Love-Make Your Move!

If you still haven't found what you're looking for romantically, maybe it's time to broaden your horizons! Here, real-life singles and couples who made their own moves for love share their stories.

By Kent Miller

ometimes it happens in a place that's truly strange to you, like a new city… or even a new country. "I believe moving to another town forces you to change," says Pennsylvania native Barbara Singer, who has found love under the Tuscan sun — literally. Less than a month after moving to Florence, Italy, in 2007, Singer met and fell in love with a much younger Italian vintner. Ever since, they've been happier than a couple starring in a grand opera,
For the first time, I had to be a follower.
living la dolce vita — "the sweet life."

For Singer, a former sales executive who describes herself as "pretty much a Type A" personality, living abroad has been an exercise in humility. (Try setting up an appointment when you don't even know how to say "appointment" in Italian!) "When I came to Italy, I didn't know how to do anything properly. Everything had to be learned. For the first time, I had to be a follower."

Maybe "love" should rhyme with "move"
Long Island special education teacher Trisha Ventker didn't have to cross an ocean to find love. She just crossed the East River, to an apartment in Manhattan's trendy Chelsea district. "Absolutely, move to a new place to find someone," exhorts Ventker. "As long as you're realistic and you can pay your bills. You have one life, and if you don't change up things, you're going to have the same results again and again!" Ventker's strategy worked. After going on 412 dates — which she chronicled in her tell-all book, Internet Dates from Hell — Trisha met and married Mr. Right. She now lives with her husband and their four-year-old son at the foot of the Colorado Rockies.

Go west, young woman
Janice Formichella lived in New York City for five years. She liked New York City; she liked dating there… but eventually, she realized that "culturally, it wasn't for me. It was time to go to the West Coast." As a work-at-home business assistant, Janice was able to pick and choose where to live, so in June of 2011, she settled on fog-bound Santa Cruz, CA. "I'm having two or three dates every weekend," she says. "I did feel that I would probably meet more people here who would share my values and who I'd want to have fun with, and that has definitely worked out!" Going on all those dates have helped Formichella familiarize herself with her new surroundings, too. "Dating in a new place can be scary, but very fun. It's a great way to meet new people and find romance, and also a great way to learn about your new area."

Wait… or just date?
Should you take time to choose new kitchen curtains and figure out the best place in town to get your daily latte, or should you just start dating? "It depends," says Charly Emery, a relationship coach in Calabasas, CA, who blogs online at "Some people cannot be ready for a relationship 10 years after they've broken up. Other people are ready for a relationship almost as soon as they're out of the one they've been in," she says. When asked which type she identifies with the
Also, research where the safe places are to meet people.
most, Emery puts herself squarely in the "other" category. The native Bostonian didn't let the double whammy of her divorce and utter unfamiliarity with the Southern California scene stop her from getting back out there and dating online a few years ago. Emery is currently engaged to her boyfriend, whom she met on in 2007. And don't forget your off-line strategies, says Julie Spira (, a Los Angeles author, blogger and public speaker. "Introduce yourself to your neighbors and let them know that you're single," she suggests. "Find clubs and activities that match your interests and join them."

Profiling your new town
If you're tempted to post an online dating profile to look for matches before you've even started packing, Ventker suggests that you stop and think before you type. "Before putting up a profile, get the city's vibe. Get the newspapers and magazines from where you are going. Also, research where the safe places are to meet people. Women especially should pick coffee shops and restaurants with a lot of lights. I wouldn't do the night thing until I get a feel for the safe places in a city." That way, you'll be confident and comfortable when you're ready to meet up with someone in person. "You should overhaul your online dating profile every few months," Spira adds. "This is especially the case when you're moving to a new city. Add some recent photos and start your 'About Me' section with something like, "I've just relocated from Chicago and am new in town."

Head-over-heels overseas
Moving abroad isn't for everyone, but for the right sort of person, it could be just the ticket. Shortly after stepping off a plane from Toronto in 2003, Justin Tsang had his first first date in Guangzhou, China. "I couldn't speak any Chinese and she couldn't speak any English, so that pretty much died on the first night," he recalls. But Tsang persevered by learning Cantonese, and in 2008, he met a fellow English teacher from China named Ella. The couple plan to wed in October 2011. "Try to bone up on the culture as much as you can [beforehand] and while you are here to understand how people work. And try to pick up some of the language," advises Tsang. "Especially in daily life, knowing the language is essential."

Going the distance
Former president George H.W. Bush celebrated his 80th birthday by going skydiving, proving that a rambling life filled with adventures isn't just for younger folks. Business consultant Timothy Carroll was a spritely 67 years old when he moved from Tampa to Atlanta in 2004, partly to escape a failed relationship. Soon afterward, Carroll (who originally hails from Britain) met a lovely widow from Texas. The two married in 2005. "It's the same exercise whether you're marketing yourself or whether you're marketing a business: You've got to get out there," says Carroll, whose wife, Yvonne, convinced him to collect similar stories of late-in-life love for his book, Don't Ever Give Up on Love: True Stories of Senior Romances. Counsels the gregarious Carroll: "You'll enjoy life more if you take that first brave step."

Kent Miller is currently writing a comic young adult novel. His articles have appeared in Nintendo Power magazine, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The San Francisco Chronicle and The St. Petersburg Times (Florida).
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