The Trouble with Dating in Boston

According to a recent study by online dating site AYI.com, those who are seeking a serious relationship should consider coming to Boston, reports BusinessInsider.

“Stereotypically, women are known for being more likely to want a serious relationship, while men are known for being more likely to want a casual relationship,” stated last week’s BusinessInsider article. However, the results of AYI.com’s survey suggest that this is not entirely true: reportedly, 40.8% of Boston men who answered the survey were looking for a serious relationship.

This statistic is promising for college students in Boston, especially in the context of today’s “hookup culture” that does not easily allow for relationships to blossom during the undergraduate years. If you haven’t yet found that special someone on a Friday night in a sweaty Mod, you may want to stick around Boston after graduation in the hopes of finding a significant other.

If AYI.com’s study holds true, “that also means there’s more serious relationship-minded men in Boston than any other city – at least for those on AYI.com,” reported a BostInno article on the topic. Ranking behind Boston for the most men seeking a serious relationship were Fort Worth, TX; Memphis, TN; Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. On the flip side, the best states for those seeking a casual fling were Illinois, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and South Carolina.

Whether you’re looking for a casual hookup or serious relationship, BostInno points out that there is someone for everyone in Boston. “With plenty of perfect date spots and (apparently) plenty of men looking for serious relationships, our city is certainly a great place to meet that special someone,” stated the article.

Although the statistics provided by AYI.com are optimistic, they may not necessarily hold true out in the Boston dating pool. When BostInno asked readers to leave their thoughts on the issue in the article’s comments, many responses were negative.

“I completely disagree with this. I’ve been in Boston two years and have found all of Boston guys are either taken, looking for a just a hook-up or ‘just don’t date.’ I think it’s a hard city to date in, and I do not think the guys here are ready for commitment. It’s not just me either way, my roommate and single friends have the same problem,” commented reader Rachel T.

For a blog post on Boston.com, Dr. Monica O’Neal—a clinical psychologist practicing in the Back Bay—profiled the escapades of her single and dating therapy patients, stating that the Boston dating scene comes with “unrelenting anxieties.”

Just as the AYI.com study reported, “the good news is that overall, Boston is a great place to meet other vibrant, intelligent and successful singles. Approximately 50.2% of the city is single,” stated Dr. O’Neal. “Boston residents get married later than in most major cities, and Massachusetts consistently boasts one of the lowest divorce rates.”

Despite the optimal factors of Boston’s dating pool, Dr. O’Neal found her patients’ dating lives to be quite difficult. She reported that Boston women are hesitant to “let their guard down” and allow themselves to communicate openly, while men refrain from stating their feelings and intentions in relationships. In turn, these habits may be preventing both genders from pursuing anything deeper than a superficial fling with their dating partner.

Perhaps the answer lies in a combination of the findings of AYI.com and Dr. Monica O’Neal. Maybe Boston is full of single people secretly wanting serious relationships, but who are too timid or afraid to broach their true feelings. Whether or not that trend will change in the near future will be decided by the attitudes that today’s college students bring to Boston’s dating scene after graduation.

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