Southern View: Love Lessons
Five bits of friendly advice for Holy City bachelors
Attention single men of Charleston: We love you, we really do. You’re dashing, athletic, have great taste in restaurants, and come in many charming varieties we equally adore—be you bow-tied, beau-hunked, or skinny-jeaned. The majority of you are generally game for anything from a food truck rodeo to charity auction, boat day to a skeet shoot. You look just as good in a sharp new Billy Reid shirt as you do in your “insert college football team here” tee. But fellas, at the risk of sounding harsh, and on behalf of my fellow single ladies in the Holy City, we feel it’s time you hear from the source: you simply have much to learn in one oh-so-important department—dating.
Now, don’t roll your eyes just yet. You guys have some incredible odds in Charleston—5:1 last time I checked. It’s an embarrassment of riches, what with all the smart, creative, beautiful, and sophisticated women in this town. That said, let this serve as a friendly forewarning from the ones facing the uphill battle of this skewed ratio: we’re growing weary of the patterns sweeping your boys club as of late. We fear you’re beginning to take this mother lode for granted, and we truly don’t want to have to be the ones to say we told you so when your lackluster texts and laid-back dating attitude begin to fall on deaf ears. We’re about one group Facebook post away from banding together for good and vowing for more time with the gals and less time with... well, you.
Don’t want that to happen? Heed the following advice:
1. Phone home. Guys, we know living in Charleston has made you history-crazed, but that doesn’t mean we need to regress to carrier pigeon speeds of communication. Pick up the phone and call us. We’ll take a text from time to time, but don’t abuse the technology. And for the love of Husk’s crispy pig ears, do not text us “Do you want to come over and hang?” at 3 a.m. We know what that means, and we’ll kindly decline.
2. Stop the name drop. Constantly reminding us how much money your father makes, what Lexus model your mom drives, or anything else pertaining to your family’s wealth does not dinner conversation make. We care about what you do, not what your pops does or your great-great-great-granddaddy Pinckney Ravenel Drayton, III, did either.
3. Think outside the bar. A crowded bar isn’t the only place you can introduce yourself to a lady. Instead, why not spark up that convo at one of the farmers markets or gorgeous parks or over coffee at Hope and Union. Heck, say hi on the frozen food aisle of the Piggly Wiggly—we don’t care! We’ll know you’re interested even without the boozy courage.
4. Make a date. No game plan? No dice. Fellas, this city offers literally a dozen fun and free activities every week. Which is to say, money is really no object when there’s no cover charge! Pick an event, any event. Just have a plan. We know we’re generally considered the social calendar gurus, but take one for the team and make the arrangements. Need help? Turn to page 125.
5. Ask yourself, “what would Mickey do?” You know Mickey Bakst, the general manager of Charleston Grill? Well, here’s the deal, the man is a hospitality legend. When he greets a lady, he not only makes her feel welcome, he makes her feel like she’s the only woman in the room. (Regardless of the 20 other gorgeous gals behind her!) You would do well to follow suit.
So here’s the great news: as hard as this is to believe, the single ladies of Charleston aren’t looking to “Kardashian” you. A six-month engagement followed by a speedy divorce really isn’t the goal. Instead, how about we just get to know each other? Maybe go on a group outing—say an art walk—together, bike along the Battery, or just hold hands. That’s all we ask.
And maybe, just maybe, let’s see if we might be able to find a little bit of love in the Lowcountry.
by Ms. Ashley Cooper
Illustration by Aaron Bardo