Valentine’s Day is almost here! And what does that mean? I’ll be dressing up in my best pink dress, receiving roses at the office, and then heading out for a night on the town with my perfect man, Keanu Reeves. Oh sorry, that was just something I’ve been manifesting. More accurately, I will be sitting on my couch in my best PINK sweatpants, watching the sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before while sobbing lightly and going to sleep. But I hope you all have, like, such a fun night!
Thankfully, this year I have someone to blame other than myself for my singledom. And that “someone” is the hellscape that is New York City. That’s right, the kind folks over at Apartment List have compiled a ranking of the best and worst cities for dating. And wouldn’t you know, New York is ranked all the way down at NUMBER 50! So it turns out, I don’t have “a personality not conducive to interaction with other humans,” it’s just that the city I live in is a dating dumpster fire. Thank you, Apartment List, for having my back, now can you please send this article to my mom? Let’s take a look at how the rest of the cities ranked, and see if you all can blame the place you live on your terrible dating life, or if you’ll have to look in the mirror tomorrow and admit you and your bad attitude just might be the problem.
According to the data, Provo, Utah is the best place to date, with 47.5% of respondents reporting they are happy with the dating scene. Congrats, Provo! I mean that so sincerely! Apartment List says Provo is home to scenic views and great date spots, and that’s why it’s ranked so high. Sure… it’s definitely that and not the fact that men can have multiple wives. I’m just saying, how could it be that hard to date when no one is ever actually off the market? You see it, you like it, you want it, you marry it, you move into a house with its three other wives. Simple as that.
The top ten is rounded out with a bunch of cities I’ve never been to, including Raleigh, NC, Pittsburgh, Denver, Houston, and Grand Rapids, MI. And oddly enough, Bridgeport, CT is ranked fourth. I’m SO confused. Has anyone ever heard about the dating scene in a random Connecticut town? And, more importantly, is it close enough that I could still commute to NYC? I’m not opposed to getting out of the city if it helps me meet Keanu. Or literally any other man at this point. Even if they do wear pastel sweaters tied across their shoulders and spend their weekends on a boat named after Jordan Belfort.
Now let’s get to the bottom of this list, which I know you’ve all been waiting for. Three Florida metros round out the very end of the list, which makes sense because all the state’s residents are either in the process of dying, or kicking swans in the head to practice karate. Not very dateable, unless you’re into pre-serial killers, I guess.
Hello, Florida dating pool
Also included on the worst list is New Haven, CT (why don’t they just scurry on over to Bridgeport, I hear the dating scene there is LIT). We also have Syracuse, NY, which I am very pleased about because my baby cousin goes to school there and I don’t want her wasting her time with boys—she’s supposed to be showing me how to use TikTok, and that will be VERY time-consuming. That, and obviously she can’t get married before me or I’ll actually rip her throat out with my bare hands. Love you, Erin!
The list I find the most telling is the one that ranks what cities men think are best to date in vs. the cities that women think are best to date in. Men rank San Diego as the best place to date. SHOCKER! Men enjoy dating athletic, outdoorsy women who wear bikinis and go on beach dates, where the bodies are really showing. I have never been less surprised by anything in my entire life. In fact, men chose lots of cities where you can take a good long look at a woman’s body, including Virginia Beach and Miami. Men: predictable since the year 100 BC. Women, on the other hand, rank Columbus, OH first. This also tracks, because we just want a man that’s not checking out some other woman rollerblading by us in a bikini while we try to have a conversation. THAT IS LITERALLY ALL WE ASK.
Now, it’s time to talk about the biggest surprise on this list. As I touched on earlier, you’ve got to scroll pretty far down to find New York City, which is ranked 50th! Only 29% of men are satisfied with the dating scene in this rat trap masquerading as a city, and only 22% of women responded that they’re satisfied. This is dismal. The MTA literally gets better approval ratings than this, and yesterday I had to fight a 9-year old who tried to steal my bagel on the J train. Normally, I don’t condone interacting with children, but I paid for the expensive cream cheese! And we still like this situation better! For some added perspective, here are a few other things that have higher approval ratings than dating in New York City: Donald Trump, Boeing, American Dirt, guns, and Lori Loughlin. We in trouble now.
I advise all you fellow singles to take a close look at this list and seriously reconsider where you’re living. I’m on Apartment List right now conducting a search for a new apartment in Provo, UT. I can’t wait for NEXT Valentine’s Day, which I will most definitely be enjoying with my new boyfriend and his many wives. Built in girlfriends! You can’t beat it!
Images: @timberfoster / Unsplash; Giphy (4)
Because my MO is apparently to just discredit myself before I even have the chance to give amazing advice, I’m going to start this article off with a confession about my last DTR* experience. (*DTR = the “define the relationship” conversation, BTW. And we actually mean “conversation.” We’re not talking about the drunk scene you make screaming, “What are we?!” at 2am, or the talk you have the next afternoon when you’re deep in your shame hangover.) Anyway, my drunk at 2am DTR prep-talk involved me getting jealous of a high school friend and playing the piano, so it would obviously be the worst memory of my life, if I remembered it. My sober DTR wasn’t a lot better—I wound up telling him I wanted to “slow down,” when he hadn’t even thought we were dating. Besides the fact that I’m incredibly smooth, what you should be gleaning here is that there are many, many wrong ways to DTR (and you’ve probably tried at least three). Here are some (slightly) less cringe-inducing ways to have this conversation.
Two Drink Max
Yeah, this is one of the few times I’m going to recommend you hold off on the pre-date vodka sodas. I totally get the urge to blur some of the memory and get some liquid courage, but sometimes liquid courage looks like you speaking your mind, and sometimes it’s just an incoherent asshole. If you give any kind of a shit (and if you’re having this convo, you probably do), now’s not the time you want to take that gamble.
Know What You Want
In the early stages of dating, it’s really easy to get wrapped up in holding a guy’s attention; it’s exciting, it’s fun, and it usually involves free stuff. But if you’re getting anxious about tying down your latest booty call (I have no fucking clue what the kids are actually calling it these days, and I don’t intend to learn), take a second to think about whether you really want to be with this specific guy, or if you just don’t want to be alone. If you pull the trigger on a DTR and then realize it’s the latter, you’re going to be in an awkward, sexless relationship with a tiny, tiny high of you realizing you had the upper hand all along, followed by three weeks of you guilting yourself into dumping him.
Along those lines, if he initiates the DTR and your answer to “What are we?” is “I don’t know,” “I’m not sure,” or even “I really want to date you”—you have to say those things. Out loud. Is it fun? No. It doesn’t even burn calories, like most other un-fun activities I subject myself to. But you know what’s even less fun? Having a second nausea-inducing DTR two weeks later, because you lied your ass off the first time, and you both still have no idea what’s going on.
If Possible, Avoid It
As I say this, I fully expect a collective scream of fury from everyone who’s ever dated men, because I KNOW it is not your fault that these talks have become a “thing.” But in all honesty, I think the rise in the term DTR is pretty directly correlated to a recent proliferation of douchebags in our society. The guy who makes you ask him, point-blank, “Do you care about me?,” is clearly not otherwise demonstrating that fact—probably because he does not, in fact, care about you. If you’re entering this conversation afraid that it’s the last time you’ll see him, maybe ask yourself why you’re so eager to settle for such a low level of excitement from a potential boyfriend. And maybe don’t be too surprised if it turns out he thought you were just “hanging out.”
Basically, as we’ve said before, there are ways to mitigate the damage initiating a DTR convo will to do your ego, but if you have to ask him in the first place, his answer is probably a no. Don’t shoot the messenger; I’m only trying to help.