Is Your City the Reason You’re Single? Or Is It You?

is your city the reason your single

Cosmopolitan recently posted a pretty page called The State of Dating, with a series of articles about, well, the state of dating. You can read about Instagram hookups, $5000 dating services, Tinder dates, and where to meet a guy who doesn’t suck.

But my favorite article was by Jada Yuan, a thirtysomething New Yorker who went to six different cites to experience what it was like to be single there: New Bern, NC, Miami, FL, Austin, TX, Sioux Falls, SD, Detroit, MI and Los Angeles, CA.

It’s a rollicking ride, filled with cute, if predictable dating mishaps for those who have been in the trenches for a long time. There’s an over-reliance on dating apps, texting, and the belief in chemistry and common interests, which along with the inherent randomness of online dating, leads to highly mixed results. But Yuan is
honest, and despite her blue-state, millennial tendencies and blind spots, she is a likable narrator.

There’s an over-reliance on dating apps, texting, and the belief in chemistry and common interests, which along with the inherent randomness of online dating, leads to highly mixed results.

My favorite part was her conclusion of her epic journey, which echoes a lot of what you’ve read on this site:

“I didn’t find the magic pill that transforms Netflix and chill into horse-drawn carriage rides on this trip, alas, but that anvil of stagnation and defeat I was carrying around is gone. Because once you hear enough beautiful, smart ambitious women around the country complain about hookup culture, and the lack of decent guys, and how dating apps are making us all disposable, you realize that we’re all in the same muck. And we’re all very capable of getting out of it.

Being single isn’t a judgment against you. Yes, dating is hard. Yes, location matters – you’ll run into last night’s date at a diner in New Bern, and that guy who’d said he’d call in L.A. never will. But when it comes to forming genuine human connections, location doesn’t matter as much as you think.

I’ve had more robust, inspiring, sing-from-the-rooftops dating experiences on this trip than I’ve had over the last two years. And while the change of scenery was a big part of that, I firmly believe that the most important factor was that I changed. I physically got off my ass, stopped moaning about men in New York, and, with a kick in the pants from a writing assignment, went out and made shit happen. I’m not suggesting you go on a whirlwind dating tour of the United States; just figure out how to create your own reset button, in your own town. Accept responsibility for your dating destiny. Like, right now! Put up your hand and repeat after me: “I will no longer enable douche-y guys. I will be my own superhero against bitch-ass behavior. I will seek out someone who treats me well.” Then repeat it again until you believe that it’s possible and you deserve it.”

Boldface is mine.

The next step is yours.

Do you blame your city for your love life? Does it stop you from dating even though you know that effort is the only thing that gets results?

Your thoughts, as always, are greatly appreciated.


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  1. 21


    I disagree with your position on free speech, but your point about who occupies dominant spaces is actually well-taken.

  2. 22

    I stopped dating at 30. Most of my friends stopped long before.

    I don’t know if it’s geographic or just the way society is going but frankly even though I wanted a relationship and a family I don’t see it worth it.

    Here are a few reasons.

    #1 I hate asking women out, it’s dangerous, humiliating, expensive and about as fun as a root canal.

    #2 Most of the women in my area are obese, I keep myself fit and enjoy outdoor physical activities. I have ZERO interest in obese women and would not be able to enjoy these activities with them.

    #3 I’ve been used as a walking ATM and don’t care for that position

    #4 I’ve seen how the divorce courts treat men.
    I’d hang myself from a tree if the court took my children from me and sentenced me to a life of poverty like some of my friends.

    #5 Past 35 they can’t give me children and with declining looks there are very few I would even want to have sexual relations with. Over 40 and I don’t see the point all risk no reward.

    #6 I’ve had only a few long term relations, I’ve never slept around and don’t have an STI.

    In order to have a long term stable relation of mutual respect and love with someone I find attractive to, have children and raise a family with. I would have to find a younger women with no STI’s, that isn’t obese and isn’t looking to take my money. Big foot riding a unicorn would be easier to spot.

    Never going to happen so I quit trying.

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