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While attempts to resolve this distinction by asserting that in number-one-ranked New York City, “financial stresses have brought a shift in priorities for singles,” who are “taking advantage of generous severances and enjoying the spoils of the city … metro region stretches deep into Maryland and Virginia and counts 5 and a half million residents, the dating scene plays out in a relatively small sandbox.

with dates they’ve met online.” In reality, these big cities are sheltering more broke singles with stoked anxieties and broken creative dreams. District residents lack the car access of Angelenos and the extensive subway system of New Yorkers.

And even minor dalliances take on an added significance, for better or worse. Settling down starts to look better than the alternative. Unlike other coastal locales, District singles shack up with a Midwestern zeal. When I moved into a room in a new group house, I fell in fast with the boy who lived just a floor below me. When we arrived, it felt like a spell had been broken.

“I slept with someone I never wanted to see again, and now he works 20 feet away from me and is also friends with all of my friends,” she told me. C.” Last year’s treatise on online dating argued that “dating is an attempt to approximate the collegiate condition—that surfeit both of supply and demand, of information and authentication.” Washington, D. is the closest real-life dating scene I’ve experienced to that of a college campus, or else a nursing home—the city where single people go to die. We bonded over our housemate’s grammatically incorrect passive-aggressive emails, made out, found a new apartment, developed our own language, adopted a cat, stayed together for three years, and moved to Los Angeles. It took just a week for us to untangle ourselves, our breakup keeping pace with my boyfriend’s slow consumption of the big pot cookie I had stashed in the freezer.

For single people looking to actually find a match, that is not a good thing.

Most of the time, though, you don’t.” Another friend who uses an online dating site in the city says that the buffet of options means “everyone is looking out for someone better.” That endless search can prove to be a logistical nightmare.

One New Yorker told me that “subway distances can make things grueling,” meaning that budding romances easily die on a stalled L train.

In fact, it has very little to do with the people playing the game, and everything to do with the way they are scattered across the board.

If you have ever been tempted by the low-hanging fruit of the sexy Internet slideshow, you may be under the impression that Los Angeles is one of America’s "Best Cities for Singles." Over the past few years, online publications have periodically culled regional data from dating websites and census tracts, made pseudoscientific calculations of their impact on singletons, then excreted the results into clickable lists. To anyone who has actually attempted to date in America’s two most populous cities, these results are puzzling.

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