New In Town?

Think moving to a new area will leave you high and dry dating-wise? Hardly! Romance will be around every corner if you keep these points in mind.

By Amy Keyishian

retty much everyone who’s moved to a new town knows that butterfly-ish feeling you get that’s asking, in a nutshell, What now? Unfamiliar places and faces surround you, and if you’re single, it may be tempting to think, There’s no way I’m gonna find Mr./Mrs. Right here—I don’t even have a clue where the closest coffee shop is! While feeling doomed romantically is a common fear amongst new-in-towners, I’m here to say that, on the contrary, moving can be just the shot in the arm you need to achieve the best dating success in your life! Not convinced? Check out these surprising benefits below and how to make the most of them.

Surprising benefit #1: A big move can change your attitude
Sure, your old digs may have been comfortable and you knew your way around. But it probably also saddled you with a decent amount of relationship baggage over the years: Look, there’s that bar where my ex and I had our first kiss… that loser. Or, There aren’t any available women in that bar or, in fact, this entire town—believe me, I’ve looked everywhere. Thankfully, your new surroundings are a blank slate of sorts, one where you can start fresh with the type of attitude that may magically bring romantic potential out of
Announcing that you’re “new in town” (in person or in your profile) can bring out a potential mate’s “welcome wagon” gene.
the woodwork wherever you go. “This is what I call The Away-Game Theory,” says Evan Marc Katz, author of Why You’re Still Single. “Doesn’t everyone find it easier to hook up when they’re on vacation?” Being away from what’s expected, he says, “loosens you up to be yourself.” Tanya, 35, who moved from New York to Los Angeles, definitely found her fresh outlook helped jump-start her love life. “Since I had no expectations, I had no fear,” she explained. “Most people say LA is so lonely and shallow, but I’ve met tons and tons of creative, smart, ambitious guys who want to date me, more so than in New York. I’m dating much more. Maybe it’s because I’m much more open to different types of men than I was before.”

Surprising benefit #2: You’re forced to explore
It’s a simple matter of survival: You must explore new coffee shops, grocery stores, and farmers markets. You have to haunt furniture stores, hardware emporiums, and you’re bound to hit the local Home Depot. All prime places to open your eyes and see the cuties around you—and maybe ask for a little advice on how to prep for a paint job, perhaps. “Since you don’t have access to your old friends and routines, you pretty much have to put yourself out there and try new things and make new friends,” says David Hawkins, author of Nine Critical Mistakes Most Couples Make. Need some ideas? Sign up for the local Road Runner’s club, take a writing class, or just make it your mission to acquaint yourself with every restaurant in your new neighborhood. When Liesa, 31, moved to a small town in Pennsylvania, she went on a health kick and took on a bevy of new activities, from swimming to running to mountain biking. And that’s exactly how she connected with Doug at work. “I had been borrowing a bike,” she recalls. “I asked Doug for advice on buying a mountain bike, since he used to be an editor at a cycling magazine. He actually built one for me (that was so hot!), and then we started going on bike rides together. Now we’re engaged!”

Surprising benefit #3: You can play the “I’m new in town” card
Flirting experts often say your best tactic for meeting people is a conversation piece… and announcing that you’re new in town — in person or in your online dating profile — can bring out a potential mate’s “welcome wagon” gene and make for tons of easy icebreakers. “Tie your new-in-town announcement to something specific,” advises Katz.
Maybe the reason you’re still looking for The One is due in part to the fact that you were living in the wrong place—and are now in the right one.
“If you’re in LA, you could say, ‘I’m new in town, and I wanted to check out the Hollywood Bowl concert series—but it’s no fun picnicking by myself.’ That way, you’ve painted a picture of yourself and your interests and projected an air of likeable vulnerability.” Obviously, you don’t want to head off somewhere remote with a virtual stranger, but if a co-worker suggests getting a group together to go picnicking, you’re on your way to mingle-hood.

Surprising benefit #4: Your new pool of suitors may suit you better
When Jill, 38, took a look at her dating life, she saw a pattern: sweet Southern gal clashing with rude Yankees in New England, where she settled after college. Nobody treated her with what she saw as the necessary amount of respect. “I wasn’t asking for much,” she says. “I just wanted to be, you know, courted. Not treated like a buddy. Nobody had any manners.” That all changed the day Jill moved to Austin, TX. “I mean, men actually ask me if I would like to go out on a date,” she gushes. “They’re so nice. I absolutely love them. I mean, what is so hard about being polite?” Nothing, in her new town. The moral of the story? Maybe the reason you’re still looking for The One is due in part to the fact that you were living in the wrong place—and are now in the right one. Maybe you’re a small-town type at heart or, like Jill, prefer suave Southern gentlemen. The bottom line is, there’s nothing like change to open your eyes to new possibilities, and few things shake things up like moving to a new town. So get out there and enjoy it!

Amy Keyishian is a New York City-based writer who’s written for Cosmopolitan and other publications.
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