AdviceChoose Your CityColumnsNew YorkSan Francisco

Ask A Grown Up: Help Me Find A Date!

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

What’s up, Broke-Asses? So you know… I hated dating. As I mentioned in last week’s column, I am married. In addition to the obvious perks of being married to Paul the Sexy as Fuck British Comedian (TM), one of the things that makes me most grateful to be a married lady is that I don’t have to date anymore.

It’s brutal out there for single people. It’s like the Hunger Games, but instead of food and riches, the prize for winning is cock and vagina. Dating -especially over the age of 30- is a dystopian nightmare.

I hated dating. I hated online dating, the bar scene, blind date fix-ups by so-called friends… all of it. I am very empathetic to anyone who is still trying to find someone to partner up with.


Yes, online dating blows.


This week’s question comes from C.P. in Seattle, who asks:

Help me, Grown Up! I haven’t been asked out on a date in about a year. In fact, I rarely get asked out. I basically go to work and come home and work on my degree online. I don’t want to date anyone at work. I’m not religious and I’m not fond of the bar scene. And I’ve tried online and it was awful. What else is there?

Oh, C.P. – I feel your pain. I really really do. According to, the art of “offline dating” is comprised of a skill set that is completely lost on the social media generation.

“Users mistake social media for being social… Instead it creates a group of people that are highly connected online but feel socially isolated.”

So the key to meeting someone offline -not in the bar, not on an online dating site- is to close your computer, put your phone in your purse or pocket, get out of the house and get engaged in IRL social activities that keep you interacting with potential new friends and lovers… and, friend lovers. And, lovers of friends… I digress.

Basically, we human beings have lost the ability to be social due to the advent of social media. Given that social media is supposed to make the world smaller and bring people closer together, this is ironic to say the least.

Here in Chicago, we have this really cool company – Nerds at Heart – who produces monthly meet-ups where people with similarly nerdy pursuits can meet, face-to-face, and see if a match is made. There are companies all over the country that, like NaH, host targeted meet-ups with the idea of introducing singles with similar interests to each other. Yes, this is a “pay to date” situation, but you do have options if you either do not wish to pay -OR- do not have the budget to pay to date.


Would you pay to date this lonely hipster? also says in their article that people need to “practice being social” in order to prepare for dating. Getting involved with groups of people involved in a common pastime is a great way to get easy with talking to new, potentially dateable people. Here are ten ideas for social activities where you can meet new people:

  • Kickball league
  • Book club
  • Volunteering at an animal rescue
  • Comic convention or LARP (live action role playing)
  • Trivia nights
  • Dinner club (a group of people who meet up and cook and host -or- go to schmancy-fancy restaurants)
  • Art class
  • Hiking group
  • Participating in community theater
  • Burning Man or other festivals

Once you’re involved in an activity you enjoy immensely, you’ll see that you start making connections with other people who are enjoying the same activity you are. Which is great! The next hurdle you need to overcome is learning how to convert that social connection into a romantic date.

This means you need to ask the person out. I highly recommend women asking men out, this is 2015 and men are attracted to confident women who have the balls to ask someone out. Conversely and personally, I always liked it when a guy asked me out. One of the most promising dates I went on prior to marriage ended in disaster (I am talking about Guitar Hero here,) but it started with the gent involved calling me on the phone to ask me out to a very specific date.

Dating for gay people, trans people or gender fluid people can be a little more nerve wracking, as in addition to the standard fear of rejection, there is also “approach anxiety.” In addition to finding out if the person is interested in you, you also have to determine if they are also gay, or okay with dating someone transgender or with a fluid gender identity. But, really it still comes down to the same dance of determining interest/availability and having the confidence to state your interest upfront and ask for the date.

Basically, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender, all y’all need to be (as my Mom would say) “big brave dogs” and just ask that guy/girl/other out on a date and see where it goes. Rinse, repeat as necessary until you find someone you click with and a relationship forms.

Yeah, dating is a desolate dystopian wasteland. I am SO glad I don’t have to do it anymore. Good luck, C.P.!!

Got a question you need a grown up to answer? Email Kate at and your question might be used in an upcoming article.

[Dating Blows photo via]

[Would You Date This Hipster photo via]


Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Ma Li, An Artist You Should Know

Next post

BAS Mayoral Campaign Announced + Bar Mitzvah Party Photos!

Kate Rice - Supposed Grown Up

Kate Rice - Supposed Grown Up

Kate Rice is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on DollyMix (UK), BitchBuzz (UK), Broke Ass Stuart’s Goddamn Website, the Chicago RedEye, ChicagoNow, Wired: GeekMom, Bleeding Cool, Wizard World Digital, The Beat and GeekNation, where she also hosted the weekly podcast “ComixChix.” Kate has appeared on Good Morning America, WGN Radio and a slew of geek related podcasts. She writes the daily blog The Adorkable Grrl. Kate lives in LA with her #BritishHusband, her daughter, and dog Max. Follow her on Twitter @AdorkableGrrl or on Facebook or on Instagram @TheAdorkableGrrl


  1. May 27, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    >> Dating -especially over the age of 30- is a dystopian nightmare.

    I think this is true, for many folks… because it’s not “mechanically” a part of that age group, in the way dating is for 20-somethings. To date post-30, is to do it more purposely, and most folks don’t have a lot of role models or skills for that process.

    >> ten ideas for social activities where you can meet new people

    I like that list, but I’d caution folks about relying heavily “special events” for interactions.

    VOLUME of opportunities is the #1 factor to knowing who you are (romantically) and who you want, who you’re compatible with. So having very *everyday* habits that put you in contact with others is where I’d point single folks. Yes to meet-ups and classes, but even more to the grocery store, and the sidewalk, and the bus stop.

    It’s *is* a special skill set to get good at interacting in the most mundane and common moments of life — but that’s where the people are.

    And I would disagree that is has to be “brutal” out there for singles… being single, and dating, keeps you fresh, and introduces you to new people and experiences that keep you from getting “smaller” as you get older.

    Much respect to everyone as they search for people with which to share their lives.

  2. Kate Kotler
    May 28, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for the comment, DoGC — My comments about dating being brutal are based on my experiences and on those of my friends, etc. =) But, you have good insight.

    • Kate Kotler
      May 28, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Also: Dating past 30 is becoming more and more the standard, as people are putting off coupling off in order to pursue education, careers and (in some cases) extend their youth. My general observation (as someone who dated up until she met her life partner at 38) is that the number of people interested in having meaningful, healthy relationships in ratio to those who are either a little (or, a lot) crazy/not interested in meaningful, healthy relationships, but rather are carrying the hookup culture over from their 20s is wildly off balance. Which – if you are someone who wants to find a partner to share your life with- can make the experience of weeding through the “Peter Pans” and “Wendys” to find someone with a similar goal a bit on the brutal side. Dating and remaining active didn’t invigorate me, it EXHAUSTED ME. And, I feel deep pity for anyone our age who is still single and ready to mingle… especially in cities like SF, NYC and LA that encourage and fetishize that youth culture. Cheers!