The February issue of Charleston mag is out, with a rather gritty gem of a story. "Single in the Holy City" (written by Jennifer N. Dienst) delves into all things dating in Charleston and features essays and opinions from more of the city’s singles (food and bev folks, matchmakers, ladies, gents—they’re all in there). The general consensus? The dating scene isn’t quite—okay, isn’t at all—as storybook-romantic as our draping Spanish moss and cobblestone streets. But come on, is anything?
One of the most fun aspects to the story are the dating-related poll questions and results tucked into its pages. Before we get to those, though, let’s talk about one game-changing stat in particular, provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. You know the widespread belief that there are eight single ladies in Charleston for every one guy? NOT true. According to the 2011 U.S. Census survey, the ratio of single men to single women is 1 to 1.2. What?! What happened to the “absurd guy-to-girl ratio” we've come to know?
Here's some other poll results that shed light on the realities of the Charleston dating scene:
- Only 3% of people think that the dating scene in Charleston is “well-stocked.”
(27% described it as “a barren wasteland”)
- 70% of those polled average one or fewer (aka ZERO) dates a month.
- On who has it harder in terms of meeting people: 77% said women; 23% said
These got Grit thinking—what is it that makes this all-too-romantic locale a “barren wasteland” for those wanting to meet a match?!
Perhaps the problem has something to do with the all-too-prevalent hook-up mentality out there in the dating world today? Stratton Lawrence’s "Oh Boy!" essay touches on this:
“Around October, when the balmy weather starts to fade, my pals all began settling into a winter squeeze, and I started to hear musings like, ‘She really gets me’ and ‘This one might be IT for me.’ I knew better. Half of these winter relationships wouldn’t even make it to Valentine’s Day, leaving my buddies bored till bikini weather returned or grabbing the first new girl that came along and going all in—for a month, at least.” Read more....
Or perhaps it’s that people are too busy texting to actually talk to someone of the opposite sex? Here's an excerpt from Ellen McGauley’s "A Unique Proposition" essay:
“In bars, you’ll find 30-somethings clinging to their iPhones—as if Apple can get them laid—all the while, a thousand pretty blondes order themselves another drink.” Read more...
Or maybe part of the problem stems from alcohol? (We did, after all, just rank the 4th Booziest City in the Country). Former server Tara Foye offers this story of the worst date she ever witnessed:
“A bubbly young couple took their seats at my table. Two minutes after the first course was served, the girl’s face collapsed into her plate. When I approached the table to see if she was okay, she admitted she had had too much to drink before they arrived.” Read more...
Another quick true-life story: A good friend of mine had a date with a handsome gent a few months back. Things we’re going well (despite some word slurring and story repetition on his part) until the walk home, when the dude tripped, fell into a drain, and threw up all over the place. Needless to say, things didn’t progress.
Obviously, we have no answers to these dating dilemmas. What do we have? More questions! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for our own Grit poll on dating (we'll discuss booty calls, sexting, and more...)
In the meantime, check out the rest of the “Single in the Holy City” feature (these highlights are only the tip of the fun and flirty iceberg) here, where you’ll find real-life dating disasters (and triumphs!), advice from relationship pros, and ideas for top-notch dates in our Holy City.