Welcome to the first installment of LEO Weekly’s new relationship advice column. I’m Minda. I’ve spent the last eight years out West squandering my youth on the wrong men. Now, that I’m a ripe old 30-something, I’ve returned to my beloved hometown to give out some real talk on relationships.
Except, we’re not going to just talk dating here.
We’re going to dish out advice on all relationships, from romantic to platonic and everything in between, because love is carried into (and out of) our lives on all types of vessels.
And when I say “we,” I ain’t talking the royal we. For some of your questions, I’ll be drawing on a revolving cast of experts for answers. I want to feature a diverse range of perspectives and all kinds of relationships, including LGBTQ.
First-grade teachers who know a thing or two about sharing, servers who can pinpoint the exact moment a first date is going to go left, marriage counselors who’ve seen it all go down on their couches, a granny who’s been married for five decades, a bestie who’s quick with the tact — if this sounds like you, drop an email into my inbox with your “credentials.”
Speaking of inboxes, that’s also where you should send questions you’d like answered in this column. I can be reached at: [email protected]
Send me questions about touchy scenarios you need help navigating, advice on first-date attire and the love thoughts that keep you up at night. Anything. Send it to me. My inbox is open and waiting. And yeah, we’ll let you sign your letters with a cutesy handle because Louisville is small.
Which brings me to this week’s topic.
While waiting for your questions to roll in, I polled my Facebook friends about their love problems. And Louisville’s size seemed to be at the heart of the matter. Louisville singles are big hearts in a small pond.
I’m not surprised.
I did a pre-move, OkCupid sneak peek. There were six dudes that made it past my filters. After reading their profiles (aka flipping through their photos), I felt supremely discouraged. I reached out to a couple of girlfriends who told me, “Oh you just have to date guys in Indy or Cincy.” But the prospect of dating someone who lives an hour or more away is not appealing to me. Gas is too expensive, and the distance would make midweek chill sessions unlikely.
A shallow dating pool wasn’t the only issue I came across. In a city where you’re separated from someone by three degrees at the most, it becomes hard to keep your personal business private. Over drinks, I told the girls a story from my most recent date — more on that in a moment — about a woman who I suspected was trying to snatch up my beau for her daughter. I included a few details I won’t add here, because my friends immediately knew who the mama and the daughter were. This would never have happened in Los Angeles.
Another thing that didn’t happen in LA? If things didn’t work out with someone, you never had to see that someone ever again. They just fell back into the nameless masses. My Facebook friends complained that in Louisville, not only were you likely to cross paths with that person frequently, but if they gave you a bad review to their friends, that one person became several people who were no longer interested in dating you. The stakes are high here!
So, what’s a dater to do? You could certainly date out of state. I’ve also heard someone is more likely to take a chance on you if you maintain a low profile (or even no profile) on social media — discretion is key. That means no first-date Snaps or post-date report-outs to your 500 Twitter followers. Or, you know, not discussing it in your new relationship advice column…
But look at me readers, I’m already putting my love life on the line for the sake of yours.
When a certain someone’s name came up while out with my sisters, I told them I was hesitant to go on a date with him, because we knew so many of the same people. My sisters are pretty direct and were basically like, “That’s dumb.”
And, per usual, they were right. Surely, a little maturity and a lot of grace could get me through one evening without causing cataclysmic ruin to my reputation or his.
The thing about relationships is that they require a certain degree of vulnerability to be viable. And for me, that vulnerability needed to begin with taking enough of a risk to go on one date with someone who has 25 mutual friends with me on Facebook.
So, we went out on a date. And I ran into two of my former managers before he even arrived. But aside from Mama-Matchmaker trying to whisk him away, it was a great date. Maybe there’ll be a second date. Maybe there won’t be. Either way, I’m glad I went.
And Louisville, yes the dating stakes are higher here, but so are the rewards. Just think, if the end game for you is marriage and you two know all the same people that cuts your wedding guest list in half!
Anyway, send your questions to [email protected].