When I moved to Los Angeles several years ago, I was in an enviably steady, loving relationship with my best friend. (A dude.) But soon after being introduced to the adult world and its opportunities – especially the sexual ones – I realized my beau's excitement failed to match my own. He had become more of a caboose than co-pilot, and it killed me to accept that the divide growing between us was too deep to fill with counseling and make-up sex. I kept the apartment and he moved nine blocks south.

Then it was go-time. Four years of pent-up singledom burst from my seams, and I've hacked away at most of my bed post. Now I've calmed down a bit, and my gyno no longer stutters as she asks me to describe my sexual history. Her awkward nurse's assistant, however, still takes my blood pressure wearing double-thick latex – but maybe she's just into that.

I learned right away that the dating rulebook is updated/revised/edited far too often to keep track of and, quite frankly, there's no way in hell this generation of young adults pays attention to that shit. If they did, I wouldn't have anything to write about.

Of course I'm not the only one with stories to share. But I seem to be one of the few who are vocal with them.

Though I continue to learn the rules of rolling solo, I have certainly found there is a serious need for a young American re-education. What this generation and those following lack are fundamental life skills pertaining to the opposite sex – skills not included in federally funded abstinence-only curricula or awkward talks with our parents.

For example, if you want to ask a girl out on a date, do it. Verbally. Our world may be technologically driven, but that doesn't mean we must forgo the most basic and effective form of communication: spoken word.

Assuming the girl accepts your invitation, take her out. That means you drive, you pick the place, and you pay without expecting a BJ on the way home. Don't blame chivalry's death on feminism; a chick who denies a guy who holds open doors, insists on driving, and makes the first move is nuts. Don't bother with a second date unless you're into banging your head against stone surfaces.

Don't text her out on a first date, and don't pick a bar known locally as the “get fucked-up spot.” If the place serves drinks strong enough to knock out several elephants, you're insinuating less-than-holy intentions – and unless you both share a love for hook-ups and herpes scares, stick to coffee or a casual dinner.

Don't be offended if she suggests you move a little to the left when you're eating her pussy, and if you for one minute think it's funny – or even acceptable – to call her Dr. Ruth for knowing more about her vagina than you do, just stay home.

Women worth dating have neither the time nor patience for that kind of defensiveness and insecurity. I dunno which is a bigger turn-off: incurable STDs, chronic halitosis or douchebaggery, but I do know that there are far too many men out there with at least one of those three deal-breaking traits.

It's time for an overhaul, ladies and gentlemen. Let's do single in the city the right way.

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn.

LA Weekly