If you haven't binged on Netflix's new series, "Love," you're missing out. Starring comedy writer Paul Rust and the uber talented Gillian Jacobs, it encapsulates all the frustrations, horrors and joys that come with dating in LA.
My boyfriend and I watched all 10 episodes in about three days, if that tells you anything. And while neither of us are single, obviously, the writing is so good, we can still relate.
In fact, you might as well apply the dating tips you get from "Love" to all your relationships, both old and new. Because if you live in LA, you know this sprawling city has a dating microclimate that's entirely its own.
Don't let your car become the third wheel.
Our cars may be our second homes, but don't let your love for fuel efficiency get in the way of your relationships. As Paul Rust explained in an interview with Mother Jones,
In Los Angeles, you have to meet the person, then walk out separately to your own cars, and follow the person to their neighborhood, and then pray that street parking isn't going to mess things up.
When in doubt, take an Uber.
Don't push the jokes, but let your own funny shine.
LA is full of people trying way too hard. Take a tip from the "Love" playbook and don't push corny jokes unless you're comfortable with them failing -- hard.
Sit back, relax and let your unique sense of humor percolate through the conversation. As much as it may feel like it, not everything is an audition.
For date ideas, think outside the bar.
There's no shortage of amazing bars in LA -- that much is sure. But with the wealth of LA-specific joints that aren't bars, why settle for overpriced vodka sodas?
Look out for hotties at your local gas station.
Having bad luck meeting Westsiders who won't come east and vice versa? Look no further than your nearest gas station to find hotties that likely live near you. Visit the Arco around the corner from your apartment for easy, fun times.
Or, if you're feeling adventurous, linger at Echo Park's United Oil -- the gas station that was basically another main character in "Love."
You have to fuel up anyway, so why not make your biweekly/weekly/daily trip work for you? Plus, there are lots of activities to help you stall at gas stations. Check your tire pressure or buy some snacks to look totally natural while eyeing a cute man bun.
Cultivate your own personal style.
The beautiful thing about LA is, unlike New York, you can wear whatever the f*ck you want. It's hot here almost all the time, so the necessity to layer up goes out the window -- unless you're into that.
The style guide for first dates is wide open because "California casual" literally translates to "you do you, boo."
Want to wear a tuxedo to a diner? It wouldn't be the first time. Want to pair a sport coat with your overalls and Birkenstocks? Again, wouldn't be the first time.
Take style inspiration from Mickey who, in the first episode, throws on a one-piece bathing suit with high-waisted jeans and an old flannel shirt and ends up looking like a baller.
Also, LA is great because everyone is way too concerned about their own ensembles to care about yours. So feel free to go hog wild with that see-through romper.
Try not to assume all dorks are nice guys.
As "Love" shows, being a nerdy dude doesn't necessarily mean you're a benevolent creature. In the first few episodes, the setup feels the same as every other rom-com Judd Apatow has done.
The schlubby dork with a heart of gold eventually wins over the hot girl because he has a personality, blah, blah...
But, as the story develops, we realize Gus (the dork) is actually kind of passive aggressive and self-absorbed, while Mickey (the babe) has stage-five clinger tendencies that defy her outward appearances. The characters, in turn, are more complex and realistic, reminding us not everyone is as kind, confident or aloof as they might appear.
That piece of advice applies wherever you're swiping, but allowing people to surprise you is especially important in LA. That bubbly blonde might share your passion for Sega and the male stripper you ordered could be working on his PhD. It's up to you to find out.
Don't forget to make friends.
Dating in LA -- hell, living in LA -- can be a lonely experience. Without a network of supportive, platonic friends to fall back on, getting by in this city can be rough. While finding the love of your life is great and all, those friendships that carry you through thick and thin are equally important.
As an extra benefit, when you focus less on finding marriage potential and more on connecting with quality people, love matches are sure to follow. It's all about those positive vibes, baby.
For more LA dating insights, check out "Love," now streaming on Netflix.