The following is a discussion on isolation in Los Angeles.
Thoughts from Leigh:
A friend of mine once said: “L.A. Can be the best place or the loneliest place in the world to live.” The first year I lived in West Hollywood I knew what he meant. Looking for a party, one will always find one. There are plenty of willing acquaintances just looking for a partner in crime and to hit the scene for the night. Everyone is looking for something: an excuse to go out and get trashed, a babysitter, a chaperon, moral support, a wingwoman, an accessory, a stand-in mom, an enabler, entertainment, a target to project negativity onto, an so on. These are all roles I have played out with LA girlfriends at some point.
Sometimes I got tired of the same old roles and decided to enjoy the quiet life of a responsible non-socialite for awhile. During these times, my phone would go silent. “Friends” regularly hitting me up to go out vanished. The only people down for mellow activities already had someone, usually a boyfriend or hubby. Who was I to compete with that? Besides, having partied my pants off with them before, they did not expect a mellow evening with me to remain that way. All I wanted though was to spend some good old quality time. Where had it gone?
But I found this alone time brought out a good side. I realized I needed to spend quality time with myself. The person I had been neglecting the most. I was afraid I would cease to exist within my solitude, but found new perspective and strength. This revelation came much later, after a couple of these “episodes.” I began to question my role as the “partier” and consequences of all the shenanigans of my partying self.
Thoughts from SGSG:
I would say that I agree. L.A. is definitely the most isolating place I’ve ever been. Granted big cities have that feel; however, even a place like NYC, you walk out your door and there are people walking in the street with you. Public transportation also helps with this. In L.A., you sit in your car for hours a day and drive to locations all over the city that may or may not contain the right crowd you are looking for. Then, if you change your mind, you cannot just walk down the street to the next place. You have to get in your car again, find parking all over again. Or you can rack up expensive taxi rides but still end up sitting in the car, alone, or with a few friends for a very long time.
Not to mention L.A. is very snobby. As Leigh described, there are tons of girls out there looking for a social buddy, a buddy so they don’t look alone as they are showing off in all the Hollywood hot spots. But there are not many girls looking for a true friend, a person that connects with you on a deeper level and you feel at home talking to about everything. There are also tons of guys looking for good sex, but not very many looking to connect on a deeper level, such as igniting a relationship.
So how we do find these people in a city so isolating? This is a question I’ve struggled with for many years. But ultimately, Leigh is correct. We need to Learn to Be Lonely (which ironically was an older blog post of mine about dating). This is the first step. Once we can feel comfortable in our own skin, we can truly accept others for their real selves as well. We will not need to seek approval, show off, be fake and lie, act snobby, pretentious, angry, mean or bitchy, and we will stop search in vain for love instead of giving it to ourselves first.
After we are truly okay with being alone (I mean not just pretending to be okay with it) we can go out and talk with other people on a real level because we have nothing to prove. This means we begin to actually connect with other people, in our true form. So when we come across someone that clicks, whether a girlfriend or love that will turn into a lifetime thing, we will open and receptive to it.