I used to be so discouraged about my dating life here in Yakima. I have lived here since 2002 and have yet to find my "someone." I tried all the dating websites. I bought the "Gold" dating app memberships. I swiped right (and left). I went to the local meat-market watering holes hoping to meet someone. I signed up for dating coaches. I "leveled up" my look. I tried smiling more and saying "hello." I whitened my teeth. I lost a few pounds. I "worked on myself first." I "dated myself first." I lowered my standards. I raised my standards. I tried "stop looking for love because you'll find it when you least expect it". I tried "kissing a lot of frogs" so that I could "find a prince". Damm*t, I tried everything!

My dating experiences here were beyond exhausting and to be honest, quite disappointing. Finally, one day I just said to myself, "Fugeddaboutit, I don't want to date anymore," and it was such a relief! It was like I had finally taken 10 huge boulders off my back! I no longer feel that intense pressure to "find someone before it's too late," because for me, it's already too late. And that's actually just fine with me!

Now, as for the rest of y'all single people in Yakima, I don't know how you are going to survive through the winter. It's cuffing season, after all!

I will go out on a limb and say that it was refreshing to see that these dating woes are not all in my head. Exhibit A: Seattle has just been declared the worst place in America to find love. Naturally (and with melancholy), I am lumping Yakima into that dubious Seattle "achievement." The Great Love Debate podcast recently visited Seattle and asked the question: "Why is everyone still single?" And you know what answer they found: because dating sucks, that's why! Just kidding. The answers ranged from "everyone is too self-absorbed," "too entitled" and "trying to be the center of the Beard & Beer Universe." Oh, my.

It may not be easy for some people to find love in a small town, for a variety of reasons:

  • Small towns can be very cliquish; at times it can be a "who you know" kind of place.
  • The dating pool in a small town blows chunks. You end up seeing the SAME 15 guys on all the dating apps (Tinder, Bumble, OK Stupid, Plenty of Fish, etc.), and you've swiped LEFT on all of them! (Or your girl/guy friends have already hooked up with him/her or married/divorced him/her!)
  • You may be searching for someone who is wealthy or well-connected to fall in love with you--good luck finding your way into THOSE social circles in a small town, they've already found their true love in college!
  • You may be finding plenty of lust in a small town, but definitely not true love.
  • You may be so eccentric, apathetic or such an oddball that you haven't found anyone just as weird, quirky and offbeat as you are (this is me).
  • You have already given up on finding someone to date because it's such a small town (this is also me).

I used to believe that the reason I was still single in Yakima was because my true love probably lived in a big city like Seattle, and I just hadn't found him yet. After hearing, however, just how sucky the dating scene in Seattle is, I see that being single is actually a Washington epidemic.

Maybe we should all just try casting out our Tinder nets wider, like in Canada, eh? ;-)