The High Life: The Dating Game

The High Life

The Dating Game


Sherae O’Shaughnessy

It is no secret that the dating pool in Humboldt County is shallow. When it comes to meeting a new, potential mate, it’s slim pickin’s out there. On top of which, everyone knows everyone. Rather, everyone has dated everyone. You can hardly throw a rock without hitting someone your best friend went on a  terrible date or drunkenly hooked up with. I have plenty of single friends who openly share grievances and horror stories about their quest to find love in Humboldt. And although I can’t force more eligible bachelor or bachelorettes to relocate behind the Redwood Curtain, I can make a few suggests to those of you playing the dating game that may improve your chances of finding that special someone. Following is a list of do’s and don’ts suggested to and by me. Pay attention, this is the important part.


1) Take pride in your appearance. Bathe yourself, iron your shirt, put on your clean yoga pants with “Twerk” on the butt, rub a little extra patchouli on those dreads, wash your “Train Wreck” sweatshirt and aim to please. Let’s not pretend that physical attraction isn’t the first and more important aspect of catching a catch.

2) Use your manners. Open doors, “please” and “thank you”, elbows off the table, take a breath and let the other person talk, avoid discussing politics or religion until after you’re married when you’re going to fight about everything anyway, and if I see you chewing with your mouth open I will call your mom!

3) Compliment! It’s easy and it will make the both of you feel good. “Wow, I really like your Carhartt’s. Those are nice Carhartt’s.” Or, “Are those new Uggs? Fantastic. They really make your calves pop.” Now everyone is feeling confident and the evening is going swimmingly.

4) Give your date a fair shake. This town is rife with naysayers and gossip mongers. We’ve all made mistakes and we’ve all blown things out of proportion. Consider your past transgressions and how you’d like a chance to prove yourself before someone jumps to conclusions.


1) Expect to have sex on the first date. If it happens, cool. I’m not here to say you shouldn’t do what you innately want to do but don’t expect it. We’ve all told ourselves we weren’t going to do it and ended up in the bedroom anyway. And, hey, if that’s your jam- get it in. But the purpose of a date is to get to know a potential mate. The purpose of getting hamskied with your friends at a bar is to get laid. Two entirely different scenarios. Write that down.

2) Talk about your ex. Are you mental? Don’t praise them because you could give your prospective companion an inferiority complex. And don’t diss them because then it becomes obvious that you’re a grudge-holding smack talker. Very unattractive. Just don’t bring them into the conversation.

3) Be a hot mess. If you don’t have your act together you probably don’t have any business starting a love affair. No one wants a project. Under “hot mess” goes: Don’t get wasted, don’t over share, don’t cry, don’t talk about how many cats you have, don’t forget to wash your Star Wars sheets and save the drama for the movies. Learn to mask your crazy like the rest of us.

4) Don’t drag your old into your new. You may have emotional scars but that isn’t this new guy/girl’s fault. He didn’t stand you up at the Wildflower Cafe and she didn’t make out with your best friend at the Oyster Festival.

Emerald contributor since March 2012


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