Talking to Strangers: Sacramento, CA
"I'm single right now and looking for a special young lady in my life…"
by Pha Lo and Doshe Lo
Where are you from?
I'm originally from San Francisco, but I've lived in Denver for ten years. I'm out celebrating my birthday and visiting my family.
I've heard Denver dubbed "Menver," because it's supposed to be a place with a lot of attractive men.
I can't speak to that, but I can tell you I'm single right now and looking for a special young lady in my life.
How long have you been single?
Well, going on a year now. It could be a good thing, it could be a bad thing.
How long was your last relationship?
It only lasted a year.
Did it end well?
No, absolutely not. I wouldn't want to get into a whole lot of details, but it was just, I guess you would call it bad chemistry.
Any advice on how to end things?
Honesty would be the best policy, because that's what a lot of it started from. I didn't lie. I was lied to. But it happens, and it's not stopping me from going out and making it happen again — everything from dating online to just saying hello to people at a bus stop or at a bar.
Tell me about your ideal woman.
Someone who's smart, independent, giving. Someone I can give everything I'd want in return.
What attracts you, looks-wise?
I'm not a picky man, as long as they're not super-androgynous. As long as I can tell and others can tell that I'm actually with a woman. That's all right. That's all I can ask for.
Has that ever been an issue?
Well, yeah, it has been. I'm not going to lie about that.
If I were to go on a romantic date with you, what would that look like?
If it was our first date, we might go out for dinner. I might even romance you over a candlelight dinner — something I prepared myself. Depending on how intimate we were getting, I would anything from serenading you with a melody to running you a hot bath with rose petals — all that. It depends how serious I felt about the relationship.
Wow, full volume. Some lucky lady is going to get the whole nine yards. What's the most challenging thing about dating?
Probably being accepted through their friends and families. If you don't pass that test, it's pretty much all down the drain.
Who's harder to pass with — girlfriend's best friend, or girlfriend's mom?
It depends on who influences them the most. If they would rather hang out with their girlfriends than take advice from their family members, I would probably say their girlfirends.
Has anyone ever done anything to offend you in the bedroom?
Yeah — trying to bring in another male partner for some activities. Hey, I don't judge, but that's not for me. They pretty much had another person waiting in the next room and tried to make it go over smoothly. I was pretty calm and cool about it, but I didn't go through with it. I couldn't do it. I love the ladies too much to be cuddling up with some other dude.
Have you ever done anything to offend someone in the bedroom?
I'm sure that I have. I'm probably just a big freak, but that's all right.
I see you're a Kings fan. Are you from Sacramento?
I'm actually from Redding. I came down for the Kings/Lakers game.
What's your relationship status right now?
I've been single now for eight months.
Was your last relationship a long-term thing?
It's still kind of off-and-on, but it was about four months total. It ended badly and then I let go of it. It's still sort of in that weird stage.
Was it just a case of bad timing? Do you foresee it working out in the future?
I'd like it to.
Are you dating right now?
Not particularly. I'm a little closed off right now. I'm a bit bitter from past episodes. This was just an add-on to the rest of them that never turn out very well. I think I put myself out there more than many people are willing to.
Are you going to do something differently next time?
Not necessarily. I kind of do the whole "take it or leave it" thing.
Go big or go home.
Exactly. I'd rather go into it wholeheartedly and get messed up than fake it. It's just not worth it to fake it.
What does your ideal man look like?
Probably someone who is smart, driven, motivated, easy-going and nonjudgmental. I don't really have a specific type. All of the guys I've dated have been a complete mish-mash. There are people who go for tall, dark, and handsome, but my boyfriends have all been totally different. The only thing I can say that has been similar is that most of them have blue eyes, but it's been subconscious. I've never made it a point to actually go for that.
What's a dealbreaker for you?
Clinginess is a huge dealbreaker. I can't deal with people who don't give me my own space. I've had a few. I'm a really independent person, so if someone wants to smother me like that, it's game over.
How do you get out if someone becomes uber-clingy?
I'm really blunt, so I'll pretty much tell them to back off. "Hey dude, not working out." I've always been really straightforward and really blunt. Like I said, it's kind of a "what you see is what you get" situation with me.
What are some of the biggest challenges of dating today?
At least where I'm from, everyone has kids. That kind of grosses me out. I don't want to play mommy. And I don't know if guys are just used to girls who have kids, but I don't, so it throws me into a different category.
Has anyone ever offended you in the bedroom?
No, not really. I have boundaries that I'll throw down. Anything that's on the verge of being abusive, like guys who are into choking or hitting or slapping, is not okay. Anything violent or scary is not okay.
Have you ever done anything to offend anybody?
Not that I'm aware of. At least, no one has said anything yet, so I'm going to go with no.
Have you successfully had monogamous relationships?
I have on my end. I've been in one serious relationship where I got cheated on a bunch, but I've never crossed that line, and I don't think I ever would.
Do you have any last bits of advice?
I don't think being fake in the beginning is good. If someone doesn't like you for who you are, then they shouldn't be with you and they shouldn't find it out six months down the road. They shouldn't have to find that you were just playing a role to get them to like you. I don't think that ever turns out well for anyone.
Are you seeing anyone?
I'm single. I've been single for three years
And what do you do for a living?
I'm a food and beverage manager at a local hotel.
Does that score you a lot of dates?
No. There are a lot of very attractive and nice people that come through, but by the rules of my job, you can't go hang out with your customers.
Tell me about the last relationship you had, three years ago.
It was wonderful. It's kind of weird me telling you this — we're getting into something that's very deep. I had a tubular pregnancy, and everything kind of went bad. But we're still friends. We'll still talk weekly. Things just went the wrong way.
Are you actively dating now?
I'm on a dating site, yes.
Make a sweeping generalization about dating in Sacramento.
I'm actually from the Virginia area. I moved here two years ago, so I'm a bit of a Southern gal. I've met a lot of fake people from this area — it's been hard to meet someone who meets my standards.
When was your latest date?
I was actually just... well, I wouldn't say I was dating anybody, because it was only for three weeks, but I was with somebody for three weeks, and I paid for everything. It was always him saying, "Come to my house." I was always packing the bag and going to his place, and he never came to mine. I dealt with that for many years, so I ended it — two days ago, actually.
So you knew from experience that this wasn't going to work?
Right. A relationship is not a one-way street. It's two ways. So if I don't get the respect back...
How did you break it off?
I was nice about it. I told him I couldn't afford it, because I live in Sac and he's in Citrus Heights — and really, it's only thirty minutes away, but he never came my way, so I said I couldn't afford the gas. I made it into a financial situation, which it really wasn't, but that was nicer. He came back and said, "I opened up my heart and I gave everything to you," and totally made me out to be this bad person. I just tried to do the "it's not you, it's me" thing, but really, it was him.
But he took it pretty hard?
Yeah, he seemed to be a bit of an asshole about it.
That's too bad.
Well, get over it, you know? It's not like we'd been together for years.
So what's the best way to meet people here?
I have no idea. I'm thirty-three — I'm only out for this bar crawl. Otherwise, I'm a homebody. I don't like to go out and drink and all that, so I really don't know how. I don't have a big group of friends — all my friends are in the San Francisco area.
What makes a good dating-site profile?
I think short and sweet. You've got to meet face to face. You can write anything that you want, and make you sound like you're the coolest funnest person in the world, but to meet someone face to face, keep it short and sweet.
Tell me about your ideal man.
Well, looks are not everything. Personality is what's attractive to me. They have to enjoy sports. Like playing golf. Like watching movies. You could be Brad Pitt, but if you don't have a good personality, and mutual hobbies...
And what about immediate dealbreakers?
I work in the hotel industry and I have to be sociable, so if you're not able to easily strike up conversations, that would be a dealbreaker, especially in the beginning. If you were very quiet, that would be the biggest dealbreaker for me. And some people when you meet them just want to talk about themselves and don't ask you questions back. That's another.