Seattle Dating Scene features readers’ thoughts and stories about what it’s like to date in Seattle.

For our next feature, follow this promptHave the perfect meet-cute story? Or a great first date? In under 500 words, tell us how you met your significant other, and send in your story and a photo.

By Thursday, April 29, please email your submissions to dating@seattletimes.com, or submit them via Instagram direct message to @dating_in_seattle, and they may be printed in a future edition of The Mix.

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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! 

Dear Marina,

Do you think Seattle neighborhoods play a role in someone’s dating approach? When I first moved to Seattle I lived in Lower Queen Anne and then moved to West Seattle. I have had multiple dates — even before the bridge drama — tell me West Seattle was too far. The bridge closure of course made it 100% worse. Now, I’m moving again, and it just popped in my head as I’m looking at places. Future dating prospects aren’t the main driver of where I’ll choose to live, but I’m curious if it really is a focus for some people, or just all the duds that I find.

Sincerely, Wondering in West Seattle

Dear Wondering in West Seattle,

I do think neighborhoods play a role in dating strategy. However, I don’t think they should. There are stigmas associated with some neighborhoods, and because of that we tend to make a lot of assumptions about the people who live there. We don’t all fit into a box. Location may seem important to people, but I think it has less to do about location and more to do with our obsession with instant gratification. Impatient tendencies have formed as a result of things like Amazon two-hour Prime delivery and Netflix streaming. We can get what we want, when we want it. This mindset seems to carry over into the dating world. When setting up your search radius to 3 miles from where you live, you’re prioritizing convenience, but also setting an arbitrary cutoff that may inhibit you from meeting great people. My challenge is for people who are dating and not willing to push the boundaries of your dating radius to ask yourself this question, “If you met the love of your life while traveling in another country, to find out they live in Tacoma, Kirkland or West Seattle: Would that be a deal-breaker?” Now, when swiping through a dating app, think about setting your radius to be much broader than you would normally. You might be surprised at what you find.

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Dear Marina,

I’m over 50 and dating in Seattle. It’s harder than I expected. I’m not originally from Seattle, and it seems like everyone is so cold here. Not much of a neighborhood vibe. No one seems to engage with one another while walking outside, which makes striking up a conversation that much harder. Dating apps are full of fake profiles or people asking for money. I need all the advice I can get, what’s the best way to meet people?

Sincerely, Lonely in Seattle

Dear Lonely in Seattle,

I believe that the universe always gives us what we manifest; in disciplining our thoughts, words and actions, we can create what we want consciously. There are pros and cons to dating online. But just think of dating apps as a means to connect with more people quickly. The No. 1 thing is to just meet people (in person and safely would be best, but I understand that COVID-19 has put a wrench in things). Yes, people will inflate their egos and only show their best side on social media and dating apps. But the thing we need to remember is that they are just people (minus the bots). When you meet someone for the first date you’ll have a good idea if it’s the right fit or not. I hate to say that it’s a numbers game, but the more people you meet, the better odds you have of clicking with someone. Just get out there with the goal to meet new people, and be genuinely curious and interested in getting to know them. Set that as your expectation instead of “finding a partner or match” and you will have more luck.

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Dear Marina,

It’s awful and I hate to admit it, but I feel like I’m addicted to mindlessly swiping on dating apps looking for the right guy. But when I find someone decent, chat with them and eventually meet up with them for a date, they always fall short of my expectations. Then the entire cycle starts all over again. I’ve tried taking breaks, but I always break down and download the dating apps again. What can I do?

Sincerely, Addicted to Apps

Dear Addicted to Apps,

Initially, my advice is to give yourself a goal of three months to delete dating apps from your phone. This cold-turkey approach is something I think you can benefit from, since it will help clear your mind of what you are fixated on. Setting this as a goal, telling your friends and family, marking it on your calendar and holding yourself accountable is a great way to push reset and stick with it. Once you start shifting your focus toward other things in your life — maybe things you tell yourself you don’t have time for (reading, volunteering, calling your grandma, learning to crochet, etc.) — you’ll realize how much time you wasted on mediocre dates and having mediocre conversations. Give yourself an honest break, and by doing so you will remember what is important that you look for in a partner. Set your expectations low but keep your standards high — that’s for both yourself and for your dates.

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: “How We Met” — Have the perfect meet-cute story? Or a great first date? 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!
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