Date Reporters

Rachel from LA: Messaging, So Far

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This is the latest post from our Los Angeles-based Date Reporter Rachel Nina Schwartz. She’ll be documenting her experience dating in LA. Catch up on her story here
In the past two weeks I’ve had this HowAboutWe profile, several hours have been dedicated to searching dates, browsing profiles, being “intrigued” and sending or replying to messages. I have two dates tentatively planned for this week (pending confirmation from people hopefully too busy/interesting/social to answer HAW messages on the weekend) but before getting into that, let’s recap:

I’ve never been much of a “joiner” or an activities sort of person and have successfully avoided all kinds of teams and clubs forever. I was rather conflicted about dating on HAW, as it is almost entirely based on dates that skew towards the more activity-minded men and women of online dating.

While it initially seems cheesy, the date suggestions appeal to my preference for always having a plan.

But what I realized, is that while it initially seems cheesy, the date suggestions appeal to my preference for always having a plan. Those awkward dates where you meet and he has nothing in mind and you wander aimlessly trying to find a bar or cafe` and stumble into some tragic spot out of pure desperation — not anymore!

This is not to say that all date suggestions on HAW are perfect. The open-ended innuendo “…grab a drink and see where it goes!” is not winning me over. Neither is a lazy “how about we go find some live music to see tonight!”; If I’m going to come up with a wardrobe concept and sit in traffic and find parking all to meet up with a complete stranger, it better be for a cocktail/meal/band I actually care about.

Not yet smitten, I searched more men and more dates in LA and came upon the phenomenon of the multi-part date. By this I mean the post that contains at least three to four locations or activities all rolled into one date. This is just too much. First dates should be limited to 1.5hours maximum, and that’s long if you ask most people. I can’t possibly devote 6hrs of my life to your multi-part date when I’ve not yet met you! What if we hate each other? Then we’re stuck and it’s super awkward. Short and sweet is best. [Editor’s note: We’ve heard this criticism before. We’ve learned that two-part dates get the most responses, for what it’s worth.

And just when I was getting frustrated and disappointed (and deleting most messages I received), I found the perfect cross-over of good date idea and attractive profile! I composed a quick note, hit send, and signed out.

The following day I got a reply from the guy I messaged, as well as a message from someone (who seemed pretty neat!) intrigued by one of my dates. So now, I have two great dates lined up for the week. Stay tuned for the follow-up.

Rachel Nina Schwartz is a designer based in New York who is currently in LA for the summer, where she will be writing about her dating experiences. She looks forward to learning how to surf and reveling in a climate conducive to good hair days. Check out her other project,