Column | Repost: Richmond- Hardly a “Mecca” for Singles

One of my friends recalled this post from April 2009 and I felt the need to repost. Comments welcome!

April 1, 2009
I have lived in Richmond my whole. Entire. Life. Grew up in the West End. Went to U of R. Stayed here after college to nanny for a summer before finally entering the working world. Save a couple of summers abroad and vacations, it’s been pretty difficult to get rid of me (sick of me yet, Richmond?)

I’m not the only one in my group of friends who end up here as “Lifers” (that includes you, Wahoos. Charlottesville is merely a satellite community of Richmond, in my humble opinion). We end up running around with the same crowd, at the same restaurants, bars, gym, and malls. It’s no surprise that, semi-incestuously, we’ve all got some kind of sicko 6-Degrees of Kevin Bacon-esque overlapping dating stories, too.

As we Lifers escort newbies into the Richmond scene, we inevitably hear them complain that being single here, well, kind of sucks.
This even includes those of you (you know who you are) who wish to remain permanently single. My dear Consultant has lamented to me on numerous occasions, that, after meeting an attractive girl, exchanging numbers and ultimately becoming Facebook friends, a treacherous pattern began to emerge. While examining mutual friends, it became evident that almost every single girl would be friends with his former conquests. “Oh, I see you dated my friend Kate, slept with my best friends Laura and Ali (simultaneously), and had a sloppy make-out with my college roommate Tina on the dance floor at Sine.” Not exactly the sweet beginnings of a long, lasting relationship.

This craziness goes for the ladies, too. Forgive me in advance for being stereotypical, but sometimes its easier to make global statements to make sense of the mania. Here are some of the reasons Richmond girls are single. And in some cases, should be just to avoid dating some of the below characters:

1. The Fellow Lifer
These are guys you have known since Kindergarten (sometimes longer). You’ve been mooned, shanked, and/or wedgied by most of them. You’ve probably set them up with at least one of their ex-girlfriends. You two have likely shared a friendly, champagne-induced New Year’s kiss if no one else was available at midnight. Perfect companion for Sunday Brunch or a riveting Goldeneye tournament, but you could never, ever, I repeat, EVER. Ever. Date them. Ick.

2. The College Buddy
Similar to the Lifer in un-dateablilty. They held you up for your first keg stand at a frat party. You probably slept in their dorm-room bunk bed with a pillow between the two of you when it seemed, at the time, humanly impossible to make it the extra 50 yards home. You saw them at their cracked-out, sleep-deprived worst during pledging. You also have probably set them up with at least one of their ex-girlfriends. You saw them every day during college, but now only see them occasionally at Metro or a mutual friend’s Tacky Christmas Sweater Party. Less “Ick,” but still a no-no.

3. The Neophyte iBanker
Super-driven, uber-successful, and generally very, very good looking. So, what is the problem, you ask? Corporate bitches for their first two years, these guys are working 100-hour weeks (at least). When they’re not slaving for the old guys downtown, they can be found at Metro, 3 Monkeys or BlackFinn. How to spot them? Still in their suits, the drunkest slobs in the room, cocky, loud, and a slew of Orange Crush bomb stains down their Brooks Brothers’ ties. A sense of entitlement to boot. The single ones “don’t have time for a relationship” and many of the taken ones can be found shamelessly groping other girls on the dance floor. Not boyfriend material. Run. (Eds. Note: No offense to my iBanking friends, but you know this was many of you or your coworkers to a T two years ago.)

Addendum: I have GOT to hand it to these guys. Not 20 minutes after I posted this, I got an email from one of my friends who happens to be in the iBanking field. His rebuttal was great, and I needed to share it so our Richmond girls don’t get TOO scared away by our Sartioral Suitors (very deliberate word-play):

“… it’s the “Not boyfriend material. Run.” part that caught my eye. There are diamonds in the rough everywhere, and isn’t that what we’re all looking for? How about – Run. But not too fast, it never hurts to make him chase you with a drink on his AMEX before you go – mythical stories have been told about kind souls lurking through the Wall Street lifestyle. Odds are he’s about to be laid off, and now may be the perfect time for him to chase you right out of his primitive ways.”

4. The Man Child
If you’ve been following my blog, this needs no explanation. Please see The Man Child: An Introduction

5. The Outskirts Guy
You might meet this charming fellow out downtown playing pool at Richbrau or sitting on the patio at Sine. He’ll be with a large group of friends (like yourself) and, to your surprise, has the guts to boldly approach you and your group of friends as a Lone Wolf. Nice conversation, cute dude, considering giving him your phone number. “So, where do you live?” Manchester. Colonial Heights. Petersburg. Hanover. This will essentially be a long-distance relationship. Unless you’re willing to travel outside the city limits, proceed with caution or turn around.

6. The Creepy Old Dude
This is one to avoid at all costs. The Creepy Old Dude (likely to be found at Curbside, Bogart’s, and occasionally Buddy’s) tends to stare for at least 25 minutes at you and your friends before pouncing as you make your way to the restroom. Politely offers to buy you a drink. You decline. Asks if you have a boyfriend. You say no. Acts stunned at how such a “pretty young lady” doesn’t have a “fella.” I’ve been cornered by one of these types who is a postal worker (nothing against that upstanding profession, I’d just never met one outside of their normal parameters). He was mustached and made my skin crawl. Probably hiding ex-wife under floorboards in basement. Run. Fast.

These few are just the tip of the Undateables Iceberg. Call me what you like, but it’s a perfidious dog-eat-dog world out there for Richmond Singles. At least you can be on the look-out for a few types to avoid.



  1. […] used this forum as a place to vent about bad dates, insufferable “man children” and what it was like to be single and living in Richmond, Virginia. Dating and romance quickly became the topic I was writing about most, and soon after, I was […]


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