You may be looking for love in all the wrong places — literally. A new report says it's not you, it's where you live.
A new report by WalletHub ranked 2016’s Best and Worst Cities for Singles, taking into consideration dating economics, romance and fun, and dating opportunities.
"We looked at active Tinder profiles as well as other broadband internet and mobile opportunities," said Jill Gonzalez, analyst at WalletHub.
Here's what the company determined to be the top 10 best cities for singles:
- San Francisco, California
- Orlando, Florida
- Seattle, Washington
- San Diego, California
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Austin, Texas
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Miami, Florida
- Los Angeles, California
Singles Who Can Afford to Spend
That San Francisco is number one may come as a bit of a surprise. After all, it's regularly billed as one of the most expensive U.S. cities in which to live. Wouldn't it be tougher for singles to mingle in such a high-cost environment? Yes and no, and ultimately, the pros outweigh the cons.
"San Francisco is very expensive, but you must remember that people are also making more in San Francisco on average as well, which balances it out a bit," said Gonzalez.
What also helped San Fran move to the top of the list is "the sheer number of singles that are there," said Gonzalez. "There's also a pretty good gender balance, about 3/10th of a percentage point off from being 50/50 [men and women], veering slightly more male."
That Orlando beat out Miami for second place is intriguing, given that Orlando doesn't have the same degree of happening nightlife as Miami. But Gonzalez pointed out that Orlando "wins out when it comes to costs."
The Suburbs Suck
The worst cities for singles — which include Greensboro, North Carolina, at number one; followed by Fontana, California; and Laredo, Texas — share one very unromantic quality: They're all pretty suburban. Snore.
"In these more suburban communities, there are not a lot of singles. It's more families and couples who are further into their relationships," said Gonzalez. "Also the [gender] balance may be way off. Greensboro has the second highest number of males that we saw [in all 150 cities surveyed]."
Singles Don't Heart NY
The study found that New York City ranked 26 out of 150. Say what? How could San Francisco be on the list of best places for singles and not the Big Apple?
"The reason NYC did not rank high is because of dating economics," said Gonzalez. "While there are more opportunities to date in NYC than in almost any other city, restaurants, beer and wine, taxi fares, and other date [activities] were so expensive. And while San Francisco is just [as costly], San Francisco has more single people, which made the biggest difference."
Still, Gonzalez, a former New Yorker, was surprised that the Big Apple didn't make the top ten.
College Town, Dating Dropouts
"I also expected to see more college cities like Tempe, Arizona, make the Top 10, given the sheer amount of singles there," added Gonzalez.
One of the biggest reasons why college towns didn't make the cut is that their single populations are less into online and mobile dating opportunities.
"College is the last frontier of in-person dating; students in college towns may not yet be using those [mobile and online] avenues," said Gonzalez.
Digging Past the Dating Economics
WalletHub's report shows just how much money can impact a single person's dating life. But there are ways around the money pits of mingling with new love interests in pricey cities.
April Masini, a relationship and etiquette expert who has authored four relationship advice books, recommends that if you're on a budget and looking for love, you have to be creative and efficient because dating can indeed get expensive.
"It’s easy to whisk someone off to a great restaurant and get excellent concert seat tickets if you’re wealthy, but if you’re not, and you’re playing the field or dating someone new regularly, your wallet will take the hit," said Masini. "Unless you can understand that romance doesn’t have to be pricey."
"For instance, ice skating at a local rink is very romantic and less expensive than dinner at the Four Seasons. Renting a cozy, winter cabin is very romantic — and a lot less expensive than a weekend in Paris or the Caribbean with plane tickets."