Welcome to “Sex, Love, & Santa Barbara,” Independent.com’s new online dating
column. Here, our nicely pseudonym-ed dating fanatic Chasseur d’Homme (who we’ll
call “Chassy” for short) will be telling tales from her love life
and looking to her readers for advice.

It’s the first interactive dating column we’ve ever heard
about, so we’re stoked to have Chassy ready to throw her personal
life to the whims of you folks while she searches for that perfect
man. What follows is her welcome column, and we’ll get her first
official column up real soon.

Feel free to post your advice as a comment below, or just
send her an email at dating@independent.com. Thanks for

— The Editors

Welcome to My Love Life

When I first came to Santa Barbara about two years ago,
I thought I had died and gone to heaven. There
seemed to be tall,
tanned surfers everywhere
I looked, and I figured it wouldn’t
be long before I was dating the hunk of my dreams. It didn’t quite
work out that way: After many months of vigorously testing the
waters, I have dated more flakes and weirdoes than
I care to remember. So for things to be looking up in 2007, I’m
afraid I’ll have to resort to drastic measures!


This is why I’m now prepared to do the net-dating
, the speed-dating
, and basically anything else I or you can think of as
long as there’s even a slim chance of meeting Mr.
— that rare package that includes brains, humor, and
decent looks.

To be clear about my intentions, it’s not that I’m looking to
start a family or even get a ring on my finger overnight. No, I’m
perfectly happy taking things one step at a time. I just figure
that a guy who’s been divorced for more
than a week
, doesn’t wear stilettos
when he’s alone
, and isn’t on probation for armed
isn’t too much to ask for.

In other words, I’m hoping to avoid the stalkers,
the guys who
still live at home with their parents
, the
, and the players. However, I’m okay
with a guy who is a little nerdy,
married to his Blackberry
, or forgets everything around him
when there’s a swell coming in.
Sporty is good, intellectual great, and well-groomed a must!

Should it ever come time to meet the parents, it’s crucial that
he’s well-behaved, knows who the prime minister of France is, and
is able to utter more than two-syllable words during dinner. Okay,
I know, I’m totally getting ahead of myself

I’m guessing, there must be some cool dateable guys out there
with the desire to meet a girl who’s cute and charming —
sometimes even sexy! — as well as intelligent,
well-traveled, and mildly domesticated. Although I’m pushing 30,
I’ve never been married, don’t have any kids, and my
“baggage” is limited to the time when my dad killed my
. (I was eight and she’d been ill for some time.) I
also have a good job, a nice place to live, and a car that can make
it up the mountain when I go snowboarding twice a month.

As I embark on my search for cute eligible bachelors in Santa
Barbara, I invite you all along for the ride. This
means I’ll be looking for advice on everything from places to meet
guys, good dating sites, and best first-date restaurants. You will
be able to influence my moves, too — for example, you can tell me
whether I should go out with a guy, kiss him on the first or second
date, or whether a happy hour with him and his co-workers is really
such a great idea.

I’ll update you on my adventures one or two times a week, and
sometimes there’ll be a poll, in which you get the final say in
what my next step should be. And I promise to do what you tell

I aim to go on dates once or twice a week, depending on the
selection of suitors, my workload, and whatever else might come up
— including old admirers. Because, even for a good girl, there’s
always a few blasts from the past.

To give you an idea of some jokers who might resurface
occasionally, there’s The Writer, who writes books
and is brilliant and sensitive, but flaky as hell. He lives all the
way in NYC, yet I still am afflicted by a real weakness for this
guy. If he lived in the neighborhood, I’d probably be all over him.
We have the usual flirty text-message banter, and talk on the phone
about once a week.

Then there’s also The Biker, who owns his own
business. He’s artistic, sporty, and has all the qualities I’m
looking for in a man, with the small catch that he still seems
kinda hung up on his ex-girlfriend. I recently gave him the LJBF
speech and we still meet all the time for coffee and brunch. The
conversations are great!

But, this is the time to focus on all the great guys out there I
have yet to meet. Let the dating game begin!

Where should I find my first date?

A) Online.

B) Let friends set me up.

C) At a bar.

Feel free to answer with your best advice below, or just send me
an email at dating@independent.com.

Till next time,



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