1. Work is important here. You will come second to work. Deal with it or be labeled needy.
2. It seems that everyone is here temporarily for work, school, whatever—and that may include you. It’s my understanding that planning on leaving D.C. means that you’re undateable, even to a person with flexible enough work arrangements to come with you if your relationship makes it another year, which makes it okay to leave another girl’s bobby pins on the dresser next to his bed. Since so much of the city is transitory, you can bet that nothing permanent is going to come out of any relationship you dare to start.
3. The robust D.C. bar scene makes for a bunch of woo girls and alcoholics.
4. Everyone thinks they’re a bona fide big fucking deal. Forget that this is the city of young professionals who are all doing something important with their lives. Forget that this person is not even a young professional. Forget that they don’t have a job that provides health insurance. Forget that they literally have no job and are living off their parents’ kindness. They’re going to make it big in, like, five seconds, and then they’ll be living a life of models and bottles in which you’ll be out of place.
5. D.C. is a great American transplant melting pot. That’s not to say that your LA self won’t find love with an Alabama boy, but you’re going to have some pretty big differences in perspective which may or may not be limited to polar opposite political affiliations.
6. Speaking of which, no matter how you try to avoid it, politics are important in this city. The government shutdown was apparent nowhere more than D.C., where you could ride the creepy empty metro to hang out with your friends who couldn’t go to work. People who work for the government usually have an opinion about how it should be run, and hearing people talk about those opinions will make you dislike them about half the time.
7. It’s freezing cold or hotter than hell all the time. Hope you like Netflix dates.
8. If your building has a pool, prepare to get used.
9. Getting around is annoying. The metro isn’t much cheaper than cabs, and having a car is a no-go. Uber only ever seems to be available at weird hours when everyone is at work. A good chunk of people (the smart ones) live outside the city. If you’re the type to brave the transportation hurdles and schedule more than one date a week (make that a month), you’re my hero, because it’s enough to make me hide in my apartment with a pint of Half Baked froyo forever.
10. Dating in D.C. has made everyone bitter and pissed off.