With 50% of all U.S. adults being single and dating opportunities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report on 2021’s Best & Worst Cities for Singles, gives insight on where to live if you are single and ready to mingle.

Some singles are closer to a happily ever after than they think, but it depends on where they live. To determine where singles have the highest chance of finding love, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 32 key indicators of dating-friendliness. The data set ranges from the share of the population that is single to the number of online dating opportunities to the average price for a two-person meal.

Best Cities for SinglesWorst Cities for Singles
1. Madison, WI173. Laredo, TX
2. Seattle, WA174. Winston-Salem, NC
3. Portland, OR175. Jackson, MS
4. Denver, CO176. Moreno Valley, CA
5. Austin, TX177. Pembroke Pines, FL
6. San Francisco, CA178. Montgomery, AL
7. Minneapolis, MN179. Fort Smith, AR
8. Portland, ME180. Hialeah, FL
9. Tucson, AZ181. Brownsville, TX
10. Boise, ID182. Glendale, CA

Best vs. Worst

  • Burlington, Vermont has the highest share of single people, 74.64 percent, which is two times higher than in Fremont, California, the city with the lowest at 37.06 percent.
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Casper, Wyoming, have the lowest average restaurant-meal cost, $25.00, which is 4.5 times lower than in Cape Coral, Florida, the city with the highest at $112.50.
  • Indianapolis has the lowest average price for a bottle of wine, $3.57, which is 3.8 times lower than in Atlanta, the city with the highest at $13.70.
  • Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the lowest average price for a movie ticket, $6.21, which is 2.6 times lower than in San Francisco, the city with the highest at $16.41.

With the rise of dating apps and therefore dates, here’s some financial advice targeted to singles on a budget

“Dating does not need to be expensive. Flex your creative muscle and determine something workable for you and your potential date (tea and a walk, an easy picnic, hiking, renting bikes, and exploring the city). Sometimes it is better to not have the ‘wining and dining’ get in the way of learning and growing with this new person,” said Nikki Truscelli, Ph.D., a lecturer, University of California, Santa Barbara.

“There are many ways to date while staying within your budget. First, take advantage of free or low-cost events in your area, such as art fairs or talks hosted at your local library or university. And do not forget about the great outdoors – explore local hiking/biking trails or find a historic neighborhood to stroll through. Second, plan breakfast or lunch dates. Not only are menu prices lower at these meals, but they also help keep the vibe a bit more casual, especially when you are just getting to know someone. Third, split the bill. It is 2021 and gender roles about who should pay are old news,” added Sylvia L. Mikucki-Enyart, Ph.D., and associate professor, University of Iowa.

Is virtual dating during the pandemic  a viable option for single people to save money and safely enjoy dating at the same time?

“Yes, the pandemic, while extremely challenging, allowed individuals to be creative when considering dating. What is more, it took away some of the need to impress with the best restaurant or cocktail bar choice. It really stripped away most of the other ‘noise’ and left individuals to connect without distraction. When both individuals felt safe, many took to dating outside, enjoying a walk, sharing coffee outside, or meeting at a local park. Others, who were already on their dating journeys, decided to cohabitate and quarantine together. This allowed for some relational clarity, for better or worse,” Truscelli added.

“Yes and no. Having a Zoom date with someone after chatting for a bit on a dating app like Hinge or Bumble can be a safe, cost-effective way to get to know someone initially, but eventually, those dates will need to turn into in-person dates. There is simply too much research about the importance and benefits of being physically affectionate with someone you are dating for me to say that exclusively dating someone over Zoom or online is worth it. Obviously, talking about vaccination status and comfort level of being in various public spaces should occur to make sure you are both on the same page,” according to Colter Ray, an assistant professor, Louisiana State University.

What should singles be looking for when choosing a city?

“First of all, choose a city that fits your lifestyle and personality. You will only be successful in the dating market if you are happy and comfortable with where you live. You are most likely to find other singles in cities that are in a period of growth. Cities with lots of new start-ups and economic growth will also attract other (single) young professionals that want to work for those companies. Cities close to major universities typically also have a vibrant dating market with students and young graduates,” said
Joris Van Ouytsel, an assistant professor, Arizona State University.

“This really depends on what you are looking for when it comes to dating. Are you looking for somewhere to lay down your roots professionally, find a long-term partner, and start a family? If so, then I would be thinking about things like the cost of living, the quality of the public school system, and opportunities to advance one’s career…If your dating goal is more about meeting people, having fun, but not starting anything serious, then I would choose a larger city with a vibrant nightlife,” Ray added.

Source: WalletHub