10
Jun
10

dating in ‘burque

Reader S. J. asks:

I just moved here from Chicago, and dating in Albuquerque seems to be a major drag. Why do you think dating in Albuquerque sucks so bad?

Dear S. J.:

I would feign distaste for your comment, as I despise when anyone puts down my wonderful hometown, but we all know it’s true: dating in Albuquerque sucks. Even the people I’ve dated here agree with me. We have fewer available singles and less fun stuff to do than anywhere else on the globe (including rural China!). I have several theories as to why this is.

1. We’re the last hole on the Bible belt.

who are these strange people?

These are "couples". They date in shadow. Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This may actually mean it’s easier to date here if you happen to be an evangelical Christian; it’s quite possible that the megachurch singles scene is totally hoppin’ , but I wouldn’t know. What it does mean for everyone else is that people get married when they’re pretty young — think 19 years old. Whereas in NYC or San Francisco, people may hold out til they’re 35 or, whoa, not even get married at all (!!!), here, you’re a bit past your due date if you’re 27. Even the non-Christian folks feel the heat to get married. Young professionals who aren’t married either moved here from somewhere else or have something seriously wrong with them. Or they’re divorced, which is also pretty common.

2. We have a huge Catholic influence.

Again, maybe the Catholic dating scene is totally awesome, but what this seems to imply for the rest of us is that women in ABQ have more unplanned pregnancies (you can take that up with the Pope). So there are a lot more moms. I think it’s hard to date as a mom. I’ve never been a mom, but I have a suspicion it’s not nearly as easy as being a single girl with a dog, and I can definitely say that having a dog is hard work; therefore, I believe that being a mom is way hard. Anyway, as a friend of mine recently said of Albuquerque women: “Women here either have children or degrees.” That’s not totally true (I know a few single moms here who have an education, which rocks), but the sentiment is pretty spot on. It’s hard to have a dating life when you’re raising children alone.

3. We live out west.

People out west have more conservative values, and we’re less educated. We’ve all seen it in the way we vote for president (the 2008 election being the exception, of course). Until you hit California, the west values marriage (between young, straight people), having children (whether you want them or not), getting up early (so you can work on your… farm?), going to church, and, just to throw a wrench in things, drunk driving and methamphetamines (I’m just talking statistics here, kids). We also have a lot more blue collar work available than we have white collar or ivory tower work. People have a lot less reason to finish their degrees if they even start them in the first place. If you’re not looking for someone with a PhD here you may actually be okay. But, I mean, really, who doesn’t want someone with at least a masters?? Also, because we’re out west, trends that have caught on in the east take a few years to head this way. The online dating scene, for instance, is really tiny here (and incestuous, ick).

4. We have a small population.

That means there are fewer Burqueños to choose from. If you look at the ratio of “good catches” to “throw aways” in any town, it’s about the same in ‘Burque; however, there are just far fewer human beings in Albuquerque. So if the ratio in New York is 1:10, it’s 1:10 in ABQ, too; the Duke City just only has 10 people overall, while NYC has 10,000,000,000 (or whatever the number is, I don’t think the census is over yet).

5. The economy sucks right now.

It’s really hard to think about romance and go out and have fun when you’re worried you’re not going to make rent this month. This is true anywhere. I think people everywhere have turned more inward and are a bit more selfish and paranoid than they were five years ago. It’s one reason I left the NYC area — the crankiness was just unbearable. People in ‘Burque are cranky, too.

6. The hot, young, rich, intelligent people have a secret hiding place, and they’re not going to tell you where it is.

I am convinced this is the case. I have been told they go to happy hour at the Seasons down in Old Town, but when I go there, all I see are a lot of over-paid, over-tanned white girls with a Sex and the City complex (YOU ARE NOT CARRIE BRADSHAW! I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH YOUR SHOES COST!). I’m pretty sure there’s a bunker somewhere in Ridgecrest where they have secret parties (not orgies, though) and laugh about how wonderful their lives are, how great their jobs are, and how in love with each other they all are.

I think we have to accept Albuquerque for what it is. We have a very diverse cultural scene, in spite of our low population. Most of the people are really, really nice (except the folks who hang out at Seasons, apparently). We have amazing scenery and a lot of opportunities for hiking and camping.

Maybe you’re just being too picky. Maybe we don’t need to date right now. Maybe we should build strong friendships with people. And then move to New York or LA when we really want to party.

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2 Responses to “dating in ‘burque”


  1. 1 Tony
    June 10, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Conservative values? This state went blue in 2000 and currently sports an entirely-Democrat congressional junket. Conservative values, my eye!

    Also, um, I didn’t know the dating scene here sucked? Crap, that’s bad news.

  2. 2 Consuelo
    June 10, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I’ve noticed that for post college grad age folks, it’s particularly bad here for singles. Meaning the 25-35 year old demographic. Most of my friends here from college have either moved away or are married (or moved away, then got married, then moved back). Burque is a good place to live if you are college age (18-25) and can meet people at UNM/CNM or if you are married in your 30s-40s and raising a family (or if you are part of the giant aging hippie scene here left over from the 60s and 70s). For everyone else, it’s mostly a drag. I’m not sure why I’m still here, but I’ll blame everyone’s favorite current scapegoat: the bad economy.


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