Seattle singles may not be surprised to hear that for the second time in a row, the city has been named “America’s Worst City to Find Love” by the Great Love Debate podcast, a touring series of town-hall-style events that’s returning to the region next month.
Solo Seattleites earned low marks across the board for lack of communication, confidence and optimism, according to staffers behind the podcast, who used a formula weighing the opinions and demographic data from more than 92,000 singles over the past five years and millions more who have listened to Brian Howie’s podcast.
This phenomenon in which we don’t connect well to each other, known by some as the Seattle Freeze, has long been recognized.
“I quickly learned that Seattle men are far different from any other I’ve encountered: shy, timid and seemingly incapable of striking up a conversation, let alone offering to buy a female a drink,” Danielle Campoamor wrote in a 2013 opinion piece for The Seattle Times about her experience dating here as a straight woman. “The Seattle males’ inability to successfully merge with their female counterparts reminds me of the colossal cluster that is I-5 onramps. Much like a Seattleite merging onto a freeway, our men’s apprehensive tendencies leave them incapable of finding either the open lane or the open bar stool.”
Says podcast host Howie: “There are opportunities in every city, every day, to find the connection you are looking for. But there are certain cities where the singles are certainly making things harder for themselves. The past year has unquestionably been a challenging one for the dating dynamic between men and women throughout the country, and Seattle certainly stood out as not being up to the challenge.”
Last year, when Seattle debuted as the worst city for singles — at least for straight singles, who were the podcast’s focus — Howie reportedly said, “Of all the places where the disconnect grew wider this year, Seattle’s grew the widest, leaving a gloomy puddle of aggravated women, socially-awkward men and rainwater.”
Reasons for the Seattle Slump or the dating doldrums are many, according to numerous articles published in The Seattle Times through the years.
Among them, according to a 2004 article by Diane Mapes, are women’s belief that men here are too passive and men’s belief that women are intimidating. In addition, both groups may be “too busy climbing Mount Rainier to so much as say hello,” Mapes wrote.
This is not to say that singles cannot find successful matches here, just that it may take more perseverance, straightforwardness and cleverness than is required in other cities.
“From my experience, you just need to force yourself out more and try to meet people through work, the gym or other clubs,” Chase Meyer told The Seattle Times two years ago after moving to Seattle from Denver. “Once you do that, you can build up your friend network and the Freeze dissolves.”
As you continue your quest to thaw the freeze (or if you just need something to do with the new friends you’re making), get out and explore your city! Check out the Seattle Newcomers Guide for info on neighborhoods, food, public transportation, housing and more.
Seattle’s status as a dater-friendly city really depends on how you look at it. Seattle last year was ranked the sixth best place for singles to find love according to a WalletHub study that was based more heavily on the city’s economic health and wealth of dating-appropriate activities, rather than perceptions of individuals who live here.
Either way, we can take some solace in Seattle not being the only place to draw harsh judgment from the folks at the Great Love Debate. Here’s what Howie told Circa News last year about other cities that fared poorly in the podcast’s rankings:
- San Jose: “A sorry stalemate between women who think they’re too good for him and men who think they’re entitled to her.”
- Phoenix: “Go ahead, guys, offer to take her on a date. She will take that offer and shop it around ’til she can find a better one.”
- Portland: “Trying to be the center of the Beard and Beer Universe is never a good way to show you actually care about dating.”
- Denver: “Our 2017 worst city, and still home to the most passive men in America. Only an extremely communicative and accommodating group of women kept the Mile High City out of the basement this year.”
- Philadelphia: “Hard to find love in a place where the women believe all the men are jerks and the men all believe that’s a compliment.”
- Dallas: “The city with the best women in America — and a collection of men who hide from them, and a whole lot else, beneath those big hats.”
- Las Vegas: “People go to Vegas to have fun. Nobody goes to Vegas to be happy.”
- New York: “New York women watched ‘Sex and the City’ for a decade, hoping Carrie would end up with Mr. Big. Lots of NYC men noticed and act like Big, but don’t look anything like Chris Noth.”
- Los Angeles: “It’s simply too nice and too self-absorbed, day in and day out, for Angelenos to get too involved with another human being.”
Information from The Seattle Times archives is included in this report.