The Lowdown on “Tainted Love” in L.A.

Imagine a roaring heat rising through your body, up to your neckline and above. Your face, now colored with a red tint, is burning, and you can’t help but tug at your collar. But this is not an unwelcome or painful episode; it is the elusive rush of passionate attraction, an animal magnetism pushing you to overcome the inhibition of convention, and leap into the lips of your soul mate sitting across the café table.

Sadly, many Southern California residents are growing cynical to the idea that they could ever find their true love, let alone be able to sustain eye contact long enough to ignite any impassioned flame. No, not because they are necessarily becoming more bashful; instead, it is presumed to be the lethal combination of mobile phones and the narcissistic allure of the Hollywood backdrop. The relationships that do form are perceived to be for convenience, economics, and/or boisterous undulations of only the bodily kind.

Somehow the age-old stereotypes about dating in Southern California have taken on gospel-like meaning, though they haven’t, at the very least, favored one sex over the other. The guys and gals of So-Cal have equally faulted each other, the former being reduced to musclehead, techie, surfer, or wannabe actor; and the latter to just gold digger, Barbie vixen, faux nerd, or wannabe actress. And, not to mention, everyone is seemingly riding the bandwagon of vegetarianism, intermittently disembarking to deal with a maelstrom of emotional and psychological issues.

One generalized complaint of So-Cal males is that there is an unequal balance in the dating sphere inasmuch as the pedestal-perched “Valley Princess” not only has her pick of the litter, but requires her interested suitor to initiate every step, up until the first kiss, and maybe beyond. The women, on the other hand, might be inclined to grouse about tunnel-visioned men, who come off as behaviorally incongruent with canned conversational openers and discussion points. Perhaps this is why local native Jessie Kahnweiler decided to at least weed out The Great Pretender from the rest of the male pretenders by holding a casting call to find the “perfect boyfriend,” on the pretense of a role, though in actuality for her own personal use.

But, not unlike lamentations about perma-posers spanning the globe—who are compelled to post seven selfies per day through social media—the negatively-laced gamut of dating stereotypes in So-Cal, despite what some inhabitants may believe, are also not exclusive to only Southern California. Commercialization, spread via globalization, has similarly affected the dating milieus of nearly every Earthly metropolis.

So, why does love in L.A., and its surrounding regions, get a bad rap? Is it the smog? The catastrophic UV radiation absorbed at the sandy beaches? The painstaking tease of a celebrity-to-be-spotted at every street corner? Anything can be blamed for any reason, but, in reality, the prospect of love in L.A. isn’t resigned to one of two extremes—live or die—despite Wang Chung’s protestations to the contrary.

Imaan Jalali

Imaan Jalali

When he isn't writing, Imaan can be found doing 360-degree layups on neighborhood basketball courts. He is also an avid reader of non-fiction, particularly Social Psychology. Nothing fascinates him more than human motivation, behavior, and attitudes. In trying to understanding others, he is beginning to come to terms with his alien self.
Imaan Jalali

Author: Imaan Jalali

When he isn't writing, Imaan can be found doing 360-degree layups on neighborhood basketball courts. He is also an avid reader of non-fiction, particularly Social Psychology. Nothing fascinates him more than human motivation, behavior, and attitudes. In trying to understanding others, he is beginning to come to terms with his alien self.

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