A History of David in 3 Parts: Part 1

I should go ahead and admit that I have always been attracted to Davids. I’m like a moth to a name and I get singed every time, but hey! there I go again with half a wing, flapping crookedly toward another.


The first David, the David from which all other Davids sprung, was Fifth Grade David. He was the son of my Social Studies teacher. I tried to impress him in homeroom by reciting Lincoln’s Gettysburg address (I had it memorized for his mother’s class) or by humming selections from the La Bamba soundtrack (it was, after all, 1987).

One out of every four men I have dated since has been a David.

There was Playa David. And Bartender David. How about Canoeist David? He frequented the coffee shop/bookstore I worked at in Athens, Georgia. Once, during a game of Trivial Pursuit, he jumped up and uttered the phrase “Bounce you back!” Besides none of my friends knowing what this meant, but still finding it disturbing, he had an alien shaped head. I decided “bouncing back” meant dumping him.

After Canoeist David I took up with a new David, a graduate student in English at NC State. When you pulled his beard he would “baaaa” like a billy goat. This David accompanied me to my acappella group’s reunion concert where he unknowingly interacted with College David (see how this gets confusing?) and later that night broke up with me in his car, stoned, to the blues of a distance pitchpipe. Jow jigga jow.

I even dated a Vade, which seems harmless enough, until you realize Vade is an anagram of Dave. Vade was a pressure-washer. On our second date he picked me up in an unmarked van, the kind kidnappers use. He wore tight pants and was known in the Chapel Hill karaoke circuit as “that guy who sings Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog.” You can imagine how that might go:

After Vade revealed his racist side on our third date—he made Don Imus sound like a NAACP spokesman—I quit seeing him. A few weeks later, he dedicated an angry “Go Your Own Way” to me at a local karaoke night.

When I moved to New York five years ago, I tried to break the David chain. I got a job as a travel agent and skilled myself in the art of effortlessly pronouncing the names of my dates—names like like Arvid and Tomasso—around my friends at happy hour. This was great, until it occurred to me I was booking these men on flights away from me. Knowing the bulkhead seat requests and dietary restrictions of my love interests was taking its toll. I longed for simplicity. Thus began the mono-syllabic months in which I proclaimed men with monosyllabic names to be better boyfriends. I think by “better” I meant “here,” as in “not returning to Bologna.” If a man I liked happened to have a polysyllabic name I merely shortened it. Cameron clipped to Cam, Daniel docked to Dan. It’s problematic calling your bartender Owen “Owe,” but since by this point I was sleeping with my bartender, I’d clearly failed at Feng Shui dating.


24 responses to “A History of David in 3 Parts: Part 1

  1. Cute post. I too am a fan of the Davids. Growing up, my best friend/next door neighbor was David. Many moons later, I name my son after him. Fast forward a few years (after the divorce from my husband NOT named David), DAVID looks me up. We start dating. An older gentleman asks my little boy, “Are you named after David in the Bible?” “No,” he replies, “I’m named after my mama’s boyfriend.” The old man never believed it wasn’t as seedy as it sounded. Peace, Michele
    PS David and I married and we live happily ever after:)

  2. The armchair psychotherapist in me notes that Dave is just a vowel short of an anagrammatic “evade”.

    But my stepmother’s got you beat. She married two Davids (the second being my father). And she has a son from her first marriage named Aaron. Aaron David, in fact. Which is how she refers to him, to keep things straight. I don’t know how she refers to me.

    The second David she calls “Davey,” which is sweet and makes us all want to barf.

    I noticed recently that I’ve been tending to date only women with names beginning in “A.” You might think this is narcissism, but the pool of women interested and available is oddly weighted. Some sort of alpha-karma. In the course of successive courtships, the e-mail exchanges beginning and ending with the single initial A.–and mutual witty/flirtatious observations of the same–are losing their freshness. As are all other aspects of courtship.

    Incidentally, David was the fifth most popular name for boys born in the US in 1975, so it may not be your problem after all (See: http://names.mongabay.com/baby_names/1975.html)


  3. Thanks Aaron! But it gets weirder…stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3.

  4. So weird, because my friend and I were just discussing this yesterday. Four out of her last five relationships were with Mikes, and I tend to go in strings of Dans or Nicks. I guess just can’t break the chain.

  5. I’ve been there. What is it with these Daves? I’ve dated at least 5. Now, I won’t even consider a date with one. They are bad news.

  6. I never had a thing for Davids, but I did date 3 Peter Cs at the same time: Peter Cohen, Peter Cunningham and Peter Cassidy. My roommate was ready to kill me, because she never knew who she was taking a message from!

  7. It’s Jim’s and J’s for me! Two Jim’s in a row and then a Joe. It wasn’t even Joseph, just Joe. Next, I swear I’m dating someone with 4 letters to their name.

  8. If you want to send me towards any of your cast off Daves, I’m game. I’m trying to break myself of Mikes. My friend is convinced that all men named Mike or Michael are bad and I attract them all. My friends can’t keep any of my bad ex-Mikes straight. so I refer to them as ‘Crazy Mike’ ‘Alcoholic/Addict Mike’ and ‘alternative universe Mike’

  9. I was drawn to this post by it’s title as I am indeed a David. Can I apolgise on behalf of all decent David’s that you appear to have been let down by our kind. I am 41 married with 4 boys and as far as I know there are others like me. You appear witty, personable, intelligent and going by the pictures attractive. I hope you find a good David, Bert, Fred or Attilla keep being the Rebecca you appear to be and all will come good in the end.
    David Ross

  10. I’m drawn to Daniels, which is unfortunate, as it’s also the name of my brother … AND my father.

  11. I’m a David, want to date? Although I only like to be called female names. It really turns me on…

    I’ll let you choose…pick one:

    Hairy Mary
    Fatty Patty
    Bushy Betty

  12. sam is right Davids are bad news. If I am any indication of that, which I believe I am, they are self-involved and finicky. Like me. Many Daves have allergies too. Not me though. But any who … enjoyed reading your post. Thanks!

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  14. Speaking as a heterosexual male, I have to say that guys named Dave always make great buddies, too. They’re usually pretty down-to-earth and reliable.

  15. sidharthvarma

    My name is Sidharth. You could never go wrong with me ladies. Break the chain.

  16. Really cute one !I don’t have a friend named so,but something closer to it and you are absolutly right!

  17. Ugh! I feel your pain! I always stick to J-names. Thankfully, I’ve recently broken the cycle.

  18. Nomoredavids

    I can SO relate. Besides having crushes on several Davids starting in the fifth grade, I was married to two separate Davids and dated another after the second marriage ended. I am inexplicably attracted to Davids but have taken a vow never to date another David again.

  19. heatherfeather

    Thank you for writing this, my problem has always been guys named Chris, my friends can’t even catch up, and a friend of mine has had 6 Erics

  20. Evidently my first college boyfriend had the same problems himself with Ashleys, which is how I ended up with the awesomely awful nickname (which has, to this day, continued to stick) of “Make-out Ashley”. Confronted with one of his friends at a party, (in front of my only serious boy) the response was “hey, it’s make out ashley, LET HER THROUGH”. Umm, yeah, still living that one down.

    Arvid = David. or something. i think i love you.

  21. i have no name pattern perse, except i think most of the men i’ve talked to/been in relationships – their names seem to always end in vowels. ido, ardi, abu, pete, carmelo, jimmy, randy (sometimes y, right?)… a david could be somewhat refreshing for me, especially if it meant he were jewish.

    goodnight, and good luck.

  22. Pingback: A History of David in 3 Parts: Part 2 « TryBecca

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  24. i date alot of daves too, its sad really. i dont know why, its sort of a coincidence i just always end up dating guys named dave…

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