Romance in Washington DC

Already before I moved here, I was told that this was not a place to find a partner. Especially not for a women of my age. (Though I am not sure where that place would be since my colleague told me one of my first weeks in Chisinau that “after the age of 27, you’re off the market as a women in Moldova!”) I could think of a variety of reasons for this, such as the mismatch in the life stages that men and women are in when they come here, especially because of the kind of people that this city attracts. Many are high achievers and have gone all the way through the education system. The staff in the White House administration, including the President and First Lady, is kind of representative for the professional work force here, from the Government and NGO staff to those in the International Organizations. But high academic achievements often mean that other things are sacrificed and my impression is that many here did not belong to the party clic in high school or even in college. It also means that it takes time to go through school and many are in their 30s before they get here. So when women come here and start working, it is for biological reasons also time for them to start thinking of their private lives. For guys, however, it is a different story. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy finally earning some money and the attraction that we all have when we feel successful and more self confident. Especially in an environment where intelligent people are more popular than the sporty? (Also, the beauty bar is not very high here…) So a lot of guys prefer dating around and thus, there is a bit of a mismatch in timing between men and women.

However, and perhaps just because people here are high achievers and have been good at getting what they want, they also are quite picky in terms of attributes of a prospective partner. I heard for example this story the other day:

A acquaintance of mine (JH) heard that one of his female friends was interested in dating and he thought immediately of a male friend of his. Hence, JH called up his male friend and asked if he would be interested in going out with this girl. The friend said maybe, and then started asking if she was smart, what she was doing, and where she was working. She was a lawyer and apparently that was OK, but then he wanted to know where she went to law school. JH didn’t know so he had to call the girl and it turned out that she went to Yale, which was alright with the guy. JH then called the girl again and told her that he had a friend who was interested in going out with her. Nice, she said, but how tall is he? JH wasn’t sure but guessed 5’7 or 5’8. Sorry, she said, I only date guys over 5’9. But how tall are you? JH asked. “5’1” was the answer. Needless to say, JH gave up after that! It’s however not the only time I hear people list such requirements, so maybe people are just not open enough to see the the sides that actually matter in a person.

Mr. Darcy and Lizzy – the classic couple that with time saw each other in a new light

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