1. Work is important here. You’re surrounded by people who are most likely equally as passionate as you are – but maybe not about the same things. This makes for interesting conversation with almost anyone you go on a date with.
2. DC has a place for everyone, whether you’re gay, straight, lesbian, bi, queer, and any other term they have for someone who doesn’t fit the cut-and-dry mold society made for us hundreds of years ago. Neighborhoods generally don’t discriminate and everyone is welcome anywhere. I’m straight, but every once in a while I still love going out to bars in Logan Circle because people there are just plain nice. If you aren’t straight, you’re with 10% of DC’s population who also doesn’t identify as straight. 10% in a population of 632,323 = over 60,000 people to choose from. Your odds are great! Come to DC!
3. The robust DC bar scene makes for a bunch of fun nights out, if you know where to go and have the right group of wingwomen (or men). Into the club scene or people in business casual at happy hour? Try downtown. Do you like retro video games at the bar, rooftop golf, or cornhole? H Street is your place! Want a college-like night out that will end with either McDonalds, and empanada, or hookah? Visit Adam’s Morgan. Enjoy politics? Capitol Hill is (obviously) in the middle of it all. Under 21 and need to use a fake? Go to Georgetown or Foggy Bottom. Like a mellow night out? Try Columbia Heights or Shaw. There’s a bar for everyone and all types in DC.
4. Do you like free stuff? DC has plenty. For those of us who make sub-40K after taxes, this is truly a Godsend. I’ve gone to book talks with someone who hiked the Appalachian Trail, seen concerts at the Kennedy Center, gone to several of the Smithsonian Museums, all without opening my wallet. All of these are really solid date ideas and make you seem semi-cultured too.
5. DC is a great American transplant melting pot. Since I moved here a little over two years ago, I’ve gone on dates with a Rhodes Scholar, a sports reporter, a patent attorney, an accountant, a computer engineer, a graduate student, a federal police officer, and had a significant relationship with a procurement agent for Homeland Security. What I’m saying is DC has a wonderfully diverse group of people! Difference in perspective is what makes us learn and what makes the world go round.
6. DC is one of the most educated cities in the country. 63.5% of DC’s population has at least a Bachelor’s degree. The US average is 37.8%. The amount with graduate or professional degrees is astoundingly high as well. This means you are more likely to meet an educated person in the DC area.
7. We have four distinct seasons, unlike most of the country. Use the warm months to do everything the city has to offer –today was 63 degrees and I walked from Columbia Heights to Foggy Bottom in a light sweater and boots to have drinks with an old friend. Great dates exist for all types of weather – take a booze cruise out from the Georgetown Waterfront in the spring, go Paddle Board on the Potomac in the summer, hike Great Falls (VA or MD side for two different dates) in the fall, and snuggle up with Netflix in the winter (we all know most of us are partial to that anyway).
8. DC has tons of parks and wide open spaces to just… exist and enjoy and meet people. I met my last boyfriend at Jazz in the Gardens, which takes place every Friday night during summer for free in the Sculpture Gardens. We have Rock Creek Park, Meridian Hill Park (and the wonderfully random drum circle on Sunday nights that draws a crowd my friend once called “a free version of Cirque du Soleil”), Constitutional Gardens, Fort Reno Park, Georgetown Waterfront, Kalorama Park… and these are just the ones I’ve been to in the past few weeks. These places are always teeming with 20- and 30-somethings.
9. Getting around is annoying, but biking and walking are great date ideas and might force you to get out and see a part of the city you wouldn’t usually see if you were traveling underground in the metro. DC has some of the worst traffic in the country (Beltway, anyone?) but if you learn the bus system and don’t take it during rush hour, it’s actually very efficient and economical and can get you anywhere in the city.
10. Cherry Blossoms. Yes, this literally happens only one week each year and yes, this past year my boyfriend dumped me literally the day before the festival but YES, you bet I still enjoyed it. Bring a bottle or three of wine, a few friends, and a bunch of snacks, set up a blanket, and have yourself a picnic because you live in a great city.