Dating in a small town

Tell us about your experiences dating with Classifieds. Did their web self line up with their real world self?Do you find yourself alone on a Tuesday night reluctantly ordering another pinot grigio, wondering if Cupid has forsaken this corner of the world?It’s advice I wish I had earlier in life so I’m giving it to you now in hopes that at least someone will be better for having read it. Plus, alcohol can grease the wheels socially and give you that added confidence boost you may need to approach someone new.However, using alcohol as a crutch can also be dangerous.We’d rather spend a simple evening cuddling under the stars than go to a noisy club or a fancy restaurant; to us, it’s just so much more worthwhile to spend private time together and not spend a dime. In our neck of the woods, money isn’t free-flowing and we learn from an early age that it really doesn’t grow on trees.Therefore, we become experts at having fun on a budget, and that’s a pretty awesome skill to have.Young, single ladies: America is worried about you.

Girls’ night out usually becomes an exercise in fending off obnoxious, overzealous suitors who often flaunt their newfound wealth. It's also a result of the heavily transitory population that comes with oil fields and the highly conservative culture of rural North Dakota, where men feel entitled to treat women like garbage in a way they don't feel—or can't express, at least—in places where "feminism" is actually thought to be a good thing.

I went on some good dates, some bad dates, a whole lot in between. In Hudson, as a recently single 31-year-old woman, I couldn’t bring myself to type Ok Cupid’s address into my browser. On weekend nights he tended bar at the popular watering hole a few blocks from my apartment. When I encountered the picture of someone I knew from town, however, I freaked out and hastily deleted the entire app from my phone, only to download it again the following day. It didn’t take long before I ran out of men on Tinder. But upstate Tinder was different than city Tinder and Hudson was not a place teeming with lawyers and doctors and Ph Ds in chemistry. On one of my last nights in Hudson, before I moved back to Boston for another job, I went to the bar with some friends.

I loved reading other men’s profiles, comparing my narrative to theirs, imagining if they could ever intertwine. I was a relative newcomer to town, but even so I felt sure I would recognize everyone with a profile. Oh, well.)I turned to technology next, but technology that hadn’t been available to me when I last dated in Boston: Tinder, the location-based app that shows you little more than a couple of pictures, a line of text, and overlapping Facebook friends. In fact only a couple of swiping sessions, within a couple of days. I increased the top end of my age range to 40, and then 45. I began to more carefully consider every single man, every single potential match. And so as I swiped away, I found myself both matching and connecting with men I would never have given a second thought in the city. I met farmers, construction workers, photographers, writers, and even a professor from Bard. The first man I dated post-breakup served us beers with a friendly hello. One night after lugging my boxes into the Boston apartment about a month later, I logged on to Tinder.

In the 80s & 90s, many couples met through newspaper classified ads.

Has what you found mislead you or been an accurate predictor?