Dating in your 20’s

First post on this site but wanted to get your thoughts on how to meet more girls and what I am doing wrong. In college I had casual things with girls but nothing ever very serious. Now that I am settled and making money I'm looking to start dating and find a nice girl to spend time with. I consider myself a pretty decent looking guy but it feels like I'm missing something on how to attract women for a relationship. LA girls seem to be mainly focused with how the guy will look on their social media and if they will spend money on them. Maybe this is a negative outlook but I want to put myself out there more and don't know really where to start.

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Comments (49)

Jul 23, 2021 - 4:06am

This is my personal view only, but I am from the West (now in NYC and Europe).

1) LA is a different place when it comes to dating. The city of models, movie stars, social media, vlogging and media production has a huge influence on what people want in their own lives. Looks matter a lot more than elsewhere, and even if you are attractive, you still need to have more than just that (money, fame, a certain profession, be part of a group/society, family name, etc). I found LA girls to be way more superficial, materialistic and gold-digging than elsewhere. Not all are like that, but it is a bigger part of life in SoCal. One reason for this behavior might be the CoL in this area, which is very high. You also notice that girls in England, NYC or other high CoL places may also focus a little bit more on your net worth than elsewhere.

2) Almost all of my girlfriends from high school were introduced to me through friends, family, parties, events, or through school. So it depends a lot to which school you went to, who you knew, what your network looks like, what events your parents attended, what fundraiser you visited, your alma mater, etc. it is easier to meet someone if you already know a lot of people. It is a catch 22 if you are new to the area. People in Southern California are very nice and friendly, but not always the most open when it comes to their personal lives.

3) At UCLA I started to meet and date girls through the college network. I would meet them through activities, clubs, or just the parties on campus. Greek life wasn't that strong out West, but it exists (I don't think you have to be part of it to meet girls TBH). College events like that are a great way to meet girls. If you are a fairly recent grad, it doesn't hurt to spend some time around campus (Doesn't work if you are in your late 20s/early 30s, IMO).

4) As you know, permanent sunshine and a more open dress code won't allow to hide imperfections as much. Get in the best shape you can. Less fat, more muscle. workout culture is huge in SoCal and it is another avenue to meet people. Join classes at the gym. Do stuff you wouldn't do normally.

5) We didn't have tinder, and other apps back when I lived in LA, only social media - I would argue they are more en vogue today. However, app based dating skews towards attractive people or people who know how to sell themselves online (good pictures, setting, communication skills, what/when to text, ..). If your looks are above average and there are no red flags, then I would try this avenue.

6) Distances... do I have to mention it? In all likelihood you'd want to meet and date local people or within a 30 minute drive radius. If she lives in Santa Monica and you are in Rancho Cucamonga, it will fizzle out. Nobody likes spending 4 hours return to go to the movies. What this means? Try to enable your local network. Go to local coffee shops a lot, grab your tablet and read a book outside on a lawn or in a local park, ask local friends to introduce you to others, hit up all local watering holes, meet local people through sports and hobbies, car meets, etc. this takes more effort, but is most likely the most rewarding thing to do. The perfect match won't help you much when she lives 2 hours away.
Here is a super weird example: A friend of mine hated single life in Pomona, I think. He offered to look after his friends' dogs for free just to get out more often. After a month in dog parks and walking outside, he'd met more girls than anywhere else and he is dating a really nice one right now. This isn't something a normal person would ever do, but dogs will enable so many new people in your life. People love pets and children, so if you have dogs or nephews/nieces around you... get outside.
Another option would be to join the local country club, golf club, sports club, or the chapter of a political organization - the more people you meet, the better!

6) Competition is tough out West. A decent guy who could score many dates in NYC will have a much harder time in Los Angeles. That is the reality of the dating situation. Social media, dating apps, influencers, musicians and movies carry a lot of weight when everyone is staring at screens all day long. It is very easy for a girl to ditch a decent guy on an app if the next guy is better looking and if 30+ DMs are waiting on her IG as well.

7) Despite all efforts, California and LA are still fairly segregated (2, 3). Everyone is considered equal and in all the years I have never heard anyone shout racial slurs. But it would be unrealistic to expect a truly equal playing field for any human in almost any area. Race, income, social class, neighborhood, industry, and so much more will play a role in who people may or may not date. The situation overall is improving.
Everything I wrote is just my personal opinion based on the people I know, how I grew up and YMMV IRL.

Jul 23, 2021 - 12:44pm

Thanks for the meaningful reply. I think your absolutely right about the superficial/social media based culture in LA. In college I felt most people were relatively on an equal playing field assuming you were around the Greek life scene as people were mostly compared by grades/internships. But now as a postgrad there is a huge emphasis on perception of status and wealth and looks through what you convey online.

I'll look into the things you mentioned as they are all good ideas. I think the point of frequenting spots gives you a chance to see people multiple times and develop that mutual connection. Thanks for your advice, cheers.

Jul 23, 2021 - 1:18pm

Social media is everywhere now - and the younger the girl, the more she was influenced throughout her childhood and teenage years already. Think about it this way: any somewhat attractive girl on social media will have thousands of guys following her. These guys will almost always do whatever it takes to slide into her DMs, make her laugh, show her a great time and get on with her. Girls (especially insecure ones) really like this kind of attention, every like is another ego push. The influential guys with the biggest social clout are indeed powerful enough to get the girl. He might even make his entire income through social media and marketing deals. Social media is an actual industry now.
A studious dude who has a degree with a good enough (but not amazing) income might not be cool enough to be with this type of girl. In the fully digital age peoples' attention span isn't that long. A degree qualified staffer who sits in a cubicle reminds her too much of what her dad did for a living... and that's not exciting enough.

All the younger girls I have dated wanted to be "known for something", be IG famous, or be recognized on the street after posting some reel. And that was the same in England or the US.

The other, much bigger, challenge is that this region is wealthy. The girls here come from families that make a significant income through their companies, inheritance or land/RE ownership. Even the best junior rainmaker isn't going to cut it if he is slaving away for 6-7 days a week and barely gets out of the office. The nice, educated, white girl from a classy family has absolutely no need for this guy. She might consider dating you if your dad practically owns the company though...

Aug 14, 2021 - 8:00pm


Thanks for the meaningful reply. I think your absolutely right about


"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jul 25, 2021 - 1:08pm

6. Extremely true. Know someone whose a model in LA right now whose originally from NYC and he dates 9s and 10s. All of them are either IG models/influencers. Don't know him that well but he's definitely gotten laid a handful of times with different women largely due to his social media presence (as per one of his buddies who visited him out there pre-COVID). 

7. This is very true. Not sure why but I've seen a lot of Koreans I know love living in / visiting LA for dating/nightlife. Apparently they have a lot of cute Korean women there who are either single or looking for a casual relationship. And in NYC, there are some predominantly Latina/Asian neighborhoods. Dating is super fun IMO in NYC because there's so many different cultures. A lot of Middle Eastern women in ethnic Queens neighborhoods are drop dead gorgeous (perfect 10s) for example but tend to be from strict families while a lot of good looking extroverted Latina/Black girls are open to dating any race. A lot of the best looking women in my opinion in NYC are from blue collar neighborhoods in Queens. 

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Jul 25, 2021 - 2:02pm

CoL also applies to dating and social life in the Golden State. You need significantly more "social clout" to get the same/worse compared to other locations.
I grew up in Los Angeles and I have quite a few very attractive female friends; they go to their apps, checkout a dude who literally looks like a male model, with a six pack and the perfectly chiseled face.. and they just ignore him. I mean.. if a guy like that can't get these ladies, who can?!
One of my seriously good looking friends from High School dated an "artist" for years, guy was tattooed all over, rode a skateboard and mixed music in his free time. Artists, skaters, singers/rappers/musicians, etc all carry more weight there as well.

And these weren't even friends from the O.C., that is an entirely different ball park... your family better owns half of the state in order to score someone there! Post graduation I attended cotillion in Newport Beach once, I couldn't believe what I saw there... no average salaried position in the world would pull a girl there.
After having seen the qualities these girls seek in a guy, I was glad that my next job took me to NYC and London. It was the perfect move at the perfect age, European girls are so refreshing.

So, UCLA is sometimes called "University of California, Asia" (or similar) because of the very high Asian congregation all over the state, but especially at this school. Have never seen more Koreans, Chinese, Vietnamese, and other groups at college. Sadly, most of the racial identities at UCLA (and also other schools) don't mix well compared to other colleges. There is no hate against each other, but due to the size of the school there is a lot of self-segregation going on.

Los Angeles has a lot of diversity, but also stricter enclaves where they all live and pray. Just look at Google Maps and you'll see all the "-towns". Koreatown, Little Armenia, Tehrangeles, etc. it goes so far that certain industries or jobs even live in the same place, the TMZ (thirty mile zone regulation for SAG/AFTRA) doesn't help solve this either.

There are mixed couples, but I don't think it is a common thing to see.

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 23, 2021 - 12:54pm

dude just go for 7s and you'll be good. Hitting on attractive chicks is a dangerous game and likely impractical; most hot women can't handle stable, honest relationships (I have enough anecdotal+statistical evidence to come to this conclusion). A 7 with a nice ass will run you with a lot less stress than a 9; marginal returns diminish past 7s, at least this has been my experience. Feel free to mock me for phrasing it this way, but going for the nice and stable girl who isn't the prettiest in the room is usually a better deal than the 9 or 10 that looks great superficially but ends up becoming problematic in the long run. 

Jul 24, 2021 - 8:05pm

Dude said usually. On the whole, he's right. The nine/ten you find in this category is the one you wife. Lived in LA for 5 years.. good times.. but vast majority of 9/10 live for the gram and are pretty shallow / not the brightest. Better be ready to dance in tic tocs and take 30 different pictures of the same pose to find the "perfect" one. Horseshit. Not worth the hassle 99% of the time. 

Jul 28, 2021 - 9:08am

I agree with your post but it's kind of a bit ironic you wrote that considering that you just said in that other thread that you went for someone less attractive with a good personality.


Jul 25, 2021 - 12:08pm

This is accurate, not sure why you're getting MS. The 9s and 10s are fun for a night or a fling, but in the long run they are more problematic than they are worth (speaking from experience). Just find a girl that checks all of your other boxes and is still attractive but not an IG model.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 12, 2021 - 12:08am

fan of a lot of his books, think he outlines the dating mindset if you wanna call it that well 

Jul 26, 2021 - 2:11pm

Interesting Post - How would you compare NYC, LA, and Miami girls?

In terms of high-quality/meaningful relationships, don't want to completely generalize but seems like NYC would have the most opportunity despite it being pretty shallow a lot of times.

Jul 26, 2021 - 2:20pm

NYC has the hottest chicks and also women outnumber men in general so the odds are better.


"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jul 26, 2021 - 2:58pm

Good source and makes sense assuming a normal distribution.

Where do you like meeting chicks in the city?

Personally getting tired of the whole Ashley from new jersey LES routine (Pheobes, 310 bowery etc)

In the market for some hot foreign girls... (Latina, Arab, Euro) 

Jul 28, 2021 - 11:45am

Unless your dad also worked in finance in a tier 1 city the experiences aren't going to be the same.


  • 1
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 14, 2021 - 3:27am

my dad's from a foreign country with a very different culture, he tells stories of pulling chicks back home but the advice he gives is more comical then useful here in the US

Jul 26, 2021 - 11:38pm

never fall in love with a woman who is attracted by your money. if you want to proceed with this kind of relationship, treat her as a glorified prostitute and not a gf. thanks for coming to my ted talk.

Jul 27, 2021 - 2:35am

Never fall in love with a man who is attracted by your beauty, such men are obviously all trash and if you ever date one just use them like an ATM and be sure to suck them financially dry. /s

  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Aug 6, 2021 - 4:03pm

I think beauty is more unique to the individual and subjective whereas wealth is literally just a number.

There will always be someone with a higher net worth. But beauty is subjective - there are guys who genuinely believe they married the most beautiful woman in the world (and to them it's absolutely true)

But with money, there will always be someone who will buy you more shit than your current bf

Aug 7, 2021 - 6:20am

Was simply trying to make the point that dating isn't philanthropy. One does simply not date others out of the mere desire to love another unconditionally because we are living in the real world and not a romantic comedy show.

People date people for tangible and intangible benefits, be it because of a combination of more superficial reasons such money, looks and status, as well as factors such as personality compatibility, lifestyle compatibility and similarity in world and future outlook.

It is perfectly normal for both men and women regardless to be attracted to a partner with financial stability and perhaps even great wealth. Think about it, would you love someone if they are intellectually handicapped, had a bad personality, is physically grotesque and deep in debt?

Aug 6, 2021 - 4:09pm

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