City Cast

How To Date In DC

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on June 26   |   Updated on July 7
Left or right? (BSVIT/Getty Images)

Left or right? (BSVIT/Getty Images)

Dating in D.C. is pretty much the worst. From personal experience, I’ve found it’s often transient, status-focused, or a political minefield. We chatted with dating coach Erika Ettin, or “A Little Nudge” for tips on some classic D.C. dating dilemmas. You might not meet your soulmate right away, but at least you can have fun trying.

DO date across the river: People in D.C. get stuck in a geographic bubble and won’t think about someone amazing that’s just a metro ride away or (god forbid) across the river. It’s not long-distance; it’s Arlington.

DON’T make them come to you: If you ask someone on a first date, you should be willing to meet them where they are or choose a neutral location. Don’t just go to the bar downstairs from your building; it screams lazy.

Erika Ettin from “A Little Nudge” (Courtesy of Erika Ettin)

Erika Ettin from “A Little Nudge” (Courtesy of Erika Ettin)

DO talk about work: Just not the entire time. The "what do you do" question gets a lot of flack in D.C., but our careers are a significant part of our lives! Talk it out and then move on. Maybe throw in a "what do you do for fun?"

DON’T do a big activity on a first date. This is a trial session. Stick to something like drinks, coffee, a walk, or something else low commitment.

DO bring up politics on a first date: But only if it is important to you. Otherwise, leave it for later discussions. In the same vein, be open to different political leanings. “Moderate” doesn’t necessarily mean they voted for Trump.

DON’T sit across from each other: Sit next to each other instead. Grab bar seats or a catty-corner booth rather than a high top, which can feel formal and far away. Plus, your elbows can “accidentally” graze each other. Whoops.

These tips just skim the surface. Erika had a lot more wisdom to share in our City Cast DC episode, featuring my tragic love life.

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