New City, New Dates

Photo by David Abbram on

So I made the big move from Chicago to Baltimore. A fresh new city waiting for me, full of hope and wonder. Well, sort of. Although I was excited to begin my grad school program, I wasn’t all that taken with the Baltimore area at first. I moved into a tiny room in a house with 3 guys just down the street from campus. I’m still not really sure how I fit all of my belongings into that tiny room. It made my Chicago apartment feel like a luxury hotel. I hated having to drive everywhere, and did not understand why it took at least 20 minutes to get everywhere. I knew next to no one here, and it took a while to get settled and find my groove. Over time, Baltimore has grown on me, but the dating scene hasn’t always been so favorable. Let’s explore some of my first dating options in the new city.


First there’s the fact that I moved into a house with 3 guys. A perfect opportunity for a Jess and Nick New Girl type romance, right? Wrong. One guy was already taken, one was definitely not my type, and the third well he had some potential. He definitely had a cute baby face, but he was still in undergrad and at quite a different place in his life. Although we flirted a bit, and we spent some time together watching Breaking Bad and going to a rock climbing gym together once, nothing came of that. Probably for the best. He eventually moved out, and although we cycled through a few more roommates over the next 3 years, none of them were exactly date worthy.

Grad School

There was also my grad school program. You’d think this would be a great place to meet someone new what with all of the work on group projects and such. Sadly, I was in an education program so of course most of my classmates were again women. The few guys in my classes were nice, but no one really caught my attention, and the ones who did were already taken. Also being a grad school program, most people were busy with part or full-time jobs along with school so there wasn’t a lot of socializing going on outside of class.

With all of my opportunities to meet a guy IRL leading to dead ends, I decided to head back to dating apps. At this point, I was getting a bit more serious about finding a relationship rather than dating for fun. I decided to give paid for apps a try and signed up for a few months of One appeal this time was that they began to hold events. For a small extra fee, you could attend an event and meet people from the app in person while doing a fun activity. The idea seems simple enough, and some of the early events I attended were fun even if they didn’t yield many results.

Happy Hour

I attended a couple of different happy hour events. These came at a very low cost of about $5 to reserve your spot. There was a reserved section of the bar where the event was held and some awkward ice breakers to encourage people to get to know one another. Why is it that ice breakers designed to help people loosen up and get to know each other can be so unbelievably awkward? People seemed genuinely frightened that someone might be coming up to them at a dating event and gasp be trying to talk to them.

Of all the events I’ve been to though, these were probably the most equally split in terms of male/female ratios. These were also perfect events to mingle around to many different people and to check out some bars and areas to go out in my new city.

I did meet a guy at one of these happy hours who I went on a few dates with. He was a nice guy and we had a decent time, but the chemistry didn’t really grow so he fell victim to the three date rule and we went our separate ways.

Pedal Pub Tour

Possibly one of my favorite events was a pedal pub tour through one of the most popular night life spots in Baltimore. I would have tried this event a lot sooner, but my biggest anxiety was wondering if my feet would even reach the pedals. Would I just be dead weight not even helping to get this pub moving? Luckily my feet did just barely hit the pedals, and really with a bunch of people on board, it was not big deal. For the event, we met up at a bar and boarded our bike pedaled vessel and set off to our first destination. At each bar we cashed in our drink ticket and spent 30 minutes or so mingling with the other members of the tour. We did this at 3 different locations and by the time we had finished at the second bar, everyone was starting to let loose. A couple of people really got into it and entertained the rest of us with their dance moves in the center of the pedal pub as we chugged our way to our last location. Although a dancer I might be, this type of dancing wasn’t really my scene.

As fun as this event was, it did not provide me with any potential matches. Although I did learn about some great bars that I would frequent again in the future.

Ghost Tour

The final event I tried during this time was a walking ghost tour in Old Ellicott City. The main street area of this town is very historic and rumored to have a lot of stories of ghosts and spirits to go along with it. I’m not really a huge believer in ghosts, but I figured it might be a fun event to try and learn a little history about the town. We met up at the visitor center and everyone milled about while we waited for things to begin. It became kind of clear that this event had attracted the most diverse age range of participants of all the events I had attended so far with many of them being on the older side of things. There was at least one cute guy I had my eyes on though. When it was time to begin, our tour guides split us into two groups. Well, great. Now if the cute guy I was checking out from afar was in the opposite group as me, how was I going to get to know him?

We set off as our guide began her stories. We headed to two different locations where we heard stories and then had time to mingle and get a drink before moving on to the next location. Luckily the whole group met back up at our final location. Ah, yes finally my chance to talk to the cute guy! But no, there were a series of long tables here, and I ended up getting trapped at the middle of one with other people from my original group. After hearing the final stories, we were invited to mingle more or head down to the bar to enjoy the rest of our evening with our new friends and prospects. I stayed for a while and finally tried to get to know cute guy, but it was pretty clear at this point he had already caught chemistry with someone else.

That was the last event I attended for a little while. It was fun to meet in person and do something fun, but it wasn’t really producing the results I would have hoped. I went back to the traditional like, swipe, and message version of searching for a man.

Until next time when a guy surprises me with a first date kiss,


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