When men say, “there’s plenty of fish in the sea,” they might not know what it’s like to date in a small or rural town. It is one of the worst places to be single, especially if you don’t fit in with the rest of your neighbors.
A shrunken dating pool always means that your options will be limited compared to big-city dating. However, that doesn’t mean you’re entirely out of luck. But you need to get serious about finding the right match.
In small towns, a small dating pool isn’t the only problem. You may have only one bar to meet people, and a reputation can precede you when everybody knows everyone.
This can make finding a date hard, if not impossible–at least through traditional means.
Before you assume you cannot meet women who think like you, hear me out. That rewarding relationship you’ve been yearning for is much closer than you might think.
Before searching for love, make sure you are ready to date and put your best foot forward.
Small-town dating can be challenging, not just because your dating prospects aren’t as plentiful. A tiny town has a unique way of having word get around, especially when there’s not much to do.
Every social circle in these smaller towns tends to know one another, and if you act way out of line, it will come up in local conversation. That’s why it makes sense to think about how you behave in a smaller town.
A good rule of thumb is that you should never react negatively, aggressively, or “crazy-like” if you get rejected by a girl from a small town. You also should avoid complaining about the small-town dating experience or politics simply because it could scare off people.
The moment you become an angry, bitter, or desperate dater is the moment that neighbors will warn girls away from you. If you are not sure you can handle rejection well, you may need to avoid dating until you’re in a better place.
You need to figure out what you want in a partner before going into the dating scene.
It’s easy to say that you want a girlfriend, but there’s so much more to dating than that. Every woman is different and will have a distinct personality. Ask yourself what you want in the woman you want to marry.
You will have to develop the traits you cannot live without and the ones you’re willing to compromise on. Are you ready to budge on body type? Religion? Her personality, loyalty, kindness, and honesty are going to be the things that will matter the most.
Even so, it would be best if you aimed for a date with a lifestyle similar to what you want to pursue.
Many men believe they want the glamorous models on the pages of Playboy until they realize what that means for them.
They don’t want to be stuck at party after party, day after day. They don’t want to deal with drunk men hitting on their wives, the stigma of dating a model, or the lifestyle requirements they come with.
Think about the future you want to have. Are you looking to be the sophisticated guy with an art gallery in a big city, or are you looking for a more “heartland” lifestyle of a wife, a ranch home, and kids? Work towards attracting the woman you feel would fit in with your life.
Take into account that standards can change from area to area.
The big question most women will ask is, “What do you bring to the table?”
It’s a fair question and one you should also be asking of your dates. But therein lies a significant aspect of dating that you may need to consider.
Different subcultures and regions often have different standards for what is considered a “catch” in the dating scene.
For example, in Los Angeles, many women want an “Instagram-friendly” partner over a partner that makes a lot of money. In New York City, a job in finance can act like a golden ticket, while a blue-collar job may make your life harder.
In rural areas, being “country” and having a lot of skills that translate into blue-collar work is what women want. After all, those country music songs talk about hot cowboys for a reason. If you are white-collar, many women might not see you as a match.
If you don’t match the typical standard that women have in your area, it may be time to consider whether you want to stay in your place. You could have a significant cultural clash with the local scene.
You should never change the type of person you want to be or your goals. If your current town doesn’t work for your ideal future, it may be time to move to the closest town that suits your needs.
How to make dating in a small town feel like big city dating?
When you live in a small town or a rural area, your dating life often feels relegated to the friends you meet in town. It doesn’t have to be that way. These techniques can help you make the most of the cards you’ve been dealt with.
1. Increase your online dating presence
Dating is a numbers game, at least to a point.
If you want to be able to find relationships easily, you may need to cast a wider net. Dating apps can be great for this reason. Expand your search radius to the nearest city or town if you are currently using a dating app.
You have to think logically about life in a small town.
In areas where the population density is extremely low, you will not be able to find many people who are single and interested. You may have no choice but to try to find someone who isn’t always close by.
2. Start using social media as a marketing tool for your love life
Social media can be a great tool for people who haven’t had much luck in their hometown, but it takes a little finesse.
When women are looking for potential matches, they aren’t just looking for a hot body. They are looking for a lifestyle they would like to be a part of.
What does this mean for lonely men out in the middle of nowhere? It’s simple.
You should use your social media to flaunt the fun and benefits women could have if they were with you. This includes:
- Showing the fun projects you do around your home. This can include finishing your deck, grilling that juicy steak, or even working on restoring that rickety car from the 1950s.
- Showing photos of yourself at parties and get-togethers. Women love to see men who are active and popular in their social circles. It shows that you have social intelligence and won’t be desperate around them. This is why party photos are attractive.
- Posting funny jokes. Jokes involving current events are often smart, but only if they avoid complaints. The idea here is that you want to keep good vibes going.
- Posting photos of you that look good. If you have to pay someone to take photos of you, go for it. You would be surprised how many women will react well to a smartly-taken picture.
On a similar note, you shouldn’t be afraid to slide into DMs on social media, especially if it’s the town where everyone knows everyone.
3. Get ready to go the distance
Rural and suburban areas will have a lot more sprawl than urban areas, meaning that dates may be few and far between. You may have to commit more time to drive if you want a relationship.
A good rule of thumb is to be okay with driving at least an hour to date. Unfortunately, it’s a side effect of living in a rural area.
Setting aside four hours a week for dating and driving to the closest city is a good way to make sure you cast a wider net.
4. Consider using meetups, classes, and events to meet women
You’re not alone if you’ve been on dating apps with little success.
Most men who use these apps have limited success, especially in rural areas. The best way for many guys to meet their next date is through in-person experiences.
Though there’s still a struggle with finding places to meet strangers, the truth is that many small towns have some communities within them that coordinate cool events. So, start looking for events that cater to your interests.
Meetups give you a way to get a chance that you wouldn’t typically have when you’re stuck with online dating. They allow you to flaunt your personality and form a connection organically. This helps you avoid getting filtered out due to bad photos or height restrictions.
They’re a small town dater’s best ally, especially for men.
You never know where you might be able to meet like-minded women near your town. It could be a cooking class at a local college, workout sessions at a new gym, or even a hiking group.
Either way, these crowds tend to have people who have views similar to your own, so it gives you a natural advantage when
5. Date while you travel out of town and consider getting into a long-distance relationship
Sometimes, traveling an hour away isn’t enough distance. This is especially true when you live in rural areas where the nearest city is hours away.
If you live in a rural area where few people share your interests or beliefs, it may be time to consider dating while you travel.
While you may not want to write off your whole town, being willing to travel to different areas to find your Ms. Right could make sense. This is especially true if you have felt like “the odd man out” in your town for a long time.
You may have to plan before you can do this. For example, it may be wise to get a job that requires travel to different cities so that you can find potential matches without harming your wallet.
6. Let everyone know that you are looking for a partner
One of the good things about being in a small town also can be one of the worst things.
The fact that everyone knows one another often means that the rumor mill is rough. However, this can be a major perk if you are well-liked in your community.
Heck, if you even have a couple of friends in your area, they may be able to help you out.
Be honest about your situation. Tell every friend you have that you are open to looking for a date night and be completely ready for any introductions they make.
Similarly, you should also attend every party you get invited to. You never know whether that next party down the street is where you’ll meet your sweetheart.
The right relationship coach can help you find the love (and lifestyle) you genuinely desire.
The strange thing about living in a small town is that it often has a way of muting the person who you are. Rather than work on big goals, you end up working on the small goals and small dreams people tend to feed you.
When you lose focus on the life you want, you lose your drive to get what you should want out of life.
Do you feel like your life is lackluster? Do you find yourself in a situation where you stay up at night, wondering why you can’t seem to get the life you always wanted to appear?
The right coach can help you connect with everything from the correct date to the career that lets you buy your first house. But, this will require you to get out of your comfort zone–and not just for one night, either. Are you ready to make that leap?