“I Went on a 6-Hour Date with a Band Director in LA”


Welcome to A Da(te) in the Life, where we give you a glimpse of what another single person’s dating life looks like! This diverse group of adults is scattered throughout the country and varies in age, ethnic background, faith, political views, and career tracks. At the end of the day, they’re all just navigating the modern dating scene their way – and opening up to us about the little details.

Today: A 26-year-old woman braves LA traffic to meet up with a friendly band director she met on OKCupid. 

Myself, in a few words: A percussionist finding myself outside of the music world

Based in: Los Angeles

Age: 26

Ethnic Background: Half-Hispanic

Occupation: Personal Assistant

Industry: Property Management

Saturday Night before Date…

9 PM – I am hanging out with my best friend in downtown Fullerton (love the bustling bar scene here!), when a guy I’ve been talking to on OKCupid messages me and asks me out on a date tomorrow. Best friend eagerly convinces me to confirm the date. I message back, saying I’ll text him when I’m up tomorrow.

2 AM – Finally home. I always have such a good time laughing my guts out with my best friend, and the hours just fly by. I’m exhausted and not exactly excited to go out again tomorrow, but I figure I’ll see how I feel in the morning.

Sunday, Day of Date…

11 AM – This bleary-eyed Sleeping Beauty is finally up. Surprisingly, no hangover! I must’ve soaked up all the alcohol in the plates of sliders and sausages we shared last night.

11:30 AM – After hopping out of the shower, I text OKCupid guy, who is henceforth to be known by his first initial G, saying I can meet by 1:30. Turns out G is from Granada Hills (an hour away!), and I nearly back out of the whole thing – LA traffic is real, guys! G suggests meeting in Sherman Oaks, the halfway point between us, and I agree to it.

1 PM – I’ve managed to tame my hair and am wearing it down and wavy, with makeup that makes me feel pretty. On my way to the restaurant, feeling fresh and ready to take on the drive.

1:30 PM – Ugh, forgot the LA Marathon was still going on – traffic is horrible.

2 PM – I meet G at the restaurant he picked, Public School 818, which is a gastropub with cute school-like decorative details. G is tall, tan, bearded, with dark hair and blue eyes. He wears a nice sweater which makes him look classy but comfortable – this detail makes me feel strangely at ease (I experience secondhand discomfort when people are dressed too prim and proper).

2:30 PM – We realize that our food hasn’t even arrived yet (it’s busy, they probably forgot about us), but I personally don’t even mind because G and I are having such a great discussion. I had known from his profile that he’s half-Hispanic like me, and a fellow musician, but it turns out we have so much more in common! He’s what my friends and I refer to as culturally “white-washed,” and we bond over mutual feelings of uncertain identity growing up. He also happens to be a band director, which I want to hear all about because that’s the direction I want to take career-wise.

2:40 PM – Food arrives with profuse apologies from our server – poor girl, the place is so busy today! The roast chicken and quinoa salad I ordered is delicious, but my attention is focused on the conversation, which has now turned to G confiding in me that he feels burnt out on being a director and is contemplating life changes. He does give me advice on how to get to where I want to be, as well as much-needed encouragement. I feel renewed in the pursuit of my music career!

3:05 PM – Surprise! The restaurant comps our bill because of the mishap earlier. I wonder whether or not G would have paid for the meal, but this is mostly just out of curiosity because I always offer to split on first dates anyway.

3:10 PM – The conversation with G is going so well that neither of us are ready to call it a day. We decide to hang out longer and catch a 4:30 showing of The Shape of Water. G drives.

3:20 PM – The car ride conversation has turned to politics. I’ve heard politics is a huge no-no topic for first dates (oops!); luckily we seem to agree on our distaste for Trump, and we also discuss our ideas for gun law reform.

3:30 PM – We talk about our families, the one thing which seems to be a notable point of difference between us. I realize G is a good listener, and I find the discussion to be interesting, eye-opening, and positive.

4 PM – We have some downtime before the movie starts, so we walk around and make small talk. G tells me he might have to step out during the movie later for a conference call. He seems so apologetic about it – I always find it cute when guys seem anxious about upsetting me. I’m super chill – do I not seem like it?!

4:30 PM – Movie time!

5:30 PM – There’s been more than a few times during this movie that I’ve sensed (and stressed about) G wanting to hold my hand. He lets the moments pass, and I am grateful. I’m getting along with him, but it feels too soon for that.

6:10 PM – G ducks out to take his call. I enjoy the rest of the movie (the concept is dark and fantastical and gets my imagination spinning), but find myself feeling slightly disappointed that he doesn’t return until the end.

6:50 PM – G is clearly very sorry for ditching me, and he promises to treat me to dessert to make up for it. How can I resist?

7 PM – Butter cake at California Pizza Kitchen – so, so good. Calories don’t count on the weekend!

7:30 PM – G drives me back to my car. We laugh about how much time we ended up spending together on this first date, and I realize it’s the longest first date I’ve ever had with anyone.

8 PM – Back in the parking lot of our original lunch spot, in his car. G tells me he’s had a great time, and I say something more or less positive in response. I’m awkward. He goes in for the kiss, and despite my brain freeze, it’s perfectly brief and meaningful. We exchange some positive words about meeting up again soon.

8:10 PM – I get in my car and wave good-bye to G, but sit in my car for a while after he leaves. I feel warm and happy, but I also can’t shake the thought: “He’s too nice! What’s the catch??” I’ve had a history of dating bad boys, and my date with G has definitely been refreshing. I calm my mind by assuring myself that I’ll take time to get to know this person – the good and the bad. No rush and no pressure!

[RELATIONSHIP UPDATE: “As of a month later, G is now my boyfriend! It was a wild ride to get to this place – I also have anxiety and tried to end things altogether after date #3 (about a month after we first met), but G was surprisingly understanding and told me we could just take it slow and be friends. Later that week we had a heart-to-heart about my struggles with anxiety, and he shared with me some of his own issues he’s been dealing with. Us opening up to each other at the right time was really what solidified our relationship.”]

Josh Neimark