It's True: Singles Are Moving For Better Dating Prospects

It's hard out in the dating world, and you don't need to look far for that to be proven true. Singles are exhausted. Recent research shows dating feels harder, and has many turning to celibacy. And while the old saying goes, "there's plenty of fish in the sea," maybe the question we should be asking ourselves is, what fish exactly? Or more importantly: are there more seas?

This very thought is now inspiring singles to relocate for love — not for already established relationships, but rather, for the possibility of better dating prospects.

"Moving or changing cities in order to refresh one's love life has worked for many," says dating expert Devyn Simone. "Post-COVID we've seen an increase in singles being more open to dating outside of their existing city."

While she doesn't advocate for leaving it all behind in the pursuit of love (i.e. leaving your dream job, community, etc.), Simone notes there is power in being open to relocation if you're already thinking about it: "If you find that you're in a position that you can switch up your location responsibly and you're open to a little bit of change, then trying a new place with new people and new perspectives can be a move that puts some life back into your love life."

And it makes sense: while stereotypical, if you're into nerdy tech types, you might have better luck in San Francisco, the Pacific Northwest, or even Austin. If you're into ambitious creative types, you might find your match in New York City, Los Angeles, or Nashville. It's not that other cities don't have these "types," but more of those types, and a renewed dating scene may well set the tone for better dates overall. In fact, according to a 2023 trend report by Bumble, one in three respondents said that they are more open to relationships with people who are not in their current city. And one in ten said they found it easier to date in another country.

Experts Featured in This Article

Devyn Simone is a matchmaker and Tinder's resident relationship expert.

Cami Barnes is a professional matchmaker and wedding officiant.

Helena Woods is an astrocartographer and author.

"If relocating is a viable option, why not keep your dating options open to include cities and regions that you wouldn't mind relocating to?" says Cami Barnes, a matchmaker who made the move for love (but after she met her now husband online). "You shouldn't be closed off to the idea that your person may be physically located somewhere else."

That's what happened for Melissa Rosenfield. After moving to LA from her hometown of Brooklyn, she had high hopes of meeting someone and staying in the city, but found that her dating expectations were not lining up with reality. "Sometime around my 30th birthday, I realized that I wouldn't meet my husband in LA as much as I loved that fantasy so I started making my way back to NY and met him when I was 32," Rosenfield says.

Others are following suit. Linne, 28, recently left Telluride, CO, after living there for nearly three years. Though she loved the mountain life, the dating scene wasn't providing what she wanted. "It's a tiny town of 2,000 people, and it just got to a point where I felt like I'd met most of the single people in my age bracket, and I started to lose hope that my guy was there."

Linne says she had a hard time leaving the town because, apart from the disappointing dating prospects, she was otherwise happy. "[Dating] really felt like the main reason that was pushing me to go, and I even struggled with admitting that out loud, because it felt like such a silly reason," she adds.

Linne also notes that since there are more men than women population-wise in Telluride, CO, some women might think they have better odds. But Linne found that many cis straight men fell into a specific camp: "You get a lot of 'Peter Pan' men who subscribe to the ski-bum lifestyle and aren't looking for something serious or committed." While she notes that stereotype still very much exists in her new city of Denver, "I've met a lot of really nice guys too who are looking for something serious," she adds, "but just weren't a match for me." Linne is currently single.

Nell Sherman recalls hearing stories from friends who left their major cities to find love in Denver. Sherman, who is exploring the same topic of relocating for love for a film project, somehow found herself doing just that: while living in Denver for a month in June 2022, she had a nine-hour date with a man named Alex and the rest, as they say, is history. (The couple has since relocated to NYC together.)

Sherman doesn't know many others who found love after leaving their dating pool, however, she adds, "I know someone that left living in Austin, Texas, and their job transferred them to Australia, and they're now in love with someone." Sherman says, "Just getting out of your normal dating pool, I feel, is really healthy for people, because if you're around all the people that know you, either by connection or know you personally, you're not really given the chance to start fresh and shine."

Relocating may not just be for better dating prospects, it may also just put you in a better mindset for dating. To take it one step further — it could be written in the stars. "It's all about being at the right place, at the right time," says astrocartographer Helena Woods.

Astrocartography is a subset of astrology, also called locational astrology or relocation astrology, which essentially compares and relocates your birth chart to the world's map. In other words? One of the reasons we feel differently in different places can be chalked up to different planetary influences in that city. For example, your Venus line, which rules partnership, could be running through Buenos Aires, making it a great spot for romantic connection.

Woods uses astrology to help clients find where in the world they may be able to better thrive. "I remember I guided one woman to a tiny beachside town in Mexico and told her the best time to go to find love, and she emailed me a month later with photos of her new life in Mexico with her partner," Woods says. "Those stories are the reason I do this work as an astrocartographer. People's lives change."

Whatever the reasoning — better odds, more aligned types, astrology — if you have the means and the will to change up your dating life by moving, the real question becomes, why not? "Places not only have stories, but they also hold energy for us. So often we feel stuck in places we're comfortable but unhappy in," says Woods.

"Your head and heart want to be there, so your person is probably waiting there too."

That being said, it's important to keep logistics in mind. Rosenfield notes that while a change of pace and scenery can yield better or more aligned dating results, effort (and time spent) needs to also be there. "You're not gonna find your person if you don't pick a place and stay put for a bit," she says. "Don't 'live in New York' and be on a plane to Europe every weekend. Move to Europe — your head and heart want to be there, so your person is probably waiting there too, but can't meet you cause you're always coming and going. You love skiing and Colorado but you're stuck in Los Angeles? Move to Colorado. It is easier than you think if you really want it. Then, your person can find you because you'll be where you are both supposed to be."

Dating apps, too, can give you a better feel for what's out there before you make the move. Tinder has Passport, and Bumble has Travel Mode, both of which let you "remote in" from where you are. (Don't worry, it shows users that you're using the remote mode.)

It's also important to keep the short-term and long-term in mind. "When do you want to move? What three cities are at the top of your list as possible options? What do you like about those cities? How will you support yourself: will you be able to keep your current job or find a new one? How long do you plan on staying: six months, a year, two years?" Simone says. "Setting a timeline can be helpful so that this change doesn't feel so overwhelming."

It ultimately comes down to where you are in your life physically and emotionally. "If you live in an area where the values, morals, dating prospects, etc. are not in alignment with what you ultimately desire," Barnes says, "take the leap and the necessary steps to get where you need to be."

Samantha Leal is a lifestyle writer, editor, and editorial consultant who writes about beauty, wellness, travel, drinks, and more — basically, all the good things in life. She's held editorial roles at The Knot, Latina magazine, Marie Claire, and Well+Good, and she's written for PS, Bustle, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Travel + Leisure, Byrdie, StyleCaster, The Zoe Report, and more.