Note: This story originally appeared Sunday, October 16, 2005
Five-second bio: She's 32; an event planner; grew up near Chicago and lives in Waldo. Relationship status: Single.
Social circles: It's hard to meet men here, she says. "You walk into a place like the Kona Grill, no one talks, no one mingles. The people you come with are the people you talk to."
Crash: But if your car breaks down, 10 people will pull over to help. "Do I have to have my car break down every day on the Plaza to meet people?"
She could write a book: Really - on bad dates. She was set up with one guy by his mom, a co-worker of hers. He drove a semi, had a huge belt buckle and for dinner took her to a truck stop with the rest of his family.
Thanks, Dad: "I'm OK with being single, but it's just when I get that phone call from my dad: `Are you dating? I really don't want you to die alone.'"
Read her diary: She thinks KC has an identity crisis - and so do its men.
`Chris in Olathe'
Five-second bio: He's 33; a marketing manager for an auto manufacturer; grew up in Flint, Mich., and now lives in Olathe.
Relationship status: Single.
Heartbreaker: He met a woman after moving here and was with her for three years. And then "I basically walked away because I didn't want to get married to her. ... I just had some doubts. I didn't want to get married just because we'd been together three years and this was the next logical step."
Miss Wrong: Now, if he realizes the woman he's with isn't the one for him, he gets out of it. "I would rather be single and have myself available to meet someone else."
Where the girls are: He has met women at his doctor's office, at a New Year's Eve party, in a co-ed softball league. He's exploring alternatives to the bar scene, such as Young Friends of Art.
Read his diary: He'll discuss how his attitude toward dating has evolved.
Five-second bio: He's 37; a freelance writer whose resume includes The New York Times online and ESPN.com; grew up in Johnson County and now lives in midtown.
Relationship status: Single (a "serial monogamist currently in hookup phase").
Meet and greet: "In terms of places to meet people, Kansas City is atomized" - very nichey. At "divorcee bars on the Plaza," a woman you encounter is likely to have gotten the house and be "a formerly desperate housewife."
Why he has never married: He says he's too selfish, too set in his ways. And "I never met a woman who was man enough for me."
Men's libber: Stevens decries the male-bashing he sees as prevalent today. Men too often get the short end of the stick when it comes to divorce and child custody, he says.
Read his diary: "I expect to take thinly veiled shots at women who've done me wrong," he jokes. And he'll "get people dialed in to just some cool, jammin' vibe in Cowtown, baby."
Five-second bio: 30-something; works in interior design; has lived most of her life in the Kansas City area, these days in south KC.
Relationship status: Single.
The `L' word: Jacinthe, who's gay, isn't big on the bar scene. For one thing, "lots of straight people hang out in gay bars," so you can't assume anything. And you have to worry about "lesbian-baiting - people setting you up to do you harm."
Go online: "It seems like the Internet is the mode of choice for 30-somethings. I'm just starting to embrace that. It's taken some time to accept that that's what it may take."
Single vs. unsingle: "I'm realizing I'm so particular, and I think that's mainly why I am single at this point in my life." She thinks too many gay people stay in bad relationships just because it's hard to meet someone new.
Read her diary: "I'm sure there will be some excursions to the dreaded Tootsie's (bar) and maybe some commentary about that."
Five-second bio: Turns 24 this month; works in marketing; grew up in Shawnee and now lives in the River Market.
Relationship status: Single; just ended a 10-week "boy fast" while training for the Chicago Marathon.
Guys on the side: Borgstadt works evenings as a server on the Plaza, and on summer weekends she drives a beer cart at a golf course. "My side jobs, they're really conducive to meeting people." She has also dated co-workers at her day job.
Those East Coast boys: Borgstadt went to school on the Right Coast (University of Pennsylvania). Penn's "prep school guys" tend to be self-absorbed, she says. Guys here are "definitely much better people, good hearts, not so snobby." But they're not as well-traveled or ambitious.
Read her diary: She's getting back in the game after her "fast."
Five-second bio: She's 25; a copy editor and page designer at The Kansas City Star; grew up in Flint, Mich., and now lives in KC.
Relationship status: Single.
It's about the numbers: In her view, 85 percent of straight men are jerks (not the word she uses), which leaves 15 percent who are nice. But "you wouldn't be interested" in half of those men.
Guys, here's the problem: She says that men in their mid-20s often don't want to grow up, or don't know what to do with their lives, or are still hung up on exes. Spencer had a serious boyfriend for four years, but "I started doing things with my life and he didn't."
Here's another problem: "Most guys in their 20s live with four other guys in some dump that they don't clean up."
Read her diary: She proposes that all bad ex-boyfriends be banished to an island.
Five-second bio: She's 26; works for a business development group; grew up in Olathe and now lives downtown.
Relationship status: In an exclusive relationship with a guy she met about a month ago.
Taking the plunge: "Dating is easier than starting a relationship. I would rather not put my heart at risk. ... Before I met (my current boyfriend), I was pretty happy. He may make me even happier, so that's why I'm taking the risk and trying it out."
The KC scene: "Especially in the Latino community, the dating pool is very small, and Kansas City being the size that it is, I've found that everybody knows each other." But she's out and about with her job, so she hasn't had trouble meeting people.
Her man: Morena gravitates toward Latino guys, but her new boyfriend is white. Her family is "very open; they just want me to be happy."
Read her diary: One girlfriend "outsourced" a man from Chicago and is moving up there now. "Is that what it's coming to?"
Five-second bio: He's 24; works as a bar back and does lighting and videography at Missie B's in midtown; grew up in Belton and lives in Independence. He's also PR coordinator for the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Greater Kansas City, and communications director for the Kansas City Gay Pride festival.
Relationship status: Single; recently broke up with a boyfriend of two months.
Finding Mr. Right: If bars aren't your thing, there are other places to meet gay people, Pryor says. Like the Planet Cafe coffeehouse. Or the Lesbian and Gay Community Center (lgcc-kc.org), which offers "Q Dating" (speed dating) monthly. Singers can check out the gay men's and women's choruses. Activist types can join groups like the Human Rights Campaign.
What a guy wants: Pryor says he's looking for someone who's outgoing and can make him laugh and cry. Closeted men need not apply.
Read his diary: Find out how he was outed at the age of 15 on live TV.
`Steve in Midtown'
Five-second bio: Turns 35 this month; a financial analyst; grew up near Wichita and now lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood.
Relationship status: Single for four years following a divorce.
Hard on the wallet: The KC area is so spread out, you can easily meet someone who lives an hour away. "Unless it's some girl I'm really diggin', it's not worth it. And with the price of gas these days ..."
You've got dates: Online dating and speed dating are "a real long shot. I've met a lot of girls, but not a lot's come out of it." With speed dating (where people are paired off for a couple of minutes at a time, then switch tables), he'll usually pick three to five women he's interested in; two to three will pick him; one or two will respond. And then: "Usually nothing happens. But what the hell. It's just a numbers game."
Read his diary: Oh, that perpetual quandary - how long to wait before calling after a first date.
What's it like out there in the dating trenches? Over the next few weeks, these nine Kansas City area singles (some asked to write under pen names) will keep bloglike "Dating Diaries" for The Star. Read them at KansasCity.com; click on the Kiss & Tell logo. Look for fresh posts daily.