October 21, 2004
Singles ‘Curse’ Becomes a Blessing
Most single women in Los Angeles go through dry spells -- a few weeks without a date, a couple months without a boyfriend, a season without some action. But how many Southland women go years without a man's touch and confess to it publicly? In her new book "The Curse of the Singles Table, A True Story of 1001 Nights Without Sex," Santa Monica resident Suzanne Schlosberg talks about her long winter and spring and summer and fall, and winter again, and spring again and, well, her long, lonely time.
"There was no end in sight," said Schlosberg, who spent more than three and a half years going on dozens of first dates, but almost never a second. "The streak started to take on a life of its own."
Set in Los Angeles, "The Curse" follows Schlosberg on her quest to find a partner. The Sherman Oaks native tried blind dates, JDate and match.com. She went on so many Internet coffee dates she began to call The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Wilshire Boulevard and Ninth Street "her office." The tenacious singleton endured a disastrous week at Club Med, traveled to Arctic Russia and even attended Shabbat services in the basement of a Methodist church in Bend, Ore., all in hopes of ending her draught; but her bed remained empty.
"There had to be someone out there for me, it was just a matter of finding him," said Schlosberg, who, as a member of Westwood's Velo Club La Grange bike club, was hoping to find a fellow athletic adventurer.
Schlosberg, who attends both Valley Beth Shalom in Encino and Ahavat Shalom in Northridge, notes that dating in Los Angeles brought about city-specific challenges.
"So many people in L.A. work from home or in untraditional jobs," said Schlosberg, a writer and editor for Woodland Hills-based Shape Magazine and author of several fitness books. "It was hard for me to meet men at work, when work for me was a day in front of my computer in my robe and towel."
Schlosberg found Los Angeles' entertainment industry also complicated her search.
"Those industry dates never worked for me," she said. "Once, I met a guy on match.com who said he was a screenwriter. Then I met him in person -- turned out he was a nightshift security guard at a Beverly Hills mansion who was attempting to write his first screenplay."
Schlosberg's parents, grandparents, and sister live in Los Angeles, and constantly offered their unsolicited dating advice and assistance -- often with disastrous results.
"When it came to fixing me up, they had no filters. If he was Jewish, owned a condo and lived in L.A. County, they were positive he was the guy for me," said Schlosberg, who recommends Internet dates over blind dates. "I went on dozens of horrible set-ups. At least with match.com, I set myself up. I set my own filters and controlled who I was meeting."
Sure, her younger sister beat her to the chuppah and her father answered an ad in The Jewish Journal classifieds on her behalf; still, she remained optimistic.
"It wasn't in my nature to give up," said Schlosberg, who competes in The Death Ride, an annual one-day, 130-mile mountain bike race held at 16,000 feet.
With "The Curse," Schlosberg hopes to share her dating misadventures with other single women.
"It's not a how-to; it's a 'what I learned.' I went through all this so other women won't have to," said Schlosberg, whose 1,358 day sexless streak came to an end six weeks into writing her book.
As for her handsome "streak-breaker"?
"It's a miracle I ever found him," said Schlosberg, about the Woodland Hills mensch who not only broke her streak, but proposed marriage and converted to Judaism. "Forget about ending my streak, I didn't know how else I was going to end my book."
For more information, visit www.suzanneschlosberg.com.