Should I Move if My City Has a Limited Pool of Available Men?


Hi Evan, I’ve been following your advice for a while now and have to say, it makes so much sense – every time. My question is what if you live in a city/country where available men are limited? I am an attractive, intelligent, funny and sporty 36 year old woman who cannot for the life of me find a man. I live in Sydney Australia. It’s a well-known fact here that women outnumber men in this city. I have at least 10 girlfriends in a similar position. Once you take away the marrieds and the huge gay population here you are left with so few that we have had crossover on dating sites. Some of us will date a guy only to find out our friend dated him 3 months before! And this is no country town – this is Sydney. As a result I have found myself choosing unavailable men over loneliness.

Do I need to move cities? I feel like if something doesn’t change I’ll end up 46 saying the same thing.

I’m heading to the US on vacation next month. Maybe I’ll have some luck there. I heard the Aussie accent is a charmer!

Thank you,

Dear Kate,

All I can say to you is, “Yes, but–“

Yes, there are more men in Sydney than women.

100 women for 98.6 men in New South Wales, specifically.

But, so what?

It’s not like life is a game of musical chairs, where 10,000 women are left standing, while everyone else lives on in wedded bliss.

I’m not making light of your situation. I would simply point out a few things:

You have confirmation bias. In other words, you’re struggling with dating and want to find evidence that supports and explains your struggles. What could be stronger than to talk about the powerful man drought that has left all of your 10 girlfriends in similar dire straits.

Did you know that, by your own math, there’s a group of 9.8 single male friends who are also wondering why it’s so hard to find love? Factor out the gay population, and maybe it’s a group of 9 male friends. But you get my point.

Even if there are 10,000 more women in Sydney, it’s not like life is a game of musical chairs, where 10,000 women are left standing, while everyone else lives on in wedded bliss.

At any given point in time…

  • Married couples break up and single men emerge on local dating sites.
  • Couples who are dating for a year break up and single men emerge on local dating sites.
  • New men move to Sydney from elsewhere.
  • Women opt out of the dating market entirely and go on semi-permanent guyatus, so that there is less “competition” for the same men.

And so on. It’s not like there’s a finite and static supply of single men.

Really, you don’t have to fly around the world to go on a husband hunt.

So, sure, you can move to the United States — where your accent is undeniably sexy — but you can’t move to New York, Washington D.C. or Philadelphia (which all have more single women). You can consider moving to the West Coast, where there are more single men in Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego. But really, you don’t have to fly around the world to go on a husband hunt.

While the odds are slightly stacked against you demographically, 118,962 people got married in Australia in 2013.

I see no reason as to why you and your friends can’t be among them in the future.

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  1. 21

    Thanks for the validation Sherpherd! I thought I was crazy! I may need to come to Seattle. One of my very closest friends was from LA. She was gorgeous and danced in Houston and used to complain that the girls out here were bullies and would steal her regulars if she missed work. Look I don’t really care what a girls gotta do to make her paper. I’m all for it but I swear the aggressiveness and willing to do whatever to get some money or to buy them a handbag is really just overkill. So funny how you mentioned how out of state guys act. From what Kate said, the pool of guys that come out of state are better but the fall to the circumstances. I was married to a man whom was from California (not from Texas in any way) but moved here. We both were educated, attractive, made decent money and more than once I found these girls at his office trying to get in through the lobby?? Following us out of the parking lot. Same issue with the guy I dated for several years, before I got married. He was a Texas native.

    From another perspective, about transplant Texas men. After I divorced, my much younger cousin is beautiful, married, but in oil & gas (different industry than me or my ex-husband), her husband is from California (ironically) and at least 3 or 4 times a month the corporate guys from the office (2 major oil & gas companies) go to the strip clubs, meeting up with dancers or whatever and it creates a lot of issues between them because he starts lying that he’s going because he doesn’t want to appear like a buzzkill bc all of the office guys go. These guys that come here to work are amazed by their openness and how cheap these places are to go eat and drink just to get them in the door. Once they go in the girls will not let them just be patrons and leave. That’s the problem. I never though about it like that, but ya’ it is like Vegas loool. You have any quality dates in Seattle??

    Milkymae the speed dating sounds like fun and ratio issue makes sense. Too many men I think would make men more aggressive and annoying. I’ll have to try it out.

    I’m thinking about NYC or DC. I was looking at California, but heard the single guys there are mostly 20s early 30s. I’m looking for late 30s very early forties.


    1. 21.1

      DC is the worst. I’m an attractive, very fit, successful, athletic, laid back woman who used to get loads of dates. Now I get a lot of dates but the competition is so fierce for unattractive men. And the women are awful to each other bc so competitive.

      im moving to San Jose/ Silicon Valley. You can have these DC jerks. Men AND crazy women… 😊

  2. 22

    99% of guys on dating sites are married or have girlfriends. It’s a fact. I have a friend at eharmony and she’s on the verge of quitting because it’s such a joke. I have access to professional syndicated research which reports such figures. How can Marc  recommend online dating? It’s a  scam. Just another way to monetize loneliness.

  3. 23

    I wish I had seen this sooner, I definitely have to comment.

    I’m a NYC native who’s been through the well known NYC dating scene of Peter Pan’s and self entitled men. Last year, a few months after turning 30, I was offered my dream job in Silicon Valley and I jumped on it. Career wise it was the best choice for me, but I knew I needed to do it for my personal life as well. Dating here is not necessarily easier, but there is a much larger pool and I feel it makes a difference in your confidence when you know you’re their 3rd date this year instead of the 3rd date that week. After 6 months, I found a guy I’m very happy with, and I feel that he could be the one. And if he’s not, there’s many more out there! I realized that a guy like that is not attracted to city life and it would have been much harder to find someone like him in NYC.

    Bottom line- don’t just move for a different dating pool. Make a change that will benefit you in other ways as well!

    1. 23.1

      I’m thinking of moving to San Jose for professional and personal reasons. I agree with your advice and am happy to hear that all is working out well!

  4. 24

    I agree with Bridget.   When I was younger, I made moves strictly to find a man….and always ended up disappointed.   I am now 54 and these are my observations:     Some people will always find someone, and it has little to do with looks.   I think some of us are just meant to be single and independent. I like the fact that I can do what I want to do without consulting with a man.   But I have noticed that some people will ALWAYS find someone, no matter where they live.   So both Evan and Bridget are right.   Don’t move for that reason alone.   Move if you think it will be a better situation all around.   But don’t move just to find a man.   If I was still of childbearing age, I may look at it differently.   But the way it is I am happy to be alone, as at my age I am likely only to find someone way older with a ton of health problems and not attractive.   I am not willing to take that on when I did not have the good years with him.

  5. 25

    Oh man, I have the same problem. I live in a small rural area where VERY few men share my religious and political values. I’m such a fish out of water here that it’s been super difficult to find a compatible man. I’ve had numerous dates over the last year but keep encountering racism, sexism and homophobia. Those are deal breakers for me. I just can’t compromise and date a bigot. I end up taking long breaks from dating due to battle fatigue. All of my friends keep telling me I’ll never find a suitable guy until I move. 🙁

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