Some of you commented that it is damn near impossible getting a date in Santa Barbara with a genuine lady—someone whose main focus is your wit and values rather than your annual income and means of transportation. While I hear you, I also think that the challenge works both ways. In the words of readerbillclausen, “The cost of living here has taken its toll in the most basic way, and both sexes are paying the price for it.”

So while men are struggling to make big bucks and buy a pad in Moneycito, women tan, tone, and trim themselves into Barbie doll look-alikes in hopes that this will seal the deal with the opposite sex. Let’s face it, men fall in love through their eyes, while women are wired to look for a good father for their children and a solid provider.

It doesn’t help matters that Santa Barbara is a real magnet for bombshells and millionaires. Competition is tough in this particular part of the country, and it’s not unusual to see Trump/Melania-type couples where the desire for a trophy-wife and financial security is a major part of the attraction. Or as some say, looks and money go hand in hand, and if you have one you can always get the other!

The sense of entitlement and expectations exist in both camps. I know a guy who dumped a girl because of the size of her derriere, and another who flat-out told his girlfriend to get a boob job or they were done. I also have plenty of female friends who have discontinued a dalliance because the bloke was too stingy in his restaurant selection and planning of the date.

Having dated both ends of the spectrum, myself, I slightly preferred the semi-homeless ex-model, living on a friend’s boat in the harbor, to the Ferrari-driving self-made entrepreneur who tried to “buy me” with a luxury cruise after I called it quits. That’s a personal preference, though, and probably has to do with me being a fiercely independent European chick.

The good news is that I still believe there are plenty of eligible bachelor/ettes in S.B. with good values, normal jobs, and an interest in meeting someone to go biking or hiking, or to share a romantic meal at Petit Valentien. I find that good dates, like waves, come in sets. You just have to keep putting yourself out there.

My own top recommendations for meeting people are:

Through friends: I met my last serious BF though mutual friends, and find that it’s always a great way to meet potential mates, first and foremost because it’s a lot easier to assess if there’s a match when you can get the low-down on his interests, dating patterns, and etc. from a trusted source.

Online: By now, quite a few of my friends have met their significant others on dating sites. And the friends I’m talking about are not ugly, desperate, or socially challenged. They are simply people who decided they were over the traditional dating scene, so they checked out e-Harmony or Match.

In a Coffee Shop, Sports/ Wine Bar: I know a lot of people claim you can’t meet quality dates in bar but it’s worked for me. Besides, whether you enjoy sipping your tall no-foam latte at Coffee Cat or watching the World Cup at Dargan’s, who’s to say you won’t find your soul mate sitting on the stool next to you?

Happy hunting and let me know how it goes.


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