Are You Single Because of Where You Live?

Are You Single Because of Where You Live?

After eight years in D.C., author Amanda Hess decided to move to Los Angeles in hopes of finding a better dating scene. She was under the impression that Los Angeles is one of America’s “Best Cities for Singles.”

“But between dark basement beers during my last month in Washington,” she writes, “my friends presented me a phantasmagoria of single life in L.A.: It looked like skeletal Asian models pair-bonding with balding producers over low-calorie cocktails.”

Guess what? Dating is hard in every city.

Regarding New York:

One New Yorker told me that “subway distances can make things grueling,” meaning that budding romances easily die on a stalled L train. (How much subway time are you willing to invest in one date?)

And Los Angeles:

If New York is too big, Los Angeles is too wide. Not everyone is inclined to navigate three freeways for the chance to get laid, stone sober. And Los Angeles lacks an urban center where young, single people congregate—they live everywhere.

And D.C.:

In New York or Los Angeles, the high proportion of singles can feel overwhelming. In D.C., it’s intimate – these people bump into each other on the metro, caffeinate at the same cafes, and unwind at the same bars, week in and week out.

Turns out, Los Angeles is not for lovers. No more than any other place, that is.

I receive thousands of emails a year from women all over the world, and they all seem to agree on one thing: dating is hard. It’s hard in NY. It’s hard in DC. And LA. And London. In Chicago, Charlotte, Des Moines, Boise, and Seattle. It’s hard everywhere.

Read the article here. Are you blaming your town for your dating troubles?

Join our conversation (73 Comments).
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  1. 31

    I just joined eharmony and every single match is from 30 miles outside of my city. I live in Philadelphia, I find it extremely hard to believe there are no singles in Philadelphia. Further, living in a city is extremely important to me. I grew up in the suburbs and it never felt like home. The diversity and culture of the city works better. I don’t want to risk meeting someone who will want me to live in boringtown, usa.

  2. 32

    @Nicole I am sorry you have to deal with such obvious racism on dating sites. I can’t offer you any advice just warm wishes that you will find a man who will treat you the way you need to be treated. Good luck.

  3. 33
    Soul Sister

    I know this is a post about where you live, but as so many have chimed in about race also, just thought I would add a comment about not being attractive to people of another race vs. being a racist. I am a blonde haired, blue eyed woman, so I am not pretending to know how it feels to be a minority in America, but I do know how I personally feel.  I prefer not to date black men, not because I am racist against their color, but because I am just not attracted to their physical characteristics in general. I have occasionally met black men I would consider dating (who wouldn’t date Denzel Washington, I don’t care what color he is!!), but it was because they had a physical attribute I was attracted to.  Before you yell “racist”, I want to point out, I also do not typically date blonde haired, blue or green eyed men…because I am not physically attracted to them!  I DO date lots of Latino men though, because I find them wildly sexy!!  Or white men with very dark hair and dark eyes.  So while I am sure there are many racists out there Nicole, and I would be ignorant to them as I am not a minority race, I am sure there are also men who just prefer blondes as the old saying goes. And I am in my early 50s, lots of 50 year old men are won’t date me because of my age.  I think we all feel excluded at times, and I think we all exclude at times, but for much more simple reasons than race…what attracts us and what doesn’t, and which race you might be more likely to find that attribute.  I have heard that there are blond haired, blue eyed Latinos but I have never met one…because I wouldn’t look at him long enough anyway. I want my Latino as dark as they get!  Right now I am happily dating a full blooded Puerto Rican, but have dated Spanish and Mexican men just as happily….but curiously, Italian men don’t do the same thing for me….   

    1. 33.1
      Konnect Life

      Soul Sister, people who share my ethnicity love to scream “racist” all the time, regardless of whether or not it is even relevant or makes sense. That’s just the way it is. Often times, this in itself causes people to want to distance themselves or stay away from certain groups because they know anything they do or say that the other party doesn’t like, agree with, or understand will cause them to be called a racist. This behavior is what causes much of the racism today.

      Anyway, since we’re on the topic of feeling excluded and rejected because of certain things, I often get excluded and rejected  – simply because I naturally come across as a “nice guy!” I could not believe it the first times I was rejected and called out all because I looked like someone WHO MIGHT be a nice guy! I was told I look “nice” because I have a naturally friendly face and i need to “roughen up” my look. It sucks when I can’t even try to be the bad boy that women want sometimes because people often prejudge me as a “nice guy” just because I don’t have a naturally rough look. therefore, I get rejected before I even have a chance to show that I can be the bad boy or do some of the things that women complain about, but ALWAYS end up chasing, accepting, wanting and appreciating. Heck, even GUYS tell me that I have a naturally friendly face, so trying to be the bad boy wont work for me because I still wont look like one. A lot of people tell me I’m just going to have to “deal with the cards I’ve been given” in life and accept that I look like a nice guy and that this will create more challenges for me in the dating world as a male – if I choose to live in America and many other similar places.

  4. 34

    I would say that although there are specific challenges in certain cities, yuo have to figure out how to work around them and it is possible. 
    @ Soul Sister you are entitled to preferences.  I have mine and have tried to be more open by not limiting myself online to just Black men but that is my first choice.  As a caramel person I love smooth brown skin.  Also the  increase in Melanin produces less wrinkles as we age.  @ Mia I disagree about being super hot to compete with an ordinary white women, particularly as you get older.  When I am in mix race groups the white men are often super interest primarily because I look 10 years younger than my white counter-parts. But do not get me wrong, I lood pretty good!!!  Lol @Nicole, I too have experienced guys online that state they are not interested in Black women, only to have them contact me.  When I asked why, many say well you seem different.  I generally reject them because their actions dictate that they are not and have not been opposed and that is not someone I would consider dating.  I am not interested in being anyone’s experiment.  Me an Aisian guys equally have no interest and I am cool with that.  Although I have a best friend married to a very cool Vietnamese guy.
    Women have to look beyond appearances, be confident and trust and believe!!!  Also as an old song says ” I don’t want nobody that don’t want me”  Too many fish in the sea!!!


  5. 35

    I am in a 350 mile long distance relationship.  We drive nearly 6 hours to see each other and have done so for 6 months. Fortunately we are self employed and are able to make the time. I had  been dating in my 70k town and nearby big city off and on for 2 years. This city that my boyfriend lives in is more characteristic of what appeals to me I found,  and I feel very comfortable there with him and the friends/ community I have met so far!  I will move up there if things continue on the right track…

  6. 36

    @Soul Sister…did you miss the part where men who say “no black women” will still contact me?  So yeah, people will SAY they want something but clearly I’m not so black and hideous and ugly to them.  It’s why I MIGHT say that the list of men who I’d say are most attractive to me would be made up of majority black men, but it would be dishonest for me to say “ugh, I think all men who are X race, or X hair color are ugly to me,” b/c they aren’t.  So I don’t begrudge anyone their preferences.  I actually think you should just just “stay in your lane” once you make them public.  I don’t want to be anyone’s exception.  There is nothing on this earth that would make me list “no X guys” and then try to message guys from that group.  

    So my point is that if you think black women are awful and ugly, don’t wink at the ones that you think are “special.”

    I’ll also mention that I’m not light-skinned or ambiguous looking so these men who supposedly don’t want any “black chicks” aren’t contacting me b/c I look almost white or like something they could lump into the awful “exotic” category.   And my other credentials might be stellar but as I said, if you think that no black women are well-educated, well-traveled, and  interesting professionals(which a lot of men don’t even care about anyway), then you just live under a rock.

    I think it’s safer to just not make certain statements in such absolute terms b/c I personally have never liked the taste of “crow”…

    1. 36.1

      Everything isn’t for everybody and everybody isn’t for anyone. You choose from those who are attracted to you and weed them out by those who respect you amongst other qualities and the ones to whom you are attracted to judging by your own standards.

  7. 37

    @Soul Sister, the kind of misconceptions you have about what certain kinds of people look like is precisely one of the things that makes people claim they don’t like certain kinds of people.  And it’s the kind of stereotyping that I don’t ever want to be guilty of or be subjected to.  B/c there is no one way that every person or every race or ethnicity can be categorized.  Just not possible.  

    I don’t know where you live, but you probably HAVE seen a blond, blue-eyed Latino, and didn’t know it, b/c you assume they are all dark-haired and sexy.  You’ve probably been around Asian Latinos and Black Latinos too.  Some of my Latino friends/acquaintances are black like me, some are Asian, some are white, some are tanned and dark-haired (which people mistakenly assume is some kind of Latino race), and everything in between.  

    So if you like tanned guys with olive skin, you like tanned guys with olive skin, but those guys come in every nationality.

  8. 38

    Nicole, I totally empathize with you about the racism on some of these sites.  I’m a 33 year old Asian and have been continually frustrated that men automatically exclude me.  Some do so because I’m not white, some because I’m old, sometimes it’s a mixture of both.  I just keep telling myself that I only need one, so I don’t care that I’m at the bottom of most men’s lists, as long as there is just one out there who will appreciate me for who I am.  When it’s not the men who automatically dismiss me, it’s the ones who think I’m going to be some submissive giggling schoolgirl or geisha for them.  I certainly don’t deny the inequities on these sites and how they’re heavily tilted against minorities.  However, my own sister met her husband on match, so it must not be impossible either. 

    I have blamed my town before, since it’s a suburban place predominantly made up of families and there aren’t any other single professionals like me around this area.  So I’ve tried looking at larger surrounding cities, and would be willing to move for the right person.  Then again, when I hear the complaints of women who live in those larger areas, I realize that no one has it completely easy so I’ll make the most of my situation.

  9. 39

    @ Nicole

    Hasty generalizations are a function of ignorance, for which it sounds like you have very little tolerance – not something I would fault you for.

    But, people also have a rather unfortunate tendency of trying to rationalize preferences with an otherwise irrational basis(as perhaps is the case with much of black male exogamy), so I can sympathize(women do the same thing in how they tend to make false attributions, in attempting to justify otherwise irrational mate preferences).

    Yeah, black women get a bad rap, but intelligent men can get past the BS, and see them for who they are(trust me on that).

    And I agree, that location is frequently a limiting factor, which is why I would suggest you expand your search parameters beyond local boundaries – which are a trivial object to anyone determined to find love.

  10. 40

    @ Jennifer 19,

    Exactly.  Every town/city/region has its own distinct personality, and if you’re not really that “type” then dating can be a lot more difficult. Sure, being flexible is good, but I don’t believe in making oneself over into something one is not, just to get someone.  My area, in DC, is too A-type personality, for my liking.  I’m fairly laid-back and like to have fun, but so many people here just are too busy for their own good, and that doesn’t work for me.  I am not interested in working some “power job” and name-dropping and trying to network the hell out of everything and everyone.

    I was alot more comfortable with the people of Philadelphia; in fact, I dated someone I’d been friends with when I lived there, years ago, and he was a really nice guy.  He had alot of life issues that he needed to settle which caused our fledgling relationship to fizzle out, but he was a very nice man and left me with alot of hope for meeting a good guy in Philly.  The city’s personality was much more suited to my personality, and should the day come where my Mom is finally cancer-free, and if my guy and I do not work out, you can bet your bippie that I will be looking up there for a guy, if I decide to try again.

  11. 41
    Soul Sister

    @Nicole, it was not my intention to catagorize  anyone, I am just more attracted to one type of “look” than another type of look, and I think dark Latino men are sexy, that’s all. That does not mean that every Latino man is attractive to me, and that every other man is awful and ugly.  I have dated Chinese men, Indian men, and white men. I have just developed a preference for dark Latino men, the look, the culture, the intensity that I tend to find in them.  That does not mean I am generalizing, I like what I like. And as I said, that doesn’t cover all Latinos, which is why I was specific to the dark ones. I am not attracted to just “tanned men with olive skin”. 

    When I was on match, I had men all the time contacting me when I was outside their “age” range on their profile.  So I was the exception, so what?  There was something about my look that they liked, regardless of my age. So I could say “since you obviously like younger women I am not going to be your exception” or I could just say “hi” back and see where it goes.

    I hope I am being kind about this and giving you something to just think about, but based on your comments you may have a chip on your shoulder (and probably rightly so!) but being “right” doesn’t usually work well for anyone, as it just makes everyone else “wrong”.  So if someone who states they don’t want to date a black woman (or a tall woman, or a woman who has a few extra pounds, or whatever is outside their profile preference) says hi anyway…maybe instead of being offended and righteous, perhaps see what happens if you just say hi back?  When we do find a relationship with someone, that automatically makes us the exception to everyone else they have dated! I am pretty fit, I had on my profile I wanted a fit man…ended up with a Latino who is about 40 lbs overweight…but he is my very sexy exception!

    BTW, men typically do not care if you are well traveled, educated or professional, no matter what race you are. That is just a fact of life for all women. Men are attracted to looks first, everything else is just icing on the cake.

  12. 42

    @Soul Sister, I think I said that men didn’t care about those things, but it would be inaccurate to say that they don’t play into the choice of a man who says publicly he doesn’t like black women to then contact black women.   You will never experience the ignorance that is someone of another race telling you that you “aren’t like the others” b/c you are educated and smart.  And it is offensive since  you know exactly what they mean.  So in my case, my credentials do make me “less black” and “more acceptable” to them, whereas, no, your don’t come into play at all b/c you are already acceptable by default for being white.  

    And I’m not going to argue the whole race thing with you b/c you don’t want to get it, and calling it a chip on my shoulder is typical but still annoying.  I’m black every day that I get up, and acknowledging the things I’ll face because of it and discussing them does not entail a “chip.”  It is hard to have discussions about race with non-minorities b/c they deny your experiences and tell you that you are being bitter or have issues and it just isn’t worth my time. We don’t live in a race blind society.  You put yourself at a big disadvantage as a minority if you try to act like you do.

    My only point was that what you were calling Latino or even dark Latino wasn’t very meaningful since Latinos come in all races.   To me, a dark Latino would be a black Latino (or maybe one with indigenous roots) but you said you don’t like black men, so I don’t know if you just assume like a lot of people that speaking Spanish or Portuguese makes a Black person an exotic “other” who has on African ancestry or not (it’s a pretty common leap for people to make).  

    So a person who hold negative stereotypes about my race is not the same as the 30 year old who decides that the fact that you are an older woman doesn’t matter.  It is so not the same thing.  And being chosen as a racist’s “special snowflake” is a “prize” that I can do without.

  13. 43

    I would say location plays a part. I live in a small town in central Maryland. There is a definite difference in the “average” OLD profile on Match of the SWF no kids between (a) where I live, (2) Baltimore, and (3) Washington, D.C. .

    The profiles of the women at (a) where I live tend to have a couple short cliche-filled paragraphs. Most of the women are college-educated but they tend to have simple tastes–hanging out with friends and partying and going to bars on weekends and rooting for either the Ravens or Capitals.

    The profiles of the women at (c) Washington, D.C. tend to be read more like applications to Amazing Race. There it seems that about every woman there whose profile I read in her profile has a picture of her playing soccer with the locals in some third-world country and talks about training for a triathlon. 

    The profiles of the women at (b) tend to be a combination of (a) and (c).

    I often feel as if I don’t fit in here. I tend to be more the nice-guy intellectual type (with good social skills).  Most of the women here are either already in relationships or they seem to go for military types and so they don’t seem to find me that interesting. In OLD the women (a) where I live don’t write me back while the women (c) in DC often do, and (b) the women in Baltimore sometimes do.

    So yes I would say there is something to location mattering. 

  14. 44

    Great post. This is the first article that’s prompted me to comment. Thank you, Evan. The answer is YES – You ARE single because of where you live. I am living proof of this theory. I feel strongly about specific cities, and believe the odds are better in some locations.
    I moved SPECIFICALLY for dating reasons. I relocated from Cleveland, Ohio to Chicago, IL. 
    I painstakingly researched and visited several cities (Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Ann Arbor, Columbus, Miami, Portland, Seattle, etc), keeping in mind my own hobbies and career choices.  I looked at census reports. I talked to other singles. I checked out the online dating profiles. I interviewed friends who lived in the cities. I interviewed friends of friends. I visited, and visited again. I saved my money, and paid for my own move to Chicago. It took me a while to figure out the best city for me, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Did I have to make sacrifices? Yes. I had to leave behind a beautiful condo and wonderful friendships. I also took a step back financially. But my love life is my priority, and I based my decision on this, and figured I would recover in the other categories. My plan worked. I did recover.  
    In Cleveland, my options for over 38 dating were very limited. The pond was too small, with few new people moving to the city. There were many more professional men than women.  My dating life in Chicago is very good, mainly because I have so many more options. I went from 1 or 2 dates a month in Cleveland, to 2 – 5 dates a week in Chicago.  I work hard on my dating life and am very determined to find a life partner. I worked just as hard in Cleveland. The options just weren’t there.  So the city is critical to dating success.  
    I hear a lot of complaints about dating in Chicago, and I’m sure someone will comment along this line. I’m saying that this is the right city for me, and my dating life has improved significantly. 
    Since moving here two years ago, I’ve had 100+ dates and a two relationships.  Relationship #1 didn’t work. Great guy, but we discovered we weren’t a match. Relationship #2 lasted four months. He ended up relocating for a job and we remained friends.  I’ve probably had 100 first dates, and just met someone who seems like a match for me. My chin is up!
    Anyone else have a similar story to share? 

  15. 45

    I still wouldn’t read too much into people’s stated online dating preferences.  I say in mine that I want a protestant, but ended up going out on four dates so far with a Jewish guy. I usually steer clear of Jewish guys, because most of them only get serious about Jewish girls and I’ve had bad experiences with that in college, but he was cool and I had nothing better going on anyway. Even now that I am out in the Midwest I can’t find a Protestant guy available to date – usually I have to settle for a catholic – so I’m on the verge of giving up on that one. I do think putting any other kind of preferences (religion and age are more legitimate) comes off as crass and am surprised so many people do it. 

  16. 46

    #44 good insight on moving from a small pond to a big pond. I am not totally convinced that quantity is better than quality though. I usually go out on 8-10 dates a month, mostly first but these dates aren’t leading anywhere. I almost long for the days when I lived in a small pond because I had an excuse as to why I was single, now I feel like there are so many options yet none of them are appealing.

  17. 47

    Yep, location, location, location! I live in a very small mountain town and all of us older women are in the same boat; no healthy dating pool whatsoever. Many of us are very educated, liberal, and keep healthy. Most of the older men are ex laborers with little respect for women and often serious drug/alcohol/health issues. Domestic abuse and stalking are real problems. A woman here was killed by her stalker two years ago. The nearest large city is 100 miles away and the drive is treacherous in winter (ranked the deadliest stretch of road in the country). I am also triracial and fall into the “exotic looking” category. There is a famous race series here but nowadays most racers are around 35 with wife and kids (distance athletes tend to be educated, disciplined, fit and dont have drug issues). I look online for older, fit retirees (few or no high end jobs here) looking to escape the concrete gulag and live in the woods but no one wants to drive here, much less live here even half time. Dating locals was disasterous: one had no respect for, hated, my values; the other, a professor (theyre just as flawed as everyone else) was/is a cold, calculating,uncaring player. I have to deal with both often as I work with one and the other lives by my place of employment. In a small place, you deal with ex’s, like it or not. I volunteer, have bought a home here and tried to invest in community and be a positive influence but it is horribly lonely. I am not a city person and do think that to find a healthy relationship, you must be your authentic self and live your true lifestyle. I have lived in small places since I bailed out of the family at age 17 and have never encountered a situation like this before. If i bail on my mortgage, and leave, I will take a devastating financial hit because my retirement was collateral for the loan. Most academic jobs pay half as much as this one and are very hard to get in this recession. I also help out my remaining parent, my only family. I love my job and my colleagues are great (with one exception) but I feel punished for committing to this place. I intend to retire in 8 years, at 60. Many of my colleagues and neighbors dont understand why I’d leave but I do not want to be alone for the rest of my life. I understand that women do wind up alone for good at some point because we outlive men and we are generally more resilient. I just didnt think it would happen in my 50’s. I want to be able to once again be respected by and loved by a good man, want to be able to talk about what matters to me without being chastised/often hated for my education and values. Most of my older women friends/colleagues have given up for good and tell me I  should do the same.

  18. 48

    I think it’s “safe” to give it a shot with preferences like age, height, or education, but race is an entirely different can of worms, and honestly, depending on my religion, I’d keep my ears peeled for signs of bias as well.  Anything smacking of “you’re not like the others” is where I’m done.  
    Meh, it’s funny.  I had estimated the percentage of blacks in my surroundings to be somewhere around 3-4% (where the national percentage is 12-13%).  It’s actually less than 1% with only a couple of exceptions in an area that has a few million people total.  
    So definitely time to move or cast a wider net.  I’m happy to do the former, it will just take some time.

  19. 49

    I live in DC, and it’s a pretty tough place to date.  There are more single women here than single men, as there are a lot of gay men here that do not date straight women.  I find it difficult because the attitude of the men is that there are so many women out there, and so the answer is always “no” in terms of maybe trying a relationship with one woman.  If they can get sex within three dates from another girl, then why would they try to get to know someone like me?  I feel like the men just aren’t open to seeing how it goes and giving a relationship a bit of time/room.  So you either have sex really early with a guy, and he leaves, or you wait to have sex, and he leaves.  Either way, he’s out on the town chasing a new girl.  I guess you have to wait until the “right time” with these guys, but I’ve been waiting for 18 years to meet a guy at the “right time.”  It would be nice to meet a guy who has an open heart and mind.  I’ve always searched for someone who has a kind heart and is honorable, and it’s been a long search.

  20. 50

    @ LC

    ” I find it difficult because the attitude of the men is that there are so many women out there, and so the answer is always “no” in terms of maybe trying a relationship with one woman.  If they can get sex within three dates from another girl, then why would they try to get to know someone like me?  I feel like the men just aren’t open to seeing how it goes and giving a relationship a bit of time/room.  So you either have sex really early with a guy, and he leaves, or you wait to have sex, and he leaves.  Either way, he’s out on the town chasing a new girl.  I guess you have to wait until the “right time” with these guys.”

    Why bother with these guys, at all. 

    Ever heard of the apex fallacy(an interesting topic for a future blog entry, even though I’m sure it has been covered her before in the past)?

  21. 51

    #49 I feel your pain. I see a lot of that in Chicago too. I started mixing things up so that I would avoid “that type of guy.”  I hit a lot of professional events and meet people online. I’ve tried a variety of clubs, meetups, and activities. It becomes a numbers game. I keep my chin up by telling myself that I am willing to go out with 100 guys if it means I will find my best match. In fact, I will go out with 200 guys if it means I will find my best match. Nice guys do exist! 

  22. 52

    Soul Sister (#41) wrote:

    BTW, men typically do not care if you are well traveled, educated or professional, no matter what race you are. That is just a fact of life for all women. Men are attracted to looks first, everything else is just icing on the cake.

    This.  I believe Karl R has said something similar many times.  Except, it’s not quite just looks–it’s also how you make him feel.  Even the hottest supermodel, if she doesn’t make her date feel good, he won’t want to keep dating her, unless he just needs the arm candy for some other reason.  Even if you’re not a supermodel, if he has fun with you, you’ll keep getting dates.

    Regarding the whole location thing, what I find curious is the number of women who live in DC proper who say they only want to date men within 5 miles or less.  I guess maybe they don’t have cars and only want to be able to metro/walk to their dates’ place?  Even though most suburban guys have our own car; in fact I drive from Maryland to Virginia for work every day.  Or they only want to date convenient guys less than 30 minutes away?

    Also, for some reason, the women in Northern Virginia seem to outnumber the women in suburban Maryland.

    Have you DC-area ladies have made the same couple of observations regarding DC-area men?

  23. 53

    I’m also half Asian and have not found race to be too much of an issue.  It seems men are hard-wired to think there is something special about Asian women.  I would never date a man who tells me “I love Asian women”.  Get a grip, he isn’t interested in actually getting to know me he’s just trying make some fantasy of his come true.  Of course there are the ones who email and when you check out their profiles it says “xyz only”… gee thanks for making an exception.

    My 19 yr old daughter has brown hair and blue eyes and is as “white” looking as she can be, but she identifies herself as Asian.  Another problem with stereotyping  is that we don’t necessarily identify ourselves with the same race that someone else would. 

    On the topic of location: I live in a medium sized Southern town.  It really is hard , but not impossible, to find a compatible person to go out with.  I met my boyfriend online.  I was hesitant to go outside of a 25 mile radius, but glad I did…  he lives 27 miles out.

  24. 54

    Nicole wrote: And California is not a racial utopia nor are the people are open-minded as a lot of people would like to think. It’s a big fallacy that people in California are all liberal, esp. when it comes to interracial dating. There is definitely a hierarchy and not all non-white women are treated equally. Ever. I get treated a LOT better and get attention from some white men in other parts of the country, including in the South where I was raised.

    It’s a huge fallacy that the races don’t date here. I see more bi-racial couples here than anywhere (SC) and I travel abroad each year. But the explosion is fairly recent imo. Prior to that, if you study the layout of most major SE cities, the black and white neighborhoods were contiguous (except Atlanta) so mixing was frequent/inevitable. Many of my high school friends were practically raised by black nannies (’cause their parents were a a bit awol) and Jimmy Carter talks about this loving mixing of the races in the small town he grew up in in GA…..

    I went to an all-girls high school in Charleston in the late 60s but I frequented three separate social milieus: the debs, others (miscellaneous, older southern women mostly- mentors), and older, hipper local college kids (incl. gays). I also spent the first nine years of my life on various Army bases where integration happened first so when it came time to date I did occasionally date interesting black guys that crossed my path.   

    I am currently trying to set my son up with a young black woman his age who works with me ’cause I think they would click.  On okcupid here btw, he tells me he mostly hears from black chicks. lol 

    Btw, as an aside, years ago, and I’m sure it hasn’t changed much, I was at my brother’s engagement party outside LA and someone with a straight face asked me “why do you live in Atlanta?” as if it were some backwater. Atlanta now….Made me mad as hell, but I shot back “well, we have opera now and last I looked running water”….. jeez Hollywood (and the “hick” movies) have done a real unfair number on the entire SE, the bias is just incredible.

    But move here, and 9 out of 10 wouldn’t leave for anything, ever. ‘Cause this place is mostly very spiritual. People are kind and will give you eye contact and speak nicely to you. Help you if your car breaks down by the side of the road. Yes religion still holds sway here, but at least those types give brotherly love a try. By Monday or Tuesday they are back to being super worldly like everyone else though. lol Or gossiping. 

    I hear others complain about the men in their area, and really I have dated mostly gentlemen here with only about 6 exceptions (the men I became involved with unfortunately) and those ran the gamut. When dating my favorite men were probably Midwesterners though….  

    We aren’t perfect, but who the hell is? 

    No, I have always felt the South’s greatness lies in the very fact it was defeated (Civil War). Years of reconstruction enabled a people, more than decimated (estimates are 1 in 3 SC adult males died), to come together to not only rebuild but to succeed despite the continued taunts and condescension of other Americans, and especially, the hugely negative influence and vindictiveness of Hollywood.  For us, humility has been as important as utility.
    The evils of the Jim Crow era forced the South to hold a mirror to itself, to reform in ways other regions and other countries have only begun to.  
    You just need to find someone from your “tribe” girls and those men can live anywhere imo, even Europe. Someone with a good blend of head AND heart.

  25. 55

    @ Paragon:  I don’t “bother with these guys.”  But I’m telling you that I’ve been here since July 2004 and never once encountered a man that wanted a relationship.  I have several  other girlfriends who grew up here, are in their late 30s, and have never even had a boyfriend.  This area is really tough.  Maybe you just have to keep dating and dating and dating to find a guy who might be open to sticking around.  If this in an “apex fallacy,” then so be it.  It’s what I’ve experienced for the past 8 years, and I’m pretty open in terms of giving a guy who has the guts to ask me out a fair chance.  I make a good salary, but I don’t care whether the guy makes more money than me or not.  In fact, one guy I was dating lost his job, I sent his resume to some friends, they offered him a job, then he knocked up another girl and moved to Missouri while we were dating; and that’s the end.  Things are hard for both genders, trust me.  It’s a miracle if two nice, honorable people manage to run into each other and aren’t so bitter from their past experiences that they’re too afraid to try.

  26. 56

    Well, no one has mentioned Boston so I’ll go on record that it is a tough place to date if you are over 40.   With the many, many colleges and universities in the area it is a VERY young city.  Also, the area can be a bit parochial in the sense that people tend to marry young, have children and stay close to their families.  I have heard from people from other parts of the country that it can be a very cold place to try to make new friends, as the natives here are just not very friendly.  Some blame the cold New England weather, yeah, that can be a factor but Chicago “the windy city”, also with freezing cold weather, seems to have much more of an open, welcoming, cosmopolitan vibe. 
    In Boston, the sense of parochialism is pretty strong.  Certainly there are plenty of friendly people, are there are in New York City (which also has a bad rap for being unfriendly).  I believe you can meet new people anywhere really if you have an open, friendly attitude and feel confident about yourself and meeting others. 
    That said, I have read that women outnumber men here, and the remaining (attractive, educated, have their life together) men over 40 (and 50, which is not my category) are either looking for much younger women or just not wiling to settle down due to the huge numbers of attractive, young, available women running around in appealing, revealing summer outfits.  For men, it seems like being a kid in a candy store in this city.  But I’m quite sure the men over 40 who are  trying to date, and are considered “average” would not agree with me.

  27. 57

    @ Barentt
    You said “Once you have a reasonable profile of your ideal mate you could start your search, and possibly find that ideal guy or gal, in whatever city or country you may live”.   I love the idea and have been intending just that for over 3 years now.  I have a VERY clear picture of my ideal mate and have been doing all sorts of things here on a relatively sparsely populated island (150K total about 45K within 30 miles of me…quite spread out.  Next large town is 2 hours away) I;m dancing, taking classes, in meditation and social groups as well as on several online sites.  The sites don’t have many profiles from my area although there are several interesting men from other islands.  This poses the problem of having to fly everytime you want a date!  Tried it for awhile when the tickets were cheaper, but it it just like another long distance thing.  I am so tired of continually searching and sorting !!  It used to be sooo much easier.  I would just write out my wish list and focus on it and viola.  Of course that was when I lived in california…

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    I can totally align with you.  It’s scary getting older without a partnership.  Seems like the older we get, the less prospects we have, especially in a small pool.  I have, too, considered moving b/c I get a lot more interest and attention in Ca. but. like you , don’t want to give up my house.  Wouldn’t mind half time each place…What if we could find a wonderful guy who would be into that?  I’m rooting for you!
    @LC  I send you lots of blessings and empathize with you !  I get the sex thing a lot here, too.  I’m lucky if I can find 1 guy to date in a month and I’m fairly pretty, in great shape, smart, good conversationalist and fairly self sufficient.  My men friends are surprised I’m single.  Maybe it b/c I’m not willing to put out after 3 dates? Seriously, I haven’t met anyone lately I would even consider having sex with !  There are some interesting men online, but most live too far away or on another island

  29. 59

    I dont want a southern guy and most of the guys i meet are southern because I live in the South. They are not bad people. It’s just not what I am into. Yes, I will move away soon. Dating will be more interesting elsewhere. 

  30. 60
    Michelle Shelly

    To the over 50’s ladies just be very glad you are not dating in Australia.
    If you are thinking of moving here, do so for the beaches, climate, lifestyle but never in the hopes of meeting a partner.
    In every major city the stats are in the favour of men. In my area for my age group,70 men for every 100 women. There are a few places where you will find better odds, you better love it extremely hot, cyclone prone, extremely dry and remote, oh and mining areas. Naturally these areas attract a certain type of man, they aren’t metros that’s for sure. We are a country of coastal dwellers , most people do not choose to retire in these remote areas and honestly the heat is stifling in the tropics with no major cities.
    Most women I know have long given up, they don’t even try any more. Some men are on the Thai dating sites, its becoming more popular, these guys think its brilliant to have a woman agree with everything they say, offer daily massages , don’t get me started.

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