Don’t you believe there aren’t enough great guys to go around—we’ve found seven Sarasota bachelors who make our hearts sing. We put together a committee comprised of single women, social butterflies and inveterate matchmakers, swore them to secrecy and asked them to bring us nominations—and pictures.
We studied those photos—boy, did we study them!—to find the guys who were genuinely hot. But that was just the beginning of our scrutiny. We also looked for men with character, kindness and charisma, along with that certain something that makes them unique, whether it’s creative talent or charitable passion.
Seven standouts rose to the top, and after some gentle persuasion, they each agreed to go public on our pages. They range from a 25-year-old indie filmmaker to a 39-year-old attorney who’s about to spend a year serving with the Army. And though they’re all leading happy and successful single lives, they told us they’re also big believers in love, commitment—and yes, even marriage.
But we’ll let them speak for themselves.
ZAC ROSS, 28
Civil litigation attorney, Kirk Pinkerton
Hometown: Born and raised in Sarasota.
Describes himself as: Outgoing, intelligent, athletic, positive.
Favorite movies: Forrest Gump; comedies like Old School, Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin; dramas like The Godfather and Scarface.
Last read: The Kite Runner. But my favorite book is The Tao of Pooh. And I read magazines, too—I subscribe to The Economist and Playboy.
Listening to: Modern pop, country, rock like AC/DC, Wilco, some Spanish music.
He notices first: Her eyes.
He’d be a good boyfriend because: I love women, and I love pleasing women.
Perfect first date: Something that’s based on having time to talk—walks on the beach, sporting events, something fun and different. I’m open to tons of things.
Dating deal breaker: Smoking, close-mindedness and someone who’s not comfortable in social situations.
His best friend told us: “Zac is a great friend—he listens and cares and puts others’ needs in front of his own.”
When she makes the first move: That’s hot.
Text or call: If I meet someone I like, I’ll call later but shoot her a text that night, maybe something a little cheesy. Most girls like a little cheese.
Dating in Sarasota: Hard. It can be difficult to meet new people here. But the young population is growing.
Women need to know: We’re big dumb idiots, and sometimes we need to be told how they feel. Communication is the key to any relationship.
His ideal woman: Confident, intelligent, open-minded, ambitious and someone who wants to be the mother of my children.
Our take: This is one sociable guy—we spent an hour and a half talking at Starbucks, and he knew almost every single person who walked into the place!
Corbett (Cor) Donovan, 32
Realtor, Coldwell Banker
Most important to him: My friends and my children (two sons, ages six and nine).
Describes himself as: Generous, empathetic, outgoing.
Listening to: Trace Adkins, Godsmack, Keith Sweat.
How a woman knows he’s into her: I’ll tell her.
Dating deal breaker: If she’s not into kids.
Why he’d be a good boyfriend: I’m an excellent cook. I make the best Alfredo sauce from scratch—everyone tells me that.
Dating as a father: I put my kids first. I have a hard time finding a girlfriend who understands that.
Ideal date: Out all day on the boat with my friends. Then just her and me, wine and cheese on Siesta Key at sunset. Dinner, then pajamas, snuggling on the couch by a roaring fire.
Kids? I’m open to more children.
What women should know: It’s a stereotype in Sarasota, but a lot of women are focused on a man’s wealth, and I think they’re overlooking the big picture.
Sexiest thing a woman can wear: Low-on-the-hip jeans and a white T-shirt.
His ideal gal: Affectionate, adventurous, with an affinity for children. Physically, I tend to be attracted to long, dark hair, curves, tan.
Our take: Cor makes great eye contact—so we couldn’t miss the sparkle in his eyes when he talked about his sons (which he did often). His dedication as a father tells you everything about his character.
Robert Routh, 37
Director, Wedge Partners; equity analyst specializing in cable media and entertainment.
Hometown: All over, including Short Hills, N.J., and Sarasota.
Describes himself as: A straight-shooter, philosophical.
Listens to: The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Eminem, Christopher Cross, Run DMC, Genesis—lots of ’80s. As a media analyst, I have to listen to everything.
His ideal date: You can’t plan it. Anything you plan is probably not going to wind up being perfect.
Topic to avoid: Politics. If you’re directly involved, that’s one thing. But yelling at the TV doesn’t accomplish anything.
His best friend would say: I’m very loyal and dependable. And blunt to the point it hurts.
Marriage? Yes, I have every intention of getting married. Although I’m not going to get married just to get married.
Kids? With the right person, at the right time, in the right set of circumstances.
What he’s looking for: Quick-witted, intelligent—although intelligence and education aren’t the same thing. Integrity, values—the fundamentals have to be there. Behavior can be modified; nature never changes.
Dating deal breaker: If she’s fundamentally in conflict with the qualities I just named; if she has an agenda.
Favorite hangout: Lido Beach.
What most women are looking for: Stability—emotionally, socially. And, unfortunately, financially—that’s a turnoff. [In a relationship,] you’re buying the whole person, with or without the money.
What everyone should know: Everything’s not about money. In fact, most things aren’t. Money is almost as dumb a reason to get married as having a kid. That’s not marriage; that’s a business transaction.
Dating philosophy: Your head can justify anything. Follow your gut.
Our take: Rob talked about human nature and the intricacies of equity analysis in a single breath, all while wearing flip-flops and a backwards baseball cap. This is one philosophical banker.
Steve Shenbaum, 38
President and founder, Game On Media at IMG Academies; former television and film actor (Will and Grace, Dharma and Greg, American Pie 2)
HOMETOWN: West Covina, Calif.
DEFINES HIMSELF AS: I aim for honesty and humility, not always successfully. Back in my earlier bachelor days, when I was an actor, I lacked the humility part of the equation. Without that you’re off balance.
HIS BEST FRIEND WOULD SAY: That I’m passionate, creative, funny and communicative, and that there’s no one else who works harder at being self aware.
WHAT’S ON YOUR IPOD NOW: Old-school hip hop: De La Soul, Beastie Boys, Run DMC. It counters how people perceive me; the kid from L.A. who looks like he’s from the Midwest.
FAVORITE MOVIE: I’m not a Gladiator guy; I like inspirational movies: Forrest Gump, Field of Dreams, Slumdog Millionaire.
LAST READ: The Lemon Tree, a story about the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict told from a humane perspective.
WHO’S YOUR TYPE? I’m in a sports environment; I’m looking for someone who likes that. I’ve dated a lot of sportscasters and a lot of psychologists (not my psychologist). And I like women who appreciate spell-check; if I’m interacting with someone and there’s a grammatical error in her e-mail, it’s over. I respond to intellectual, healthy, both physically and mentally, and it would be nice if I were taller than them—5’ 11” is close to a deal breaker.
I NOTICE FIRST: Her smile.
WHEN SHE MAKES THE FIRST MOVE: I make the second.
I’VE CLICKED WITH HER WHEN: Conversation flows and there’s a lot of laughter.
TOPICS TO AVOID: Politics can hold for a couple dates. Bad ex-boyfriends and fantastic romantic encounters prior to you are probably never OK to talk about.
TEXT OR CALL: Call.
I’D BE A GOOD BOYFRIEND BECAUSE: I’m able to make my girlfriend laugh. I love to listen—it’s what I teach—and I like to dance.
FAVORITE HANGOUTS: I enjoy the atmosphere at Ceviche, walking around St. Armands Circle, the Columbia. And I like to be at my home sometimes; you don’t always have to go out.
MARRIAGE? I would like to share my life with someone; I’d much rather be in the “Best Married Guys” article.
KIDS? Yeah, absolutely.
SEXIEST THING SHE CAN WEAR: Anything she feels sexy in. If she feels attractive in jeans, a T-shirt and a baseball hat, that to me is sexy.
WHAT DO WOMEN WANT? They say they want: humor, honesty, kindness.
WHY DO WOMEN… Say they want humor, honesty and kindness, and then go back to their knucklehead ex-boyfriends.
OUR TAKE: Don’t let his being in that ultimate teen-age gross-out movie, American Pie 2, scare you off—this guy is as nice and grown-up as it gets.
Jim Scott, 25
Co-owner and founder OffKilter Productions, which makes commercials and videos.
Defines himself as: Very motivated but still easygoing; a sports lover.
Listening to now: Reggae and rock.
Favorite movie: I’m always into trippy movies, like Requiem for a Dream and Spun.
He notices first: Her smile, then her personality.
Ideal first date: Dinner and drinks somewhere downtown.
Topics to avoid: Parents—hers or mine.
He’s clicked with you when: If I can make her laugh or if she can make me laugh.
He’d be a good boyfriend because: I’m a good motivator, and I’m very family-oriented.
His best friend would say: That I’m into relationships too much right from the get-go. I care too much.
Dating deal breaker: If she’s not motivated to reach her goals, at work for example. I don’t like laziness.
Text or cell: I just recently got into texting, so I’d say about 50-50.
Dating in Sarasota: It’s hard to find someone my age. They go away to college and don’t come back.
Yes, no or maybe—marriage? Yes.
Yes, no or maybe—kids? Yes.
Women need to know: To be more aggressive. Don’t be nervous.
Type of gal he likes: I’d like her to be very active but also laid-back and open to new ideas in her life. She should be willing to travel and go places with me.
When she makes the first move: I will react back pretty quickly.
Sexiest thing she can wear: That little black dress and high heels. I like heels.
What do women want? They all want different stuff, but I think support, love and a lot of attention.
Why do women…Whisper to each other?
Our take: With his smoldering good looks and intense brown eyes, he reminds us a little of actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, but nicer.
Wyndel Darville, 39
Lawyer, state attorney’s office. Plans to run for judge after a one-year return to active Army service.
Hometown: Belle Glade, Fla.
He defines himself through: Community service, in both my professional and private life. I’m a Teen Court volunteer and a youth mentor, and I coach flag football.
Reading now: Dreams from My Father, by Barack Obama.
Most important thing he learned from his family: To be a gentleman.
Dating deal breaker: If she’s rude to my friends. Or my mother.
His ideal first date: Something exciting she’s never done before, like parasailing, to see if she can go with it and have fun.
Sexiest thing she can wear: As long as she’s comfortable and confident, I can find the sex appeal.
Topics to avoid: Past dating history. And fantasy football.
You know he likes you when: I start making jokes to make her smile. I’m really shy at first.
He’d be a good boyfriend because: I’m low-maintenance. I can take care of myself.
Marriage? Hopefully one day.
Kids? I love kids—I coach kids. But they’re not mandatory.
Favorite hangouts: Linksters, Urban Flats, Horse Feathers and the Beach Club.
Women should know: Men are not mind readers. Sometimes we can be slow.
Why do women…Say exactly what they’re looking for, but when it’s right in front of their face, they have trouble identifying it?
His ideal woman: Can take control of a room. And she’s beautiful inside and out.
Our take: Wyndel is appealingly shy—he couldn’t talk about himself without blushing and looking away. And he held the door open for us, too. A real Southern gentleman.
DYLONN COLE, 30
OWNER, D.COLE HAIR DESIGN
Originally from: Indiana
Describes himself as: Confident, energetic and motivated.
Being gay in Sarasota is: Exciting! Coming from an unaccepting area of the Midwest, it’s refreshing to be in a city that embraces the gay community so openly.
On his iPod: My taste is all over the place—everything except country.
Favorite movie: I like funny ones.
Last book read: Step on a Crack, by James Patterson
Favorite hangout: My house. Other than that, Ceviche is always fun.
Physical feature he notices first: Eyes. That’s how you make your first connection with a person.
Text or call: Text. It’s easier.
His best friend would say: I’m reliable and a good confidante—someone who can actually keep a secret.
Dating dealbreaker: Commitment phobia.
Topics of conversation to avoid: Politics and religion.
Potential dates need to know: That I’m flirty by nature, and very independent.
Ideal first date: You can never go wrong with a nice dinner and hanging out by the water—there’s something nice about a chilled-out atmosphere where you can talk.
You know he likes you when: I’m pretty good at making it obvious. I’m not shy about that—no games!
Our take: This stylist has great personal style and a mega-watt smile that lights up a room.