Single In Laguna

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By Richard Craig

I was invited to write a column on dating in Laguna Beach. First, I am no expert at dating, but what I am good at, among other things, is asking questions and listening.

So the editor asked me to give Single in Laguna a try, and here are few facts: Richard Craig is not my real name, but if asked in public I will try not deny who I am. I do write, and have for a long time. I am over 50, single and honestly baffled by the single community in Laguna at times. My job is, with your help, to figure it out.

Single in LagunaRules are simple. I will be honest and even embarrass myself (which I can do easily and often). So, next week I need input, if you are a woman: where do you go to meet guys? In other words where do I tell guys to go to meet you (and please do not suggest Javier’s on Thursday nights)? And, tell me what you are looking for: one night stands to fun casual conversation?

Upcoming stories include “The Five Year Plan” (as explained to me by a Laguna Yoga instructor: find them, get the money (including the boob job and face lift and plan your exit strategy with cash), and “The True Cost of Dating”  (should women be expected to pay for half of a date?)

Then of course, I want your love stories. Being a single, hapless romantic, I need love stories for my soul. Along the way I will be dropping my own self-created pyscho babble. But lets start this week with cell phones on a date…..

I have long believed it is best to actually talk to your date, but we have all sat through our date looking at their phone. I had a date who texted through dinner. After the third time, I expressed a bit of dismay at what a lousy date I must be (and I am sure I have been). Her response was exasperated as she explained this was “her dysfunction”. I figured a $200 dinner was a bit pricey for her “dysfunction”. I understand if someone has to focus on a kid or parent, but damn it, can you PLEASE explain it to your date at the outset? If not, I think it signals a real narcissistic tendency that can do nothing but scare your date away. Perhaps try a subtle ring tone or set it to vibrate and sit on it. But please give a guy a break—or at least pick up half the tab.

OK, time for me to fess up. After I met a great woman, she looked over her coffee cup with the covers snuggled up to her waist, and said, “Who the hell were you texting at 3 AM?If there was any intention of a little morning delight, it faded. My explanation was half-hearted and while it was true, I felt like an ass. So, my advice: Leave the I phone in the car — the danger is too high.

Let me know your advice. I will write about the best ideas, thoughts, and experiences.

I do have one question (each week I will leave you with one): If you are asked to share the pictures on your cell phone with a date, new girlfriend what will you say? Is a cell phone out of bounds to share (and yes, I did look at a new girlfriend’s cell phone pictures once to find her old boyfriend sending pics of his six pack). Most important, if your answer is, “No, I would not share photos,” how would a dork like me say it?

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Author: Richard Craig

Richard Craig is not my real name, but if asked in public I will not deny who I am. I do write, and have for a long time. I am over 50, single and honestly baffled by the single community in Laguna at times. My job is, with your help, to figure it out.

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  1. Thanks everyone for writing your thoughts. I am going to address this issue of equality in my next column. Now dont get upset at me, I am a rather simple fellow, but damn is it hard to figure out what women mean and want.

    I am curious, and thus my column. AT what point are men to be expect financial equality or if that cannot be done, is there some element of equality that needs to discussed?

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  2. Honestly, I have been married for 14 years and committed for 15. On saying that I find this article quite interesting, that in the 21st century women are equals on so many level and fought for centuries for this to happen, but they don’t want to contribute to the entertainment bill. I also love the fact, in the 21st century, that chivalry is not dead and many are still willing to romance a woman. Good on you boys! I am a romantic at heart and loved to be wooed. After 15 years, I still have a weekly date with my honey and I offer to pay…ha ha. Just for the record when I was earning the big dollars and dating, I paid for some dates in full. I also paid for my own wedding. That may be a topic for your next segment.

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    • Tracey: I think the problem is that we are not equals on the salary scale, as much as we strive for that. And, secondly, I say hot-date clothing and hair expenses is part of entertainment bill, so we contribute more than our fair share.

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    • Laguna, is probably the hardest place to date. Because if your not “local” or have a good amount of money.. your going to have problems. To answer, the question, is a man supposed to pay? the answer is yes…. be a man! open up doors for her, pick up her napkin if it falls to the ground. First impression, pays off. If you have her pay half, she will see a “red flag, with (your cheap)” written on it. There’s a saying, “Happy wife, happy life” same with dating, a good date, is when both people are having fun. Bartering, to see how much each person pays, seems like a real buzz kill!

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      • Well said, John.

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  3. Shark Bait: I have reason to believe that I spend more on preparing for a date than dinner costs, so I am ok with allowing a man to pay.

    Furthermore, most men I date earn considerably more money than I do, so it’s nice that they offer to pay for dinner, and I do not expect anyone to pay for my dating maintenance.

    Agreed that if a woman offers to pay half, she likely isn’t in it for the romance.

    If I was dating someone who earns less money than I, I might think differently about the whole thing.
    What are your thoughts about changing the dating game depending on financial resources?

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    • wrong.. If a man can pay. Let him pay, even if he is not financially secure. YOU come off as a snob. That is why some women give this town a bad name!

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      • John: Be more specific about why/how I come off as a snob.

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    • Carisa, you believe that women spend more but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the correct assessment. The items on your list, and my counter example, all have value beyond the single date. So we’d have to average the costs over number of uses and factor in some intangibles to figure out who’s actually spending more for a date. Tedious and boring to say the least!

      For the sake of argument, will you accept the possibility that the man pays the same as the woman for the date?

      Regarding your second question, changing the game with changing incomes. To me, the goal isn’t to keep financial score. The goal is to enjoy our time together. On those initial dates where I’m asking you out, we’re going to do what I can afford. If you’re well off and that’s below your standards offer to help upgrade our experience. With the right woman, coffee at the beach and dinner in Paris can be equally great; regardless of who paid how much of it. For me, the important thing is to stay within both of your comfort zones so that dating doesn’t feel one-sided and lead to resentment.

      Assuming you started making ten times what you make now, would you date a guy that made less than you and how would that affect the way you date?

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      • Shark Bait: Agreed on your 1st point. And, I will accept for argument’s sake that expenses are equal. Agreed on your 2nd point.

        I don’t care how much my date/bf earns. The overriding question for me is, “Do we bring out the best in one another?” If not, it’s not going to matter how much $$ is on the table or what we do or where we go.

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        • Well then, let us agree to agree :D

          A pleasure chatting with you.

  4. Call me old fashioned, but isn’t it the guy who is supposed to be doing the wooing? I certainly wouldn’t be impressed with any guy who expected me to foot half the bill.

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    • If women earned as much money as men, would that make a difference?

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  5. In response to your question, “Should women be expected to pay for half of a date,” the real question is, “Should MEN be expected to pay for half of a date?”

    Perfume: $200
    Thigh high boots: $450
    Sexy stockings: $20
    Tight dress: $500
    Hair: $100
    Nails & Toes: $45 (with tip)
    Bustier: $300
    Dinner: $100

    All expenses considered, how many men pay a fraction of what women pay for an average dinner date?

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    • Chivalry may not be dead but it seems as if it is definitely bruised and battered…NO! a woman should not be expected to pay for half the date. If she blows you away and insists on paying …marry her!

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    • My Armani suit costs more than all that combined. But let’s not quibble over puts more effort and treasure into being attractive. Mutual attraction is what really matters, it is exceedingly rare, and worth the cost.

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      • Couldn’t agree with you more about mutual attraction being worth the cost, Shark Bait. But, do you think women should pay for half?

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        • If I ask her out, I pay. If she asks me out, I offer to pay half.

          If she insists on paying half when I asked her out, I assume she’s not interested. I graciously accept her offer and move on.

          How about you Carisa, what are your guidelines?

        • See new comment stream.

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