An Asheville dating manifesto

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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In early January, two members of the Asheville twitterati held a fascinating discussion about dating in town. Laura Hope-Gill, a local poet, started the conversation and Catherine Campbell, a local writer, joined in. It’s a fascinating discussion, one that I hope will spur more talk, more thought. I’ve done my best to recreate their public online discussion here, and look forward to your thoughts.

Laura:  I believe in dating. #oldschool

Catherine:  As do I. Just not very good at it.

Catherine:  I had a hard time b/c ppl think women shouldn’t date multiple people at a time. Only men can do that. Ugh.

Laura:  “How much I missed simply because I was afraid of missing” #Brida Retweeted by LauraHopeGill

Laura:  I think I might offer a workshop. I was so not into it, and doing it all wrong and winding up with disasters. Now, I get it.

Laura:  We can and we should. That’s how it used to be. We had suitors. They had to win us. It made them feel good and kept us safe.

Catherine:  Yes, and now I look like a “slut” even if I’m not sleeping with my dates. What happened? Sometimes I just want a date.

Laura:  Men and women are equally freaked out by relationships. Dating is a cool way to enjoy company w/o getting freaked out, bogged.

Catherine: Agreed.

Laura:  I think the fashion has become Instimacy and Instant Relationships b/c we don’t have role models for dating, just sex.

Catherine:  Yes, the whole sexting/”hanging out”/marry because the economy=bad has taken over the art of the date. Men don’t woo, either.

Laura:  Men want to woo. Good men want to woo. It let’s them feel like men. I think we lost the art of dating.

Catherine: I know! Maybe it’s this town. I have met few men (and women) who are skilled at dating.

Laura:  I’m discussing dating with @bookish_type. Is it a lost art? Do we begin relationships too soon?

Laura:  A good friend says it takes three months for sociopathic tendencies to manifest. So, dating is the solution.

Catherine: I would absolutely agree with that.

Laura:  This town, this generation. It’s tweet, fuck and move in.

Catherine: Yes! So then, is the Internet helping to kill dating. Are dating sites improving quality of dates or just # of dates?

Laura:  Great question. I think they’re good.

Laura:  I just ended a 6 month stint on match. I learned A LOT about myself and about people in general.

Catherine: Can’t get into dating sites. I’m a “see that person across the room” kind of Romantic.

Catherine: If you tweet or update your FB post or check your email while on a date with me, I kick you to the curb.

Laura:  Most importantly, I learned it’s fun to go out on one single date with someone. Enjoy, shake hands, good-bye.

Laura:  Me, too. Now it’s see that person across the ethernet. What rooms can we see people across these days.

Laura:  If you take your f-ing phone out of your pocket . . . .

Laura:  If you talk about your ex on a first date . . .

Laura:  A lot of Asheville is on

Catherine: Really? In a way, I’m not surprised.

Laura: I think we all politely “no” one another’s profiles if we know each other in real life.

Laura:  Loads of Ashevilleans on We never talk about it!

Catherine: Nice. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Match, but if you actually date & take your time, you don’t need that.

Laura:  Once the system flipped and I was on the man’s side of it. Saw a lot of my girlfriends.

Laura: “Here are 4000 women like Laura Hope-Gill.”

Laura: (though it didn’t say my real name)

Laura:  I agree. Are people asking one another out on dates in real life?

Catherine: Yes, I have witnessed it among friends. It’s endearing. I get asked out more online than in real life.

Laura: Yes. Communities used to faciliate meeting people, I guess. These days it’s business networking.

Catherine: Ugh. Right. Speaking of, hate to end this convo, but must get back to work. Thanks for your insights!

Laura: That is endearing. This has been fun! Thanks.

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Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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1 Comment

  1. Darlene January 19, 2012

    Some people may think it sounds hopelessly old-fashioned, but I like the viewpoint of MARS AND VENUS ON A DATE. It talks about men “courting.” I tried the feminist kind of dating, and I don’t like it. A man will have to try to “win” me, and I won’t give myself too easily or too quickly to a man. Women will have to make the changes first, because men don’t have much to lose in maintaining the status quo. I’m sorry I grew up just as the “sexual revolution” was beginning. Why did marriages used to last so much longer? Because people were doing things differently. This book is my “Bible” on the subject. And BTW, just a little side not: if you want a man to “court” you and treat you like a princess, it’s probably best to be careful of the words you use.


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