I started this year single. Very single. After a five and a half year relationship, I jetted off to Los Angeles to explore the city for the first time as a single person, and you know what? It was exciting! But how was the dating in LA, and how did it change once corona came along..? And how was it do date in Finland in the middle of the corona-madness by the time I got back in late Spring, and in Sweden during late Summer/early Fall – where corona never felt like such a big deal..? Guys, guys… Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it. Read on… Welcome to my big post on dating in 2020 – is it even possible?
Let’s start with LA. Once I arrived in LA in the middle of January 2020 I was bored. I didn’t know any people, I was excited about being back in LA, and I wanted to start dating – not to “meet someone”, but just to get to know new people. You know, be social. So, I got on Tinder for the very first time, and man was that a jungle! Imagine the amount of people you can swipe on that app when you’re in LA… Whoa, it was super-exciting and being newly single, new on the app, new in the city – well, I quickly became kind of obsessed with the rush of it, haha. Seriously, I loved swiping and I quickly had over a hundred matches on Tinder. All kinds of guys, all over town.
LA guys are not shy. They’re picky and some are douchebags, but none of them are shy. Which made it very easy to have conversations. But damn, it was like having a full-time job texting all the guys I’d matched with on the app, lol. It was both exciting and exhausting. Anywho, I don’t even remember how many guys that asked me to go out on a date, but I said no to them all (or ghosted them, I know, I’m an asshole for doing that!).
Two weeks in I finally gathered enough confidence and balls to say yes to a date, and off on the very first Tinder-date I went. The date was a casual dinner date with several glasses of red wine involved, and we did go out for a second date only two days later (a beach day in Malibu, followed by several bottles of red wine at a hotel bar in Santa Monica). But, after the second date, I kind of got bored with the guy. I mean, I was single after five and a half years, in LA, wanting to have experiences… I could not be going out with a guy who kind of bored me.
So, the next week I went out on Tinder-date number 2 in LA, which was drinks at a bar in Venice while watching the sunset (followed by a beach walk all the way to Santa Monica and a second bar, also followed by a late-night sub at Subway before heading home). That guy was fun, smart, and kind of pissed me off (which apparently is a good thing, haha), so I agreed to a second date – which was watching a movie at his place. I stuck with that guy and we went on about 10 dates before it felt like we were a “real thing”, and that was also around the same time that he for the first time talked about us as being “in a relationship”.
I did however go out on a third Tinder-date in LA as well, in the early stages of dating Tinder-guy number two, which was drinks at a magic bar in the middle of Hollywood, with some guy who originally was from the east coast. It was a fun date, I mean drinks and magic – can’t go wrong with that! But, I’d already found a guy that I had feelings for, so nothing came off of that magic bar -date.
Dating Tinder-guy number two was very effortless. We were a good match and had a similar level of “casual”, so we just dated very casually. We’d have beach days, go for ice cream, have movie nights, have dinner, go for hikes, have lunch, have subs at Subway or go to Wholefoods for salads, and so on. Nothing complicated at all and I really liked it! We also went on a one-night road trip to Las Vegas, which really just was for him to do some errands over there, but it still felt like a “longer kind of date” and I thought that it really put us on our first relationship test (which we both passed excellently).
Eventually, corona came along though, and dating got more difficult… Living in a city with a lockdown, us living in separate homes with roommates, etc. Eeh, it was a bit tricky to date! Especially after they even closed off the beaches and all parks, sigh. BUT, we’d still have our movie nights, go to restaurants and order takeout that we had in the car, rent bikes and bike along the beach path in Santa Monica & Venice, and one day even all the way to Manhattan Beach, go on road trips (we went on road trips both to Laguna Beach and Ventura during the lockdowns, and had takeout lunch), and so on. We also went on walks and walked from Venice to Santa Monica (and back) a few times to have ice cream. Dating during the lockdown sure made us think creatively, but we managed! We just spent a lot of time either in bed, walking, biking, or in the car, lol.
Coming back to Finland in April I quarantined for 2 weeks, but after that, I started dating pretty quickly, mostly just to keep my mind off the guy I’d left in LA (it was SO hard to leave him and not know when or if we’d ever see each other again, he was really the guy that I had no plans on falling for, but did), and went on two first dates (both from Tinder) with several weeks between them. The first one was me making homemade pizzas at my place, and the second one was driving around in his car, lol. Such crappy and non-creative dates when you think about it, but at that time nothing was open in Finland – no restaurants, no bars… So, there were not a lot of activities to choose from. Nor was I THAT interested in really finding someone special, it was just something to pass the time.
Dating in Finland vs dating in LA? Haha, where do I even start… I don’t really know what to say without sounding like I’m bashing Finnish guys, so I’ll just leave it at: it’s 10 times better to date in LA. The dates, the guys, the whole experience is 10 times better in LA than in Finland. I’m sure that it depends on what kind of person you are, what kind of dating experiences you wanna have, the guys you like, etc. But for me, dating in Finland really sucked.
In the middle of the Summer, I gave up on dating in Finland. I did have some guys texting me and did see a third guy for a couple of “dates” (I don’t even know if they were dates, or whatever the hell that was, but it was a guy that I actually really liked but probably should’ve just remained friends with), but overall I’d given up on Finnish guys.
July became a turning point because then I moved to Stockholm and thought “NOW I’ll give dating a second chance!”. So, I went on dating apps again, both Tinder and Hinge, and quickly collected a bunch of matches. I went on two dates (both via Tinder), and both dates were walks! I was kind of shocked by how walks seem to be the thing for first dates here in Stockholm!? I honestly think that walks for a first date are a little bit lame… I mean, a walk is so casual! Of course, it’s a practical way of getting to know someone – you combine exercise with talking. But hey… Naah, I prefer “real first dates”. So, after two boring Tinder-walking dates I had a third one – which was a phone call, lol. Which at first seemed a bit lame to be honest, but after the phone call I had a different opinion – it was actually kind of nice to just talk on the phone as a “first date”. And, as we clicked on the phone, we went out on a “real date” a few weeks later – lunch at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the city. I’d never gone out on a lunch-date before either, but that too was really nice! There were of course no drinks involved as it was day time, and it felt a bit more casual than a dinner-date, though still not “too casual”. Even though the lunch was a success, I never heard from the guy again… Which is a real bummer as I really, really liked the guy! And after that date & guy, I haven’t been on any other dates. Why? I seriously don’t have any more energy left for dating, lol.
Dating in 2020 has been both fun, and a challenge. It’s been exciting, and it’s been exhausting as I said earlier. I’ve had my heart broken, my feelings hurt, and tons of butterflies that eventually died. It’s been quite the experience dating in three different countries on two different continents, both pre-corona and during corona, and even during a lockdown. As the experience-junkie that I am, I do feel very blessed to have been able to experience dating under this very eventful year, as I feel like it has given me a lot. But now I’m officially done, lol. I’m out of dating-energy and I can’t take any more heartbreak and disappointment. I’ve been on 9 first dates this year, and I don’t know if that’s a big number or not, but for me, it is a huge number. I’m the relationship-type and have a really hard time just dating around with a million different kinds of guys as I’m really picky, and all the guys I date really are guys I truly like. So… I’m up for a 10th first date, or a date with any of the guys that I still like from the guys I’ve already been on dates with this year – but that’s it. This girl’s not dating anymore than 10 guys this year, lol.
…but then again, never say never! Hahaha.
Phew, well this post ended up being quite long, and kind of personal too… I hope you enjoyed it! As dating has been such a big part of my year so far as single, I feel like I should make a “dating-series” here on bloggy, or what do you think? Maybe the next post could be “Dating in LA – date ideas”, and then I could follow up with similar posts for Finland and Sweden, or what do you think? Leave a comment if you think it sounds like a good idea, and please don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for daily posts, stories, and reels ♥
…oh and finally, to answer the question in the title: dating in 2020 – is it even possible? Yes, it is, but it does take effort, lol.