Tuesday, January 26, 2010

#32 Geographical Desirability

I never really understood why dudes get so ga-ga-ooh-la-la over this mythical creature that they so endearingly call "the girl next door."  Or why Taylor Swift totally resents her cutie patootie neighbor for dating a girl who wears better shoes than she does.

We big city folks don't get it.  You would think that one good thing about living in a thriving metropolis is the multitude of other young, educated, date-able peers around you.  Think about all the potentially single, attractive people you run into at Whole Foods or the gym.  Being in a big city should mean we have more options than just "the boy next door."  Right??  And single girls like options!

But the more we date, the more we realize what the "girl next door" has going for her: geographical desirability.

The reason why geographic desirability has been so underrated is because single girls have this rational, yet false belief that we are exhausting the same pool of resources in our little neighborhoods.  Every dude seems like every other dude we've dated, especially when we're meeting them all at the same bars and supermarkets, and then awkwardly running into them with the next dude we're dating at the same restaurants.  How do we escape from these homogenous confines?

Solution: we started dating outside our usual enclave.  While venturing out and exploring these new regions, we started crossing paths with more people not just from the next area code, but the next COUNTY.

In New York, Manhattanites regard the "bridge and tunnel" crowd with some disdain.  San Franciscans are repulsed by those from the "South Bay," and in Los Angeles, we don't date "the 818."  No, we're not being elitist, we're being practical.

Our physics teachers taught us this:  time =  distance/rate

And while that was helpful in calculating where Train A would meet Train B if Train A were traveling at 64mph and Train B were traveling at 70mph, they never told us about unexpected delays on the subway or traffic on the 405 or road construction on Wilshire or the protest by the federal building, and suddenly an elementary equation turns into this:

(Okay, I'm exaggerating, that's really some first-order reaction equation that I learned in chemistry class.)

So you've met a cute guy who lives a few neighborhoods away.  What's the big deal?  Well, in a city where it can take over an hour to travel seven miles, ultimately it all boils down to this:  How far would you travel for sex?

Somehow we remember why we never dated outside a two-mile radius of our block in the first place.

An example: It's 2am.  We've had five too many martinis.  We're feeling a little frisky.  Who are we gonna drunk text for a bootie call?  Cute Guy A who lives a mile down the road or equally Cute Guy B who lives in the next area code seven miles away?

Even if Cute Guy B were traveling five times as fast as Cute Guy A, Cute Guy A will have parked his car by the time Cute Guy B even puts on his shoes and finds his wallet.  We won't even consider waiting for Cute Guy C who lives in another county - a decisive buzz kill right there.

A VERY simple equation:
geographical desirability  α  1/distance  α  gratification
In a time where single girls hold instant gratification in such high regard, is it any wonder that "the boy next door" (with the worn out jeans) always wins?    


  1. So true! Forget about it if you live in Santa Monica and you want to get to know someone you met who lives in Pasadena or silver lake! It just isn't going to happen!

  2. Love it!!!! I am dating a guy from *gasp* the OC and am seriously considering ending it even though he is the most perfect guy I have ever dated. Distance is the great spontaneity killer!

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