Beth Cook is a dating coach and throws private dating events for San Francisco’s most awesome and unattached. She also writes and draws about her own dating experiences. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

A close guy friend of mine just moved to Washington, D.C. from San Francisco and wrote me an email that said the following: “D.C. women are far more proactive than SF women thus far. In D.C., I've sent three messages in a week on OkCupid and received about six. In SF, I probably sent 25 messages on OkCupid a week and received two. In case you want to keep track!”

Yes, I do want to keep track. SF women, what is wrong with you?! All you do is complain about how rough dating is here, and yet you don’t respond to cute, smart, 30ish men? I don’t get it.

What I do get is that it’s not D.C. women that are different; D.C. culture is different. Both men and women are aggressive as hell in D.C. You have to be—it’s a cutthroat city that lives on the blood and tears of men and women hoping to make it big in business and politics. Dating is a different kind of business. You D.C. folks get your damn selves out there and sell your goods and services on OkCupid and beyond. You get things done; and I appreciate that!

Now, a word of online dating advice for San Franciscans (and New Yorkers—I’ve heard the same complaints about you): don’t sit around waiting for people to come to you. If you want dates, get ‘em yourself! Don’t rely on others to do all the work and then whine about why things aren’t working out for you.

Don’t worry, you won’t screw with gender dynamics (which do still exist) by this change of tact; online dating exists in its own category. My friend says, “It is definitely a turn-on when a woman approaches me in an interesting, thoughtful way.”

So go for it SF and NYC! Set a realistic goal: email three guys or girls this week that pique your interest online. It’s not as hard as you think, and you might just enjoy taking some of the power back in your dating life. Oh, and one more thing: write people back, even if you’re not interested. You know how it feels to send something into the abyss and have it remain unanswered. A courtesy email is nice. You will be rewarded for sending them.

Click, click.

Photo by Search Engine People’s Blog