Finding Love in L.A. – By Jasmine Rafati


By Guest Blogger: JASMINE RAFATI – Iran

Ahhhhhh…the conundrum of love! I have yet to find someone who has figured it all.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, love is “intense affection, feeling of attraction resulting from sexual desire, and fondness.“ There is not a definition about love that says it is “a state of mind that makes you completely blind to reality and makes you accept or do things that you would have never accepted or done before.”

I know beautiful girls who live in this city, who are educated, loving, fun and smart, who are not able to find the love of their lives and if they do find someone they care about, he is not ready for commitment. How many times have we women heard a man say: ‘You are wonderful. It’s not you. It’s me. I am just not ready for commitment.’

Sometimes we knowingly date men who are perpetual womanizers or liars, distrust women, or have jealousy issues. Come on ladies most of us have done it! And hooray to the ones who haven’t! We think that he wasn’t ready with others but with ‘me’ things will be different. Why we always think we can fix these men, God only knows.

I met a guy here in Los Angeles who was handsome, sweet, and attentive…in the beginning.

He said he wanted a serious relationship and constantly mentioned that he was approaching 40 and wanted to find a nice person to marry. He thought I was exotic, thoughtful and smart. Within a couple of weeks of dating, I discovered qualities that I certainly did not want in a man. He had wandering eyes. At a restaurant, he would sit next to me instead of opposite me, so he could indulge in his annoying habit of watching women pass by – while engaging in conversation with me. I found it to be offensive and rude.

I do notice and admire good-looking men as well. However, if I am dating a man whom I find attractive and nice and decide to get to know him better, I will give him my full attention. But when this man started lying to me and giving excuses to cover his lies, I broke up with him.  Three months later, he texted me, saying how he missed me and asked for a chance to explain why he wasn’t ready the first time around. I gave in and of course it did not last.  I am still trying to figure out what would possess an educated adult to be so dishonest about his intentions, and then try to present reality little by little.

Some people say that this is the way Hollywood is. It is hard to find genuine people in this city. So, some of my friends have opted to go the online route. I have heard both horror and success stories. I prefer to meet people in person and would choose the online search for my soul mate only as a last resource.

The problem is, there are not many places in Los Angeles where single women in their 30s and 40s who are looking for long term relationships can go to meet men. The restaurant bars are fun, but are usually packed on weekends and not the ideal place to be.

I prefer to go to a place to enjoy a wonderful dinner, great glass of wine, and wonderful company. I don’t want to scream over loud music when I have to talk to my friends. But the downside is many people don’t feel comfortable approaching a table to talk to people while they are eating.

As a woman in my 30s, I am conscious about getting older in a city that seems to be obsessed with youth, which makes it difficult to ‘age with grace’ as my mom puts it and compete with the younger set. And now, with the recent string of famous, successful, handsome men caught cheating, the thought of maintaining a successful relationship is even more daunting. Tiger Woods really shone the light on this issue, and like several others, he has claimed addiction as the cause of his reported numerous infidelities. [Why would a man with a beautiful wife, two lovely children, and a great career engage in 14 or more alleged extramarital affairs?] I can’t even begin to comment on the latest to join the unsavory bunch, Sandra Bullock’s husband, Jesse James – a shocker to us all.

I believe that these men have to accept full responsibility, but the sexy, young, beautiful women, who fling themselves at them, without any pressure of commitment make it tough to resist temptation…and make it hard for the rest of us to find loyal partners. Many of these women are only looking for successful men, married or not, who offer them material things, no strings attached. Tiger’s wife, Elin, is reportedly sticking with him. I, like everyone else, am curious about what Sandra Bullock will do. What is it with love that makes us forgive and forget? I guess we have to teach ourselves to forget the bad things and remember the good ones.

Someone told me love is merely a hormonal imbalance. That is why we act crazy, irrational, and sometimes jealous when we are in love. Love is merely the habit of another person to do things with us. I refuse to believe that is the all there is to it.

My girlfriend of years thinks that we confuse love with infatuation. She questions the existence of true love and the definition of it. She thinks that our expectations are sometimes too unrealistic. I shouldn’t be so expectant she said. “Love” is just an idea, a fantasy that we read in romance novels and that it is not on the top of priority list for many people – they choose compatibility, life partnership and comfort. I didn’t know that someone who reads so many romance novels with Greek Gods as the main characters in most of them and sings love songs aloud in the car with me would be so dark about love.

But there are also men out there that are looking for true love – our paths just don’t seem to cross. They may have similar or different experiences from ours. My very good male friend says that this is a very individualistic town and he has found it hard to find a true connection with people – or a deep long lasting friendship or love for that matter.

Yes, this city can be lonely sometimes and true friendship or love may be hard to find, but I love Los Angeles with its mélange of people from all over the world. We have the ability to explore many different cultures and meet many people from many different countries and I have met many wonderful people here. I believe this is the greatest city in the world in which to find love.

So, I have not given up. I want the type of love affair in the romantic movies like The Notebook, Love story, Sleepless in Seattle, Moonstruck…you know, the kind of movies we watch with our girlfriends or sometimes force our boyfriends to watch with us. I see those movies and I wish for that kind of love. I wish for that kind of man. The man who comes into your life and sweeps you off of your feet and you live happily ever after together. My parents have that.

As some of you may know, I come from Iran, and contrary to many people’s beliefs, my parents’ marriage wasn’t an arranged one. To this day, I have not found out which one fell in love with the other first. They each claim that it was the other. My mother married my father when she was 18 years old and he was 24. They‘ve been through ups and downs and disagree all the time; but while it hasn’t been always easy, they still love each other. When my father travels to other countries for business they still talk twice a day, every morning and every night. Growing up with this kind of love and commitment, this is what I search for and want to have in my own life.

I have made many mistakes in the love department that I don’t care to repeat. I have broken hearts and had my heart broken. I have shed many tears from my broken heart but had many laughs while in love.

And….

Through it all, I still believe in true love. I want to find my soul mate and spend the rest of my life with him. I want to feel the butterflies every time he kisses me or I feel his body next to mine as if it is the first time.

As Alfred Tennyson said:

“I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all
.”

30 Responses to “Finding Love in L.A. – By Jasmine Rafati”

  1. Julia says:

    Finding love with someone you are compatible with is the hardest part. So where in LA is love hiding out? I heard a story the other day of a couple who met because they were in gridlock traffic next to each other for hours. Finally they pulled over to the side of the road to have a conversation. At their wedding the grooms cake had the I-5 symbol on it!

    The best approach to finding love is being open to it so you can receive it when it comes. I met my fiancé at a dive bar on a night when I was least expecting it but the key is I saw him and approached him. Maybe the key to the search for love is being bold and knowing what you want.

    Nice blog. Good food for thought.

    • Dutch says:

      That has got to be the lowest point of possible potential dating forums. Sad enough to say, “we met at a bar or at the gym”. Freeway gridlock is the next meat-market! The mile-high-club becomes the I-5 gridlock-club. There will be an increase in sales of vans in the LA traffic corridors. That says a lot about finding love in LA… lol…

    • Sandra: Co-Founder of this Blog says:

      Julia, love is everywhere in L.A. It’s NOT hiding out.

      The question is, what are you looking for? That is the key.

      For me, character is more important than anything else. Most of my friends go for the handsome guys and there’s nothing wrong with that at all, but if that’s the main asset you look for, then you may always be searching beneath the surface of good looks. Please come back and let us know how your search for love progresses. Best regards.

  2. Veronica says:

    I just came out of a long relationship and I got hurt very deeply. But I still believe life is more beautiful when there is love.
    Happy Monday to all!
    V

    • Sandra: Co-Founder of this Blog says:

      Great attitude because one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch. Learn from your mistakes, move on and love will be better next time around.

  3. Candy says:

    I think Jasmine made some very good points about dating because most ladies can relate to her article/story. I think it will be great to see Jasmine have her own news column.

  4. Reggie Doiel says:

    Another great addition, I really could not have suggested this better personally.

  5. Stephen H. says:

    I understand your story, but women in general are way too needy.

    • Jasmine says:

      I do agree that some women are needy, but so are some men. what do you think?

      • Sandra: Co-Founder of this Blog says:

        Men are needier than you think. Even the most macho ones are ‘babies/pussycats.’ If women really grasped that, had a strong sense of self and knew their value and power as women, they would not have any problems.

        • Sandra G says:

          I agree 100 percent with you Sandra. Men are very needy.

        • Sandra G says:

          There can only be one needy person per relationship. I guess that is the reason why most men get turned off by needy women. It just doesn’t leave any space for them and they don’t know how to handle it.

    • Dutch says:

      A lot of HMPs (High Maintenance Princesses) in LA… I think Hollywood and Disney attracts them like bees to honey. Only neither Hollywood or Disney Princesses are real. That reality doesn’t seem to stop women in LA from seeking a White Knight Prince with unlimited resources though…

  6. Windra B. says:

    Isn’t it the truth about finding love in LA. I gotta tell you it’s hard. You nailed the problems we women in our 30’s are facing and I’m getting to the point where I dread going on another date that leads to nowhere. I am a decent looking woman and I think I have a great personality and character, but it seems like all the bad girls are having more luck than me. I am desperate for my Prince Charming, but like you, my friends tell me my expectations are too high. What’s high about wanting a decent, loving, faithful, fun, hardworking guy? Isn’t it sad that those basic qualities are now considered “high expectations”? Your article gave me encouragement, so I’ll keep looking. Let us know if you find any new avenues that we can all tap into. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Dutch says:

    Ah Jaz… Love in LA is an oxymoron…. Like rap music, centurial intelligence agency, public health care…. these words are conjoining contradiction terms. Finding love in LA is very difficult due to the values, or their lack of, that LA life style promotes. Your heart needs to go to the heart land of America to find a true companion. Personally, I recommend Texas where they grow real men that are self-sufficient with a health distrust of government and strong family values. 😉

    • Sandra: Co-Founder of this Blog says:

      Dutch, get a grip. Good men don’t come from a particular region or ideology – character makes a man.

      • KAZ says:

        Agree! It’s not about place, but about people.

        I wouldn’t think “long term” or “relationship” – just meeting great people, get to know them and nurture relationships. LA is such an interesting city!

        To me, Love is ADMIRATION ON FIRE!!! You will find it, because you are so easy to admire, Jasmine.

        • Jasmine says:

          You are so sweet Kaz. Thank you
          I couldn’t agree more with you that it is about the people not the place. I wish for everyone to make connections with those special people.

    • Jasmine says:

      Even though I agree with Sandra regarding the fact that good men don’t come from a specific region. I know you so I can tell you Dutch that they should make more men like you. You are a true gentleman.

  8. Pilates Lady says:

    I agree with Jasmine.

    I also agree that there are a lot of princesses in L.A., but there are also a lot of good, down to earth ladies like Jasmine and I and from what I’ve seen, in general the princesses are not having a problem finding people willing to deal with them. I think this may be the perfect city for them… still I can understand the frustration of the down to earth man.

    As Jasmine mentioned, I think there are a lot of us out there with similar interests and desires, the problem is getting us all connected.

    • Jasmine says:

      Lovely down to earth Pilates Lady,
      There is going to be a man who would love and appreciate all that you are. It may not seem very likely at times but he is out there and it is just a question of time to meet him.

  9. Sandra: Co-Founder of this Blog says:

    Jasmine, you outlined the frustration of your experiences very well in this blog. The thing is, women have good instincts and very seldom use them in the matter of love. You saw all the warning signs with the first guy you spoke about in the article, but you agreed to date him again. You are a beautiful young woman and I think it’s only a matter of time before you find someone WHO IS DESERVING OF YOU – not the other way around. Don’t get frustrated or desperate because you don’t have to. I have found that when one is NOT actively looking for a relationship, the guys come out of the woodwork. That has been my experience because I have always been focused on work and the relationships have always come knocking.

    • Jasmine says:

      Yes Sandra
      I did see the warning signs and I still agreed to go out with him again. Personally, I had to get used to be by myself. I was in two long relationships and I had forgotten how to be just by myself. Although it is great to have someone that I love in my life, I realized that I am great being alone. This awareness has given me a feeling of strength, happiness, and confidence beyond my imagination. Once I let go, I started meeting people.

  10. Esther P. says:

    I believe that one of the major difficulties women have in finding a relationship is hanging to the fairy-tale idea of what love story should be. In this column Jasmine quotes several movies where we all fall in love with the idea of love as it is well intended by the writer and director of those movies. Truth is that we only get to live that love story for about 100 minutes and from the outside. I’ve been married for about 19 years and let me tell you, even with love and the blessing of having children, we all smell in the mornings, we are not attracted to each other 24/7, and problems still knock on your door.

    • Jasmine says:

      When I watch these movies, I sometimes ask myself if the happy ending means happily ever after. I sure hope for happily ever after. I admire your commitments of having a wonderful marriage of 19 years. I understand that you are not attracted to each other 24/7, but don’t those special moments amongst the busy everyday life make the whole thing worthwhile?
      I think when the problems knock on the door, we have to remind ourselves of the love between us, try our best, and hope our best would get us through the rough patches.
      Wishing you the best

  11. Kenny says:

    I find Persian women to be some of the most beautiful women on this planet and you are certainly a beautiful woman. I find it very difficult to believe that you have such a hard time finding love in L.A. You are probably simply looking for love in all the wrong places or have exceedingly high expectations. There are good guys out there like me who have all the qualities you describe, but women tend to go for the bad boys.

    • Jasmine says:

      Hello Kenny
      Thanks so much for your comment. I may be looking in the wrong places, but I am certainly not looking for a bad boy. What I want is simply a real man; honest, confident, and loyal. I am looking for someone with whom I have things in common. Do you think these are high expectations?

  12. JR Optimist says:

    Like Field of Dreams, if you believe, your Prince Charming will come. Don’t settle.

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