Let's talk about date-cest

Hey look! It's my 50th post here at ChicagoNow! Barkeep! Another round for me! Onto the blogging at hand.

As big cities go, Chicago's pretty damn small. Especially if you're an active dater.

The dating world in Chicago is pretty incestuous, for lack of a better term. I don't mean literally incestuous (which would imply that Chicago is full of relatives dating each other). Rather, I mean that there's a lot of dating crossover among friend groups - friends dating people their friends have dated and that sort of thing.

That discovery surprised me, honestly. Date-cest, as I call it, was about nonexistent in the Quad-Cities. Or so I found. And that's a metro area of fewer than 400,000 people. Chicago is a city of nearly 3 million. There shouldn't be that much dating crossover.

Yet, not long after I got back to the city and started dating, I went on a couple dates with a girl. We had fun, but it wasn't going anywhere. Later, I was telling my friend David (who serves as my dating consiglieri) about her and he suddenly got a weird look in his eye. He asked me her name again and I told him. He asked what she looked like and I showed him her profile picture on OkCupid. He told me he had gone on a date with her as well. And then this discussion ensued:

Me: Seriously, dude?

David: Dude, seriously.

Me: Well shit.

Both of us: *laugh*

My friend Stephanie (another dating consiglieri) and I experienced a different form of date-cest. A while back, I went on a date with another lady I had met via OkCupid. It was only one date. But not long after, I happened to be on Stephanie's Facebook page and saw that this woman had posted on her page and later learned she and Stephanie were becoming pretty good friends.

Ironically, Stephanie had a similar experience with a friend of mine. She exchanged messages with a guy on OkCupid who turned out to be not only a coworker of mine, but also a high school acquaintance-turned-friend.

I still can't figure out why this phenomenon is so much more common in a giant city than it was in a metro area 1/10 the size. And I suspect I'll never really know. But here's the question: Am I the only one to whom this is happening? Or is it more rampant than that?

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