I close the door of the Uber driver’s Toyota Prius, hold my heels in one hand, and my wallet in the other. Despair swells inside me, and I feel like I could cry. As I struggled to find my house keys, something struck me.
If only there were as many qualified men as there are Uber drivers in Priuses.
A few hours ago I was putting on mascara and dreaming of the evening ahead. My date and I will click right away, and the conversation will be easy. He laughed at everything I said, because I was funny. Then we kissed goodbye, eager and excited in equal measure for our impending second date. In fact, we were drinking during awkward pauses, and I called my Uber while sitting alone at the table, while my companion took a 30-minute phone call from his ex-wife, a half-block away from our dining patio.
I fully acknowledge that the previous gentleman and I did not have the best chemistry from the beginning. But this was my second appointment this week. And I’ve been dating consistently for over a year! How long would it take to find love?!
According to a recent Jane Balk article in the Seattle Times, there are approximately 112 men between the ages of 25 and 39 in King County for every 100 women. I’m 30, so this data is perfect for my dating demographic. If the odds seemed in my favor, why didn’t I make it? Shouldn’t the number of qualified men be equal to the number of Uber drivers?
I have at least a dozen friends my age in King County who feel the same way I do. I feel sorry for everyone, from my Pilates instructor to the librarian at the Bellevue Public Library. We all put ourselves out there, and we all struggle to find what we are looking for.
Many of us use dating apps, viewing them as a necessary — and frustrating — evil when it comes to finding love. Other common complaints are that it is inefficient, time-consuming, and overwhelming. Mr. Ex, mentioned earlier, came from dating apps, as did Mr. Druggie, Mr. Boastful, and Mr. Touchy.
I even work part-time as a professional matchmaker. So it’s literally a part of me job To talk about dating. Clients who use my company vary in age, gender, and sexual orientation. In each case, the team attempts to match people based on an extensive and in-depth personal interview. But even with this personal touch, the process is tedious and does not always lead to the desired result.
Some may wonder if the infamous “Seattle freeze” was to blame, but I don’t think it’s fair to point the blame in that direction because I’ve found a lot of friendly people in this city.
COVID-19 certainly hasn’t helped my cause, but that’s not limited to big cities like Seattle. For many of us, the shift to remote work has reduced our opportunities to meet new people in the office. It’s hard to hang around the water cooler when you have your own kitchen faucet.
Obviously I gave this a lot of thought. I think it boils down to this: no one, and certainly no algorithm, can predict chemistry – let alone connectivity. So, even with favorable demographics, social media apps that allow us to customize preferences, or professional matchmaking services, finding love has always been, and still is, difficult.
However, we are all on board to keep trying. Because for most of us, finding that combination of compatibility and desire is what we aspire to on our journey to happiness. It is worth pursuing. It’s that elusive thing that some of us have tasted, others long for.
Now, where do I set my phone?