A Single’s Guide to Dating in Los Angeles

Coffee for two | © StockSnap / Pixabay
Coffee for two | © StockSnap / Pixabay
Photo of Juliet Bennett Rylah
25 August 2017

You live in L.A., you’re single, and you want to meet new people. The good news is that, according to the Los Angeles Times, 55.8% of Angelenos were single as of late 2014. The bad news is that single men significantly outnumber women and that dating in L.A. can often be frustrating: traffic, incompatible schedules, everyone’s busy seemingly all of the time. Here’s how to make dating less than terrible.

Location, location, location

They say love can cross all barriers, but that does not include the 405. If you live in Santa Monica but right swipe on someone in Highland Park, you might find yourself very annoyed commuting to your dates. That isn’t to say all hope is lost if the partner of your dreams lives across town, but life is too short to waste an hour and a half in traffic for a bad date, so make sure you click. Meeting spots in the middle are good, and if you wind up dating someone whose neighborhood has no parking (Koreatown, we’re looking at you), Lyft might end up being your best dating friend.

Don't spend half your date in traffic | ©Prayitno/Flickr

Make friends

Don’t be so insistent on meeting your future betrothed that you forget to make friends. A great way to meet possible dating partners is via mutual friends. Find people with whom you have common interests and get along with, and the chances are that they will have other friends you’ll like too.


If crowded bars aren’t your preferred method of meeting friends or dates, there are numerous meetup groups in L.A. that will allow you to meet people who have similar interests to your own. These include neighborhood- and interest-specific Facebook groups, and popular websites such as Meetup.com. There are groups for people who love hiking, craft beer, Halloween, cooking, photography, food, comics, and more.

A beer flight at Eagle Rock Brew Co. | ©Umberto Brayj/Flickr

Singles bar

If you must do things the old-fashioned way, there are a few bars that are good for meeting new people. They’re casual (but hip), spacious, and typically busy. Popular singles bars include Everson Royce Bar (Arts District); Good Times at Davey Wayne’s (Hollywood); Thirsty Crow (Silver Lake); Block Party (Highland Park); Birds (Franklin Village); Idle Hour (North Hollywood); and The Bungalow (Santa Monica). For LGBTQ bars, you can add The Abbey (West Hollywood), Precinct (downtown LA), or Akbar (Silver Lake) to the list.

Go on a unique date

Coffee and drinks are fine, but there’s a lot more to do in L.A. than that. Once you’ve met someone to ask out, impress your date with a magic show at Black Rabbit Rose, where even the cocktails are presented with a fantastical splendor, and the rotating cast of L.A. performers always delights. Or figure out if you two are compatible by seeing if you can communicate and solve puzzles in tandem at a local escape room. Challenge one another to pinball at an arcade bar, or learn something new with one of L.A.’s fantastic architectural or historical walking tours.

Enigma Room's 'The Will' | Courtesy of Enigma Room

Don’t give up hope

You never know when you’re going to meet someone new, either via a friend, work or in line at your favorite coffee shop. Occupy your solo time with activities you enjoy. Los Angeles is too bustling to sit at home and brood, and you’ll never meet anyone that way. If you’re feeling particularly bitter, you can always check out The Museum of Broken Relationships in Hollywood, which is sure to make you feel a little better about being single.

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