Best & Worst States for Singles (2024)

Professor Sharon Sassler  discusses what singles should be looking for when choosing where to live, the appropriateness of asking someone you are dating about their finances (including their credit score and amount of debt), tips for saving money when dating, virtual dating, and the growing need for affordable housing in desirable cities:

"...For singles thinking about desirable places to live, a robust job market often attracts other young people (not all single, but given delayed marriage many will be). Hot job markets also tend to attract fun amenities – music venues, cool bars, or exciting cultural events. Think of New York City, or Austin, Texas, or Boston, MA. Whether one wants to move to a place with lots of graduate students (say Boston) or tech entrepreneurs (Austin), being in a location that has some kind of culture that floats your boat (a plethora of classical music options in Boston, versus country or alternative music in Austin, for example) can go a long way towards helping singles engage in activities beyond work..."

"...Talking about money is often quite a challenge, and my view is that if you are casually dating you do not really need this information. If, however, you and your partner are talking about moving in together, you should discuss how you intend to manage your money responsibilities before moving in. Knowing how you and a partner feel about money – is it to be saved for a rainy day or used to enjoy the present, for example; are you working to pay off education loans or deferring them until later (and allowing interest to build) – may help you decide if living together is actually the best move..."

"...And while it may sound corny, making someone a meal – even if one is not a great cook – can be far more romantic than going out to a restaurant. Especially for men who live on a budget and worry about the “male tax” (expectations that they pay on a first date), making a nice meal is far less stressful, and is certainly more affordable than taking someone out – especially if the date brings the wine or beverage of choice. Cooking for others can be interpreted as a sign of caring, so whether it is the woman or the man cooking..."

  "...In my interviews with young STEM professionals in their mid-20s, many of them say they really dislike dating apps. But that is how many people meet – which leaves the many singles who dislike virtual dating out in the cold. There are many reasons why there may be a decline in face-to-face dates. Virtual dating is only one of them..."

"...States will not be able to attract anyone – singles, young families, or retirees – if there is no affordable housing that meets an array of needs. What is the old rule of thumb for how much one is “supposed” to spend on housing – a third of one's take home? Is that doable for most singles living in desirable cities?..."

Read the full article on Wallet Hub

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