I’ve often heard friends (and strangers in online forums) complain that dating in a small town is almost impossible. That makes sense in the abstract: in a small town, there are fewer people, and you already know more of them. On top of that, I suspect that people in small towns might be more inclined to stay married, cutting the available dating pool even further. But I never gave those complaints much thought. I love small town life. And I’ve never before experienced it as a single person. The first time I lived in a small town, in my twenties, I was engaged. The second time, in my thirties, I was a married mother with a young child. My life revolved around story time at the library and Girl Scouts and running behind a two-wheeler.
Recently, I moved back to the small town where we lived when my daughter was little, and I couldn’t be happier to be back. In fact, I was so happy to be back that as soon as I secured a place to live, I went around updating my town everywhere I could think of, including the online dating service I signed up with nearly two years ago and have visited perhaps a dozen times since.
I happily updated my city…I was so excited about the move that I was actually a little bit open to meeting someone who lived in the area…and got this message: “Not enough matches in your area. Defaulting to statewide search.”
Huh. Since then, I’ve started getting messages from men in other small towns that I wouldn’t consider especially close to my own–apparently, they’re not getting any local information, either. This was almost enough to make me believe the rumors I’d heard about how there was just no one to meet, let alone date, in a small town.
Then my Internet went down.
If that hadn’t happened, I might have gone right on believing the mythology. But I had no Internet at home, and my new hometown isn’t the kind of place that has a Panera around the corner, so the only place I could come up with to get my job done was the local library. I worked there for portions of 7 or 8 days and then I had to stop because I kept getting asked out.
Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. But to me, getting asked out by two different men I hadn’t met previously in 7 or 8 visits to the library seemed like a lot. Not to be a geek or anything, but thus far I’ve been asked out on at least 25% of my trips to the local library–doesn’t that seem like a lot to you?
So, women: if you live in a small town and you think there’s no one left to meet and you have no dating prospects, go to the library. You’ll be amazed.
Men: I guess you’re out of luck. Given the number of men hanging around the library waiting to ask me out, I have to assume there are no available women in town.