Growing up in a small town or city surely has its benefits: Knowing your neighbours and becoming friends with them, perusing the streets and feeling safe, and seemingly being connected to everyone in some way or another. But how does living in a smaller community affect the dating scene? Well, unlike New York, LA, or even Toronto dating around in a small city is sure to make headlines and your past is never to be forgotten. Here are five things people who live in a small city know to be true about dating.
1. There are no secrets
Small cities thrive on gossip. Since most people know (or know of) each other it’s especially easy for even the smallest details of a new relationship to get leaked into the community. Of course, demographics play a part, so fifteen year olds might not necessarily know about the latest gossip in the 40-year-old circles but you can probably bet it won’t be that different. “Did you hear John made-out with Mary last weekend?” “No way, last I heard she was dating George!” You know how it goes; nothing is sacred in the dating world when you live in a small city.
2. Everyone dates each other
It is definitely not unheard of to find yourself in a relationship with someone who dated a friend of yours a few years ago. It’s even more likely that you have hooked-up with a few (or many) of the same people as your friends and acquaintances. Those who grow up in a small city know that the dating/hook-up pool is limited and when you find yourself running into the same people at the bar every weekend, sooner or later you might find yourself in a drunken stupor with your tongue down the throat of someone your friend kissed last weekend. Those who have become accustomed to this “sharing” culture prefer not to focus on the less-than-seven degrees of separation (more like one or two degrees) that connect everyone in the city’s bodily fluids.
3. Your past may come back to haunt you
As mentioned in point #1, there are not many secrets in a small town. This means that anything you partake in will most likely never stay buried for long. Since people like to talk, you can be sure that whatever indiscretions you found yourself a part of a few years ago will be brought up to the new guy that you are really into at the moment. Don’t worry though, if he too is from the same city he most likely already knows about your shady hook-up in the back of the bar in 2006. It’s best to just laugh it off and remember that he too has a past that could haunt him.
4. It’s impossible to sneak around
Adulterers beware. Small cities are not the place to involve yourself in affairs outside of your relationship (not that you should actually consider it if you live in a bigger city). Although small cities may have different restaurants, bars, or cool locales to take the person you are cheating with to don’t for a second doubt that you won’t see someone you know. You could even be out for coffee with your cousin from Australia and people will take notice that it’s not your mate (or someone familiar). Next thing you know, your partner hears from his friend, who heard from his co-worker, who was told by her hairdresser than you were out for a drink with a strange man on Saturday at 6pm. Yup, as mentioned earlier, gossip is more prominent in small towns than common sense.
5. It’s Easy
Besides all the drama that may come with dating in a small town, at the end of the day it’s a pretty cool experience. Not only is it really great to live in close proximity to each other but dating someone that you may have crossed paths with for years invokes really great conversation. The fact that you may have many friends in common is something you don’t always find in bigger cities. It’s easier to start a relationship with someone you have things in common with, and if you grew up in the same town then it’s likely you share a few of the same stories or experiences. You’ll also know at least some of the same people which can help make group dates way less awkward. So, even though it may seem like dating in a small city can be a drag, it’s actually really awesome (even cooler if you find something lasting). The key to doing it right is to be open with each other, remember that the past is the past, and to not be a sneaky partner. Ultimately, these are all things people should be doing regardless of the size of the city they live.
Just a small town girl,
The Love Hawk