L.A. in Love: Finding That Spark

Learn a thing or two about dating from relationship expert Laurel House

Love. It comes with conundrums. Where do the lovelorn turn for help to work out the glitches? To a veritable mechanic of the heart—international dating coach and relationship expert Laurel House. Not only is House the coach of E!’s Famously Single series, she’s a regularly featured expert on KTLA, with guest stints on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Nightline. Her fifth book, Screwing the Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love, serves as a blueprint to the masses looking to up their passion plays.

One-on-one coaching has the professional cupid traveling the globe to assist clients. With millions of miles under her belt, the Los Angeles native says that “when it comes to finding love, L.A. is the perfect ‘wingman’.” Although many residents complain that dating here is hard, House thinks just the opposite is true. In fact, she firmly believes the city can serve as an asset to lovers in various relationship stages. All it takes is a sense of adventure and veering off well-worn paths.

A strategy for singles—experience L.A. as a visitor on a getaway. Operating from this mindset, House says, will organically bring essentials for successful dating to the surface. “When vacationing, you’re much more open…you allow yourself to go outside of your comfort zone, be it trying new food or getting a little bit crazy and letting the walls down to reveal your authentic self.”

House with one of her clients
House with one of her clients

Photograph courtesy Laurel House

To help scratch L.A.’s surface, House suggests several locales that are ripe for meeting singles. Events geared towards the dating pool automatically open doors to introductions. House’s picks: Three Day Rule matchmaking and the Great Love Debate.

Another option—go places with built-in opportunities for making connections: “Hit the Santa Monica volleyball courts, the Getty Center’s jazz nights, events at Silicon Beach, or local museums like LACMA”, says House.

Those who prefer less obvious scenarios can combine business and cultural networking for meeting potential partners with similar interests. Some of House’s faves include IVY Social University, a curated entrepreneurial group, and Library Foundation’s Young Literati.

While out and about, staying present is key. “Get off your apps and into the real world,” House advises. “When immersed in your phone, your energy is closed off and no one’s going to interrupt and say hello.”

Spot someone who piques your interest? “Look them in the eyes and smile,” House says simply. These actions can serve as a better, and less weighty, goal than procuring a phone number. “Even better,” she says, “strive for a real conversation.” The confidence required to do so wins points right off the bat. If at a loss for words, saying anything is better than a missed opportunity. House has go-to pick-up lines, at the ready, even for Whole Foods’ salad bar. “ ‘You look like you have the salad making thing down. What’s your strategy?’…It’s a conversation starter that’s also a compliment.”

Other useful openers further show how the city is a great wingman. “Location-centric conversations are easy starters: What part of L.A. do you live in? Where are some of your favorite and/or regular places…?” Yeah, yeah, yeah. But what about rejection? Don’t let the possibility hinder you, says House. “And don’t take it personally.”

House offers similar advice for couples in long-term relationships. “Oftentimes, couples get to a point where they feel like they’ve already done everything, had every conversation,” she says. “If you experience something new together, you’re expanding your perspective and identity.” She advises committing to a weekly date night to rediscover L.A.’s diverse communities, attractions, and activities. “Take the train, visit museums, catch a live performance,” she offers. “Try things that make you feel uncomfortable.”

Single or coupled, stepping out of comfort zones can be scary, yet exhilarating. Why worry when there’s a wingman on board? L.A.’s got your back.