all. By the time they get to be 25, all the good ones are taken!

    Ladies, if you can give that tall, dark handsome guy regular action at 15-16, he’ll appreciate it forever. By the time he turns 24, maybe he’ll be ripe for the picking.

  13. Joe

    RCR, you’re right, as far as the path of death, destruction, wreckage and human misery Congress leaves in its wake every year.

    I guess I should call myself RHR for Reformed Hill Rat.

    True, legislative assistants (LAs), legislative correspondents (LCs), and staff assistants are underpaid and overworked, and treated like feudal vassals by the Members (whereas you are expected to treat your Member like royalty)… but it’s a great place to meet, flirt, and socialize, and there’s a huge after-work social scene that has nothing comparable anywhere in the country. Basically it’s like a huge college campus where people work hard (or pretend to), play hard, and dress to impress. Lots of arrogant scum work there, lots of dirty old men, but also a tremendous number of young, beautiful, single people with hormones a-pumpin’.

  14. Amber Bock

    It’s probably not exclusive to DC — Those women (with insane standards) are everywhere and they’ll eventually settle for a man less ‘dreamy’ when they finally realize that they’re not starring on a lame HBO show :boring: no matter how many Cosmos they order. When they do settle, they know that they always have the option of juggling nuts like A squirrel :banana: (at least the ones who are 6.5/7 and above).

    The worst that can happen if they get busted, is a divorce that’ll make them Rich (because the guy they settled for looks-wise :fat:, probably makes up for it financially).

  15. nabeel

    Um… Joe… have you spent any time in Los Angeles? The women there are far more materialistic, air-headed, and golddigging than the women here in DC. Not to trash on LA – I like their weather, surfing and outdoor activities… but too many golddiggers going after “actors” who appear successful on the outside, but actually are struggling and starving.

  16. RCR

    Joe, what you say is true, but you’re better off not working on the Hill and just having Hill Rat friends. You get to meet horny young sluts through them, but still have money left over for condoms. Because you’ll probably want to double bag.

  17. Joe

    Nabeel, I’m in LA frequently. I do entertainment law and my firm has two offices there. Used to have a girlfriend off of Santa Monica Blvd. in West LA, in fact. I agree that many LA women are more “air-headed” and superficial in the “Sudan? I prefer a sportscar!” sense. I also agree that as far as materialism, LA women have a slight edge over DC women… in DC, you also find lots of (mainly) Democrats who are purely cause-driven, as in “I Wanna Save The World” types.

    I think my main focus is on women’s superficiality when it comes to men’s LOOKS, and paradoxically (despite LA’s reputation), DC beats LA hands-down in this category. That’s one of the great untold stories of DC that, apparently, nobody wants to touch. It’s like the “third rail” of the DC social scene — this phenomenon of the best-looking 15-20 percent of males shagging 90% of the females, while the remaining 80% of the males get their “choice” from among the worst-looking women. It’s lopsided.

    Strangely, in this department LA is much more of a “man’s” town. Whereas in DC, single women objectify men with power (and GQ looks — probably having something to do with our ingrained American need to have good-looking politicians… after all, who comes to DC to work? Political types of both sexes)… in LA, males objectify female looks and bodies.

    In DC, you almost NEVER see an average looking guy with an extremely hot woman, whereas in LA, you see that phenomenon all the time. What you don’t see much of in LA is the reverse: the extremely hot guy with the plain-looking woman. In LA, if the guy’s hot, his girlfriend is hot.

    Disclosure: I was working at a major political organization on the Hill in 2000 and was “between” girlfriends. My whole office got invited to a massive Democratic gala event at the MCI Center, a concert with Lenny Kravitz, Robin Williams, and other big acts. Somehow, I managed to pick up a waitress the week before at the Rhodeside Grill in Arlington. She was one of most smokingly hot brunettes you’ll ever see. I took her to the concert. She basically came just because of the big name acts and the aura of “connections” and “power” I was able to proffer through my timely invitation. We had great seats and we sat right behind my boss.

    The next day, my boss (and his assistant director), call me into the boss’s office and start grilling me about “How does an average guy like you get a date with a goddess like that?”

    That conversation would never happen in LA. Sure, not every “average” guy in LA dates a goddess, but when it does happen, you don’t get the Third Degree, because it’s not seen as an earth-shattering event.

  18. nabeel

    Interesting take, Joe. I agree that I run into a lot of “let’s save the whales before they go extinct” types around here. maybe you see guys with hot gfs in LA because there’s a larger abundance of hot (albeit fake) women there.

    However I do see many “average” guys with reasonably good-looking girlfriends… the kind of girl you’d probably wouldn’t mind marrying, if you know what I mean. But I never see the extremely hot women with a guy – the bartender/waitress/pornstar/model types always seem to be single, and never hanging off the arm of some top shot guy who reeks of power and moolah.

    I also know this loser who always wears jeans with holes in it, an ugly winter hat pulled down to his eyebrows, lives with his mommy, has no job, and spends all his money on drinking and cars… yet he always seems to pull quite a few hot women, or at least go out on the town with him.

    Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that the grass isn’t necesarily greener on the other side…

  19. RCR

    Joe and Nabeel,

    As a gamma male who disagrees almost wholeheartedly with everything DCB says, he’s right. As far as DC goes, he has his finger on it. It’s sad and simple. You can’t compare it to LA or NYC, DC is different. In a really fucked up way. DC is a different animal.

  20. Kathryn


    You know how much fun you make of all the chick blogs where the girl says, “I lost two pounds!” and everyone tells her in comments how awesome she is? And what a lame-ass chick pity party it is?

    This is the same thing.

    Every week, DCB posts some “poor us” type story/theory/verbatim Craig’s List posting about how DC women suck, then everyone jumps on his bandwagon. Most days, this is no more than a pity party for guys who can’t get girls. I’m tired of it.

    I’ve lived in DC for over eight years, and I can assure you, if you switched the genders in the story above, it would be equally true. EVERYONE is hung up on status – whether that’s looks, career, connections, what have you. And the idea that it’s gender-related is ridiculous.

  21. nabeel

    So then what’s it gonna take for everyone to get their heads outta their asses and stop being so hung up on status…? Anywhere, whether it be dc, nyc, la, or some bumfuck town in the middle of nowhere.

    I look past this stuff, and if someone doesn’t do the same for me, she is gone, go-o-o-ne.

  22. Joe

    Don’t hate on DCB for posting the TRUTH. If y’all can’t deal with the truth, then create your own blogs, or if you have a blog, post your version of the truth. DCB has a broad-ranging unique perspective; I agree with him a lot, but not always… as with everyone. But Kathryn, don’t get on DCB’s case if he bravely and consistently presents his take on dating in DC.

    And big ups to Craigslist DC for posts like this:


    Note that although the attribution says “this is in or around Lalaland”, the post was made ONLY to the Craigslist DC in Jan. 2005. Maybe it’s someone who got burned dealing with DC chicks and moved to LA…

    Interesting post anyway and he’s damn right, whoever he is!

  23. Anonymous

    Kathryn –

    If I wanted to read your overinflated ego’s haughty critiques — of other readers’ comments, no less! — I would have visited your blog.

    And lord knows I stopped doing that months ago after you started applauding your every breath … and boozy night … and workout session … and errand run ……..

    Please save it for people who care.
    Mmm … thanks.

  24. Joe

    I feel you, Anonymous. I’m sure Kathryn is a well-intentioned person, and not as annoying and narrowminded as she seems, but shouldn’t one prerequisite of having a blog be the ability to write well? From perusing her blog a few minutes, the writing is painfully tedious and almost unreadable. Doesn’t mean she’s a bad person. Just my take.

  25. hedonistic

    There is a genetic reason for women being attracted to tall men; it has to do with needing/wanting protection from the sabre-toothed tiger. But come on, girls, get past it, it’s the year 2006 and you don’t need a big man to protect you. Besides, I’ve always found the short guys to be more considerate and better in bed. They try harder!

    The answer to finding good men is to 1) Be a good woman and 2) BE IN THE WORLD, not at home watching TV and eating Chunky Monkey ice cream. Obey the Law of Attraction: Like Attracts Like, and I’m not talking about looks; I’m talking spirit: Boring people will attract each other and bore each other to death. Shallow people will attract each other and suffer short, superficial relationships. Highly sexed people have a built in radar to find other highly sexed individuals. And so on. This is not rocket science!

  26. Joe

    Hedonistic, thanks for making some good comments. I was gonna say, “finally”, but I’ll let you slide…

  27. Frederf

    Being a few notches below the desired-a-bunch level myself, I’m prone to sympathize with DCB about this.

    Calling it the “truth” is ignoring the obvious slant and message, but it’s not complete fiction. Women have high standards. I have a unique position where I get usual insight into the thinkings of males and females in relationships. Predominantly I see males desperately seeking female companionship and women being picky and very defensive about “giving themselves away.” Call me a loser or a wimp or whatever you like, but this is my experience that I’ve seen with my own two eyes. I don’t think it’s much in my head.

  28. slade

    look elsewhere euopean/asian or south american women are much better, not only looks but personality ,also yankee women are a bunch of shallow fakes

  29. SMILE

    theres just one itsy bitsy prob! ….. none of the guys where i live are decent and if i try and get out at night i have no way of getting home because the trains stop….so god help me!!!!

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