Things you should know about dating in Cape Town.
A somewhat helpful guide for single people in the Mother City. Content may contain cynicism, stereotyping and some element of truth.
Cape Town, we love you. We love your designer coffee shops, sea breeze and exotic air of laid back opulence. We love your cronuts (croissant plus doughnut) and your surfer's corners. When it comes to your dating scene, it's complicated. Here's why:
1. People in Cape Town are beautiful.
There are more models, actresses, artists and fashionistas in the city than rocks on table mountain, beers in the Beerhouse and penguins on Boulder’s Beach.
A true Cape Townian is the cocktail the barman makes you when you lean over and tell him “surprise me”. They are a sultry mix of style, throaty laughs and African charm. Cape Town is Orange County meets Jamaica. It’s gritty and sophisticated.
If you are looking for a sperm donor- it’s perfect. If all you've ever wanted in life is to be beautiful and waltz across the white sand of Clifton beach- it's perfect. Perhaps now is a good time to let you know there is an unsaid rule understood by only the ridiculously good looking: models date models.
If you were born without a bouncy afro, topaz eyes and a size 00 waist, all the beautiful people can make dating in Cape Town challenging.
2. Cape Townians are cliquey.
Cape Townians make friends with the person they were born next to and then stop. (Meh, too much effort).
You think I’m joking? I’m not. Live in the South and date someone in the North. People will say things like: “Wow, you’re crazy. I could never do a long distance relationship,” or "you’re progressive”.
What does this mean if you're dating in the city?
1. If you are a born and bred Cape Townian your family friend probably has plans to propose to you any day now. 2. If you mess with the rules and date across city, or even race, you have a whole world of options most people are too stuck in their ways to consider. Mmmm, like.
3. Cape Townians are active
We could run the city’s electricity off the energy generated by people sprinting up Lion’s Head.
If you aren’t of the born beautiful Cape Town club, I'm sorry to tell you, you will have to embrace toe shoes, no sleeping in on Saturday and endorphin highs. Maybe leave the toe shoes, I'm not sure its worth it.
There’s no way around it, if you wish to secure your place in Cape Town society and find a down to earth but hot other half, your best bet is the fitness junkies. Mention things on your Saturday morning run which make you sound like you work out: “I bought a pair of adidas the other day, my old ones were wearing out.” (They were high tops, but hey, just a detail), or “the sunset was so beautiful when I was out on the promenade” (eating an ice cream). Practice this enough and you may gain yourself an active Cape Town hottie.
4. Cape Town winter.
You have 6 months of summer fun to find yourself a cuddle buddy for July. If you do your job well, you will save on the expensive but necessary Cape Town accessory, a heater.
This isn’t NYC with 8 freezing months and 4 humid. Or Eskimo territory. Or the Australian outback. All the same, Cape Town has weather challenges (sideways rain, bad driving, wind) and during winter everyone hibernates. Even the models. No-one can afford to party all year round. Plus being alive a whole year sounds like a lot of effort for a Cape Townian. Either way, be careful, come winter if you don’t play your cards right you may have to snuggle your lap top.
5. Half of Cape Town is broke.
The person you are dating may not have a job. If you ask them about their income and they mumble freelance, creative, music or modelling, be assured this round is on you. And the next. And the next.
Let's say it like it is: people don’t move to Cape Town to further their career. Unless they are into coffee art, film photography, or leather handbags. If your date looks like they haven’t washed their hair and eaten in days, it could be because they haven’t. Be on the lookout for people dating you because you have a stable income. Or any income. Or because your 2nd cousin was a year below Jeremy Loops at high school and they think you have good connection. Don't say you weren't warned.
SO WHAT ARE MY DATING PROSPECTS?
(Note: figures below have come from my brain and may, or may not be correct, applicable or logical). If all this talk sounds pretty subjective and you want some cold hard facts, let the statistics speak.
Population of Cape Town: 4 000 000.
Percentage of middle class 50%: 2 000 000.
Opposite sex: 1 000 000.
But, Cape Town is the gay capital of Africa: 925 000.
But, hot tourists arrive in summer: 1 000 000.
But, the no jobs, models and toe shoes (not really datable): 700 000
But, the imports from Durban and JHB (datable): 1 000 000.
1/3 is too young to date
1/3 is married already
DRUM ROLL: Mathematically if you wish to date in Cape Town you have about... 333 333 people to choose from.
Now that's not entirely horrible. See, there is hope. Insert mental image: couple saunter along the ocean hand in hand, the sun from the waves glints in their love struck eyes and they eat ice cream from the Creamery. Wait, you're not quite there yet.
Here’s the deal: leave the models to frolic. Date outside your race. Find a sport. Talk to new people. No job = no date. Don’t mess it up with the good ones. Don’t get caught up on the bad ones. Move on quickly. Have a blast. Cape Town is fun and maybe a little bit... romantic.