We’re the first to admit that being single can be a blast, but according to new research from WalletHub, how much fun you have partnerless may depend on which city you call home. This is important and relevant, as the United States Census Bureau reports 45 percent of adults in the U.S is unmarried. It appears the surveyor wants singles to have some fun because they’ve recently compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 32 key indicators of something it termed “dating-friendliness.”
Those indicators include the number of online dating opportunities in each city, nightlife options per capita, prices for alcohol and food and so on. For example, if you’re looking for a cheap date, Garden Grove, California may appeal to you as it boasts the lowest dining costs. (Juneau, Alaska has the highest.) Gilbert, Arizona offers the most online dating opportunities for their citizens while high-profile cities like New York and Las Vegas host the most nightlife options per capita.
When the data was all tallied and organized into an infographic, analysts deemed San Francisco the best city for singles. Following San Francisco are Atlanta, Los Angeles, Denver, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Portland, Minneapolis and Portland. The worst cities for singles include South Burlington, Vermont; Brownsville, Texas; and some place called Hialeah, Florida.
No matter where you live, though, it can be tough to snag yourself a date, whether you’re looking for long-term, short-term or just a one-night stand. To help, we’ve provided the results of some noteworthy studies that insist there can indeed be a scientific approach to being irresistible to the opposite sex.
Confidence is great, but don’t get too carried away. Research from the University of California at Berkeley analyzed the behavior of 60 male and 60 female participants on online dating sites and found both men and women tend to aim out of their league. However, researchers found singles were most likely to get a response if that person resembled a similar level of attraction, which was determined by individually selected raters. Researchers argue the approach relieves two things: (1) the paranoia that you’re partner will cheat and (2) subsequent worry that you could have done better.
Research from the United Kingdom took photos of several men and digitally altered the color of their clothing. When women saw images of men in red clothes, they rated them both more aggressive and more attractive. Ladies in red were rated similarly. Researchers note the color correlates with testosterone production in many species and has a distinguishable impact on our perception of potential mates. It’s an easy experiment to test for yourself, so have at it for your next date.
It comes as no surprise, but women like men who are funny. A study based on the results of an international BBC online survey of more than 200,000 people revealed women overwhelmingly rate humor as the most important trait in a male partner, where they often conflate humor with intelligence. However, while research from the University of Kansas found similar results, the authors insisted humor connects to one’s sociability over intelligence. Either way, both are good.
If you plan to visit any of these single-friendly locales, you may want to travel with your closest wingmen–just make sure they’re good-looking. Research from the University of California at San Diego found that people are generally rated better-looking in groups than when they approach someone by themselves. Researchers have coined this result the “cheerleader effect,” as people appear more attractive in groups because combined faces blend into a group average, which helps “even out” any one person’s unattractive qualities.
TAKE MAN’S BEST FRIEND FOR A WALK
While strolling single-friendly cities, consider bringing your pooch along. Not only are they great conversation-starters, but research from France found women are three times more likely to give their number to a man with a dog than to a man who was alone. Evolutionarily, research suggests women correlate a man and his dog to how he will treat his future children. Additionally, a survey from the University of Nevada found that half of women judged a date based on how he handled his fur baby, and 35 percent said they were more attracted to a man who owned a pet.