Editor’s Note: Dating is universal! Everyone goes through it, and if you’re lucky, you eventually find the someone (or someones!) you’re looking for. But this sometimes painful, always entertaining ritual of life is made much easier when we share stories — good and bad — and find ways to laugh at ourselves, steal successful tips from others and learn from our mistakes.

That’s what we hope to do with our new feature “Seattle Dating Scene.” And we need your help to do it! Send your stories, questions and suggestions to dating@seattletimes.com every week and we’ll publish the best submissions!

This week, we’re looking for stories of how people met their significant others. Tell us your story in under 500 words by sending it to dating@seattletimes.com along with a photo.

Here’s the monthly “Seattle Dating Scene” lineup:

  • First week: “Dating Question of the Month” — Readers respond to a dating-related question we’ve posed.
  • Second week: “Happy Anniversary, Tell Us Your Story” — Have an anniversary coming up this month? In under 500 words, tell us how you met your significant other, and send in your story and a photo.
  • Third week: “Best Date/Worst Date” — In under 250 words, tell us an anecdote from the best or worst date you’ve been on.
  • Fourth week: “Ask Marina” — Marina Resto, who runs the lively @Dating_in_Seattle Instagram account, answers reader questions about dating — or finds a special guest to answer the ones she can’t!

To kick things off, we’d like to introduce “Ask Marina” and our new dating columnist Marina Resto, founder of the Instagram account @Dating_In_Seattle, which takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the Seattle dating scene.

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Ask Marina

Hi everyone,

I conceived @dating_in_seattle after I found myself extremely fed up with dating in our fine city.

A couple of friends had sent me screenshots of horrendous — albeit hilarious — dating app conversations they’d had with potential mates. Sometimes, conversations started out pretty innocuously and then suddenly took an (X-rated) turn for the worse. Other times, the messages came across just so quintessentially Seattle …

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Guy: “Do you ski or snowboard?”

Girl: “I ski.”

Guy: “Ah, I snowboard, well it was worth a try — good luck to you!”

I found myself laughing hysterically because of course, they’d gotten these types of messages; I get them too.

I created an Instagram account to post these screenshots anonymously, share my two cents and voila, @dating_in_seattle was born.

Early on, I used the Instagram account to vent about how dating sucks in Seattle. Everyone seems overwhelmingly passive and takes no initiative, and why does it seem like no one is capable of approaching one another IRL? I wanted a place to post ridiculous dating app conversations, share my “feel bad for me” rants, and my “I’m single” status. Since then, I’ve had people send me dating horror stories, ask me to critique their first-date outfits, or had me analyze texts from their most recent meetup.

It felt as if I were helping to prop up the chins of many who felt defeated by this dating scene.

Now, that’s what I’d like to do with this monthly space. I want to be part hype woman, listener and spirit-lifter. While I pretend to be qualified enough to give you all guidance, this feature should be a place you can come for dating advice, inspiration, laughs and the occasional tragicomedy. Ask me any questions you have. If I don’t have the answers, I’ll enlist an expert in a relevant field to find out!

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You can always direct message me on Instagram @dating_in_seattle, or pop your question over via email: dating@seattletimes.com.

Above all, remember that you’re not alone in the Seattle dating struggle. We’re all in it with you, and if you hear someone chortle while reading this, just remember that we’re laughing with you, not at you.

Go get ’em, tiger,

Marina

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