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Real Estate SignsWe’ve all heard the age-old saying: The three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. Lately I’ve been wondering if this same mantra can roll over into the dating world as well. Does living in certain areas or types of cities make it easier to find love?

I’ve lived in towns and cities of all sizes — from quaint, suburban villages (think Gilmore Girls) to huge, bustling cities (think Sex and the City), and everything in between. Every move came with exciting adventures and unique challenges, and every move offered a very different experience with regard to dating.

In each location — after a year or two, after a few dates or a few dozen dates — I’d inevitably hit dating lulls, as is the natural order of things. Peaks and valleys, monsoons and droughts. Without fail, I’d hear advice from a family member or a friend: Maybe you should try a new city. A fresh batch of available, incredible men. A new playing field, a new litter, a new opportunity.

In all my moves over all these years, I can honestly say I’ve never moved because I wanted a new dating scene. But I have — in the midst of a move prompted by other reasons — looked forward to a new dating scene.

I mean, the grass has got to be greener over there, right?

      • Live in a small town? The dating must be better in a bigger town.
      • Live in a medium-sized city? You need a thriving metropolis!
      • Live in the conservative Bible belt? Try a more liberal city where people are more open to dating.
      • Live in a more liberal city? Try a more conservative city where people are ready to settle down and marry.
      • Live on a farm? You need to be around more people!
      • Live in the suburbs? Move near the action!
      • And the list goes on…

I feel like I’ve tried everything on this list. Well, except the farm. Although my family did have goats and sheep when I was a kid. (R.I.P. Sparkle the Goat.) So here I am living in a metro area of 5 million people. And now that I think about it, sometimes I look around and don’t even see any grass, let alone grass that’s greener.

Does living in a bigger city automatically make it easier to find love? Is my probability of getting a good date more likely simply because there are more men around? In my experience, I’d have to argue that not only is it not easier, but in some respects it can be harder.

There are some days when I long for the simplicity of the small town life. I long for Melanie Smooter’s days in Alabama over Melanie Carmichael’s days in New York City — at least from a dating perspective. Because between all the big city meet-ups and online dating, the speed dating and the happy hours, the matchmaking and the corporate functions — I’m tired.

If I were to move back to a small town, though, the math works against me. There are simply less men. They say there are always more fish in the sea, unless, of course, you move to a little town far, far away from the water. Then you might just end up being like Belle.

Belle 1

Little town, it’s a quiet village
Every day like the one before
Little town full of little people, waking up to say,
Bonjour!
Bonjour!
Bonjour!
Bonjour!
Bonjour!

There goes the baker with his tray like always
The same old bread and rolls to sell
Every morning just the same since the morning that we came
To this poor provincial town

“Good morning, Belle!” says the baker, cheerfully. But is that baker single? Is he interested in me? Is he my type? Is he, literally, the only single man in this small town? And to make it worse, this is the kind of place where everybody knows everybody’s business. And sometimes I think the townspeople would think I’m “that crazy single girl with the dating blog.”

Look there she goes, that girl is strange no question
Dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?
Never part of any crowd
‘Cause her head’s up on some cloud
No denying she’s a funny girl, that Belle

In a big city, at least I blend in (somewhat). At least I can walk in the middle of the crowds and not be singled out for being, well, single. At least I have some semblance of anonymity.

Look there she goes that girl is so peculiar
I wonder if she’s feeling well
With a dreamy far-off look
And her nose stuck in a book
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle

Yep, that’s me. I often have a dreamy, far-off look in my eyes as I ride the Metro to and from work each day, imagining what could be, who he could be. I often have my nose stuck in a book… or in a blog. And I’ve been described as puzzling on more than one occasion.

I’m different, yes. A little strange even, sure. But does that mean I have to settle for burly, brawny Gaston and his five dozen eggs? If only the people around me could see what I see… and read what I’ve written!

Oh! Isn’t this amazing?
It’s my favorite part because, you’ll see
Here’s where she meets Prince Charming
But she won’t discover that it’s him ’til chapter three

You think Belle would’ve ever met The Beast if she lived in the hustle of The Big Apple? You think their paths would’ve ever crossed? And on the other hand, had beautiful Belle lived in a big city, perhaps she would’ve found a nice, suitable man much sooner and eliminated the need to fall in love with a prince-turned-hairy-beast in order to break a mystic spell cast by an enchantress to free her father from a cold, dark prison tower. Just a thought.

Location, location, location.

Belle 2

Who knows where the road will lead me in the coming months and years — perhaps to an even bigger city, perhaps back to a small, provincial town. For now, I’m waiting on my chapter three, wherever it may take place.

~Ruth