What's a good town for a single man in his late 30s...
September 22, 2013 7:20 PM   Subscribe

What's a non-US city that might be especially good for a 38-year old divorced straight male looking to meet a woman and settle down? Much more specific details inside.

After getting back into dating, I feel like Rip Van Winkle. Help.

I live in a small town in the mid-Atlantic US. It's a progressive college town and every woman I've met for the purpose of dating is much more into sex and self-discovery / indulgence than relationships. The women I'm meeting almost have what I'd call a frat-boy approach to pursuing (mostly physical) relationships. Even as a younger man, that wasn't really something I pursued, nor did any female friends for that matter. When I got divorced a couple years back, it felt like a lot had changed. I realize I sound old.

I'm not old fashioned by nature, though. I like pretty unconventional music and art, travel, good fiction. My tastes are fairly liberal and youthful. I'm an atheist and a little eccentric but considered well liked. But I feel like I've reconsidered my value system in the last couple years. Sex is fine, but I'm looking for something genuine in which both parties are comfortable being vulnerable, sharing feelings openly, valuing a monogamous partnership, etc.

Part of this is colored by the fact I really miss my wife, her sweetness and the mutual understanding we had. Unfortunately she realized after a few years that being married was not for her. Anyway, I still believe in longer term commitment. I would like to have that closeness and honesty again and I don't feel like pursuing it in my own community anymore. I have always wanted to live abroad for a longer term anyway and would like to meet people less jaded or self-indulgent as everyone I seem to be meeting.

I'm looking for suggestions for towns and communities that are still a little more traditional, BUT, someone with my tastes and sensibilities wouldn't be completely out of place. Thank you.

(FWIW, I'm not looking for feedback about why my perspective might be wrong or skewed. Just recommendations from people have experienced places firsthand that might fit the criteria).
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (37 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's difficult not to give you feedback as I am a divorced (now happily remarried) female just a few years older than you, in the US (super vapid LA, to be exact!) and I have lots of female friends among my peers looking for the same as you! In short, I know what the characteristic you're complaining of is about (you're not entirely wrong) and I can also tell immediately that, regardless) you need to stop putting your ex on a pedestal because that is a "Grade A Turn-Off" for serious relationship minded women.

Nobody wants to compete with a potential partner's past. Trust me.

That said.....

Auckland or Wellington NZ? Los Angeles and NYC are also great places to find relationships.

I've just listed 4 cities with more eligible women than men. I bet there's more out there in this big world.

You're right! Sometimes a simple change of scenery can do wonders:))

Go find out!!
posted by jbenben at 8:01 PM on September 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have not been there myself, but from everything I have heard, you want Poland. Polish girls are very traditional compared to other Europeans and they are generally more religious, which can be a good proxy for traditional values, but might conflict with your atheism. Everything I have heard about Polish girls still living in Poland (from PUA types but also from non-PUA men and women who have visited) suggest they are sweet, feminine, and good girlfriend/wife material. The Polish girls and women I have met in the US have also been on the whole sweet and feminine. I'm going to get skewered for this by other commenters, but if you'd like to narrow down Polish cities that you might like to visit, try RooshV's forum posts on Poland, or his blog posts on Poland, Poznan seems like the best city if you're looking for a sweet girl and not just an easy lay. This is just data, you don't have to be a PUA type to learn something from it and I am not suggesting you are a PUA or that PUAs are anything but despicable people.
posted by sockpuppetofexistentialconfusion at 8:01 PM on September 22, 2013


What age women have you been trying to date? If you have been pursuing mainly college-aged women (early 20s), then you will have to go to very conservative, almost certainly religious communities to find a lot of women that age who want to settle down.

If you are looking in the 30+ set, then it would be helpful to know how you try to meet women (online, in bars, etc), since many single women that age are going to be interested in the same things as you and pointing you in the right direction is a matter of directing you to communities where those women use the same methods.
posted by schroedinger at 8:04 PM on September 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have a Ukranian neighbor you'd love. My own husband is from Alexandria, Egypt.

You might find the values you are looking for in a US city with a diverse cultural population - no need to become an ex-pat!
posted by jbenben at 8:05 PM on September 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a progressive college town and every woman I've met for the purpose of dating is much more into sex and self-discovery / indulgence than relationships
Are you dating women your own age (38) or younger college students (19-24)?
posted by blueberry at 8:07 PM on September 22, 2013 [18 favorites]


Roosh is a serious misogynist and a terrible person to be taking any kind of advice from on this score. You absolutely do not need to go someplace where women are going to fawn over you just because you're perceived as being a well-off American. I'm sure you have qualities that make you worth being with for your own sake. Don't sell yourself short like that. That kind of attitude treats women from poorer countries like chattel, but it also treats men like they have no redeeming qualities, which is just plain silly.

It is also definitely possible to find women in their 30s who are not into being Old and Boring yet but who have more stable ideas about relationships generally, which might help. These days, a lot of people are still figuring themselves out at that point. Pick someplace where you find the local culture interesting and you can go off and have an Adventure for purposes other than just wife-finding--and in the process either you will meet someone nice or you will have something way cooler to talk about when you get back to the US, you know? I mean, if you really find Poland fascinating, go to Poland, but I think you'll have better luck finding someone who suits you if you go to the place where you're personally in love with the food and the music and the architecture and whatever else. Nobody else can really tell you what that place is.
posted by Sequence at 8:31 PM on September 22, 2013 [35 favorites]


How long have you tried dating these women who are self-indulgent and only interested in sex? Because what you're looking for:
"Sex is fine, but I'm looking for something genuine in which both parties are comfortable being vulnerable, sharing feelings openly, valuing a monogamous partnership, etc."
sounds like the kind of relationship that really only develops with time. If you're looking for a new relationship that feels like the relationship you had with your wife right from the start, you're probably not going to find it. Comfort, trust and commitment take time to develop regardless of what country you're in.

Of course, some women will be interested in moving to being in a serious relationship faster than others; I'd second the recommendation above to date in your own age group or older. Are you open to dating women who have been divorced or who have children?
posted by MadamM at 8:40 PM on September 22, 2013 [19 favorites]


I'd say any major city where you can get a decent job. Recently divorced guy who is unemployed and just moved to town to meet women is not going to be nearly as successful at finding the love of his life as recently divorced guy who just moved to town for a great job and is meeting new people. I second those who have suggested major east or west coast cities. L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Orange County, Washington, D.C., Boston - all good places to meet lots of different people. As far as non-U.S. cities, I'd look for similar dynamics, but to really give a good suggestion, we'd have to know whether you're looking to meet and develop relationships with American expats or with locals in those places - and whether you speak the language. Rome, Paris, London, Tokyo, etc. are all great places with lots of cool people and their own interesting culture, but you're going to need a job and you're going to need to speak the language unless you're hoping to luck out and find just the perfect American girl who just happens to be there when you are and sparks fly (which, since you're not in a movie, isn't all that likely).
posted by The World Famous at 9:10 PM on September 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well, I keep getting told there's a man drought in Sydney. I have many gorgeous girlfriends in their 30s who despair of ever settling down. Apparently the 30/40 something men here think they hold all the cards and want to play the field forever - before finally settling down with a twenty something. So yeah, dating a man with a job whose looking for a wife is supposedly like striking gold. Note; I have no experience of dating in Sydney, this is just what I'm told and it seems to be accurate.
posted by Jubey at 9:52 PM on September 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Almost any part of Eastern Europe would work as would most of Latin America. You'd have to have a way to support yourself, though. Do you have a location independent job, large savings, or pension? It will be hard to move abroad without one of those three things.
posted by Gringos Without Borders at 10:03 PM on September 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


You also need to be able to stay legally in whatever country you choose. A job is a big part of that, but there are legal hurdles, as well.
posted by The World Famous at 10:12 PM on September 22, 2013


Honestly, you're going to be able to find smart, attractive women in their thirties looking for a long-term relationship in most places where most people don't automatically get married in their late teens. Whether or not they're interested in dating you is harder to work out, but I'm sure you know that! You're also going to find women looking to play the field in most places, too, but that's life.

I would honestly focus on places that sound interesting to you, and go from there. You should probably be in a big, cosmopolitan city, rather than a small (even college) town, so that you'll have more artsy/cultural things to do, and more people to meet. Most larger European cities will fit this bill, but unless you have a EU passport or ridiculously in-demand skills, that'll be tough to pull off. I was struck by how dynamic and cosmopolitan Mexico City was when I was there.

Everything I have heard about Polish girls still living in Poland (from PUA types but also from non-PUA men and women who have visited) suggest they are sweet, feminine, and good girlfriend/wife material.

I would be wary of advice like this. When I lived in Thailand, I met quite a few white American guys who were looking for a Thai wife because of ideas like this, but it was based on a pretty serious misunderstanding of Thai culture and gender roles.
posted by lunasol at 10:33 PM on September 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


Well, I keep getting told there's a man drought in Sydney.
Same for Brisbane.

Have you tried... internet dating? It can allow you to be explicit about your relationship interests.
posted by Kerasia at 10:38 PM on September 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


How are you meeting these women? Unless you're really in the sticks I don't think location has much do with it compared to selection bias. Try internet dating, you can screen for people who are interested in the same thing that you are.

On preview: Nthed!
posted by smoke at 10:42 PM on September 22, 2013


i also don't think you need to move abroad to find a more down-to-earth woman. if you want to move abroad go for it, but i wouldn't pick a city based on the female prospects alone. like others have said you need to consider the job opportunities, how easily you can learn the language, what the culture is like, etc.

in any major city in the US or abroad just try volunteering in something you have a passion for or get involved in activities you truly enjoy. people who volunteer regularly will likely be more down-to-earth and hopefully not so self-focused. as others have said date women in your own age range and i have no doubt you will find women who want to settle down for the long term. throwing the spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks works with pasta but not with looking for a marriage partner. you will probably have to put in some focused effort to find what you want. if you do internet dating then pick sites that more marriage-minded people frequent.
posted by wildflower at 11:33 PM on September 22, 2013


Costa Rican women seem to like American husbands, but you'd probably need to be willing to permanently settle there as most aren't interested in moving away from their extended families. You can get a resident permit relatively easily if you can deposit $60k into a Costa Rican bank account for your living expenses (you will be required to convert $1k/month into the local currency and then after 5 years can apply for citizenship).

But first, I suggest checking eHarmony.com (one of the more marriage-oriented dating sites) for your local area before moving. You could also use it as a tool to help you evaluate what your prospects might be for other cities you're considering.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:50 PM on September 22, 2013


It's a progressive college town and every woman I've met for the purpose of dating is much more into sex and self-discovery / indulgence than relationships. The women I'm meeting almost have what I'd call a frat-boy approach to pursuing (mostly physical) relationships.

Don't date college girls.
posted by empath at 2:30 AM on September 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


Your problem is that you are looking for a long-term relationship - but at the same time you are looking to form one in a foreign city where you will be a short-term visitor (certainly, at first). Since both "where should I live" and "who should I seek as a partner" are significant questions, I think you would benefit from considering them independently.

To prepare for the "city" aspect of your question you need to consider it from a much wider perspective than what sort of women you might find. Are you going to go as a tourist, try to stay a little longer (via a course or temporary work contract) or are you going for somewhere that can offer you permanent residency from the get go? Are you looking to marry a local so as to gain your residency? What sort of qualities are you looking for in the city other than its women - climate, employment, culture, language, etc. Do you have one place - or are there a short-list you would like to investigate? To prepare for the dating aspect, I'd echo the others who advise you to write a profile and put it on a dating site - and then refine it as necessary. You can also search for women located in the places you are interested in.

You are asking some questions which imply taking some brave steps. That is great - and don't let the qualifications listed by me or anybody else put you off. People do move abroad in search of adventures and end up in great relationships with those they meet there all the time.
posted by rongorongo at 2:35 AM on September 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Before you pull up stakes and move, try internet dating.

There isn't one place where the population of women is more traditional or looking for what you want. From what I'm reading, you're only looking for one woman. One person with whom you want to make a connection.

Well, that's not geographical and it's not cultural.

I met Husbunny in a chat room. We were on-line friends for a year or so before we ever dated. We connected through mutual interests, that turned into a deeper connection as well.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:12 AM on September 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Folks, OP specifically asked for non-US cities.

My suggestion would be to consider a northern UK city like Leeds. Somewhat traditional but also sufficiently liberal/cosmopolitan, at least in parts. Also a big college city.
posted by Decani at 6:39 AM on September 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


OP, I am within a year of your age and suspect that I am of a very similar mind of you regarding such matters.

My most fundamental piece of advice would be that if you are going to go abroad, you cannot just show up on a tourist visa, hang out for a few months and be done. If you decide that, say, want to marry a Ukrainian, your idea needs to be that you are going to live in Ukraine for a least a few years and be open to living there indefinitely.

As for me, I was you by the time I was in my early 20s. I knew that when I moved to Japan, I would be finding a wife. But, I had already studied the language for a number of years and it was not my sole reason for going. I had also already lived there before so I had some sense of what I was getting into. Lastly, I was open to staying there indefinitely. And, it has been great. We've been married 12 years next month. In general, I found dating in Japan to be a much better experience than in the US. In Japan, I prefer the Kansai area. Kyoto, Osaka, or Kobe would be my picks. Another boon would be that your atheism would not be a particular obstacle.

Beyond that, if you would rather outsource your search, there is a booming trade of marriage brokers in Russia, Eastern Europe, and other locales. That is something you can pursue as well. But, I think the advice of the previous paragraph still applies. If you are going to marry a Russian, you need to love Russian culture and learning Russian is definitely on the table.

I do not know why everyone is assuming that you are dating college age women just because you said you are in a college town. In either event, that is something that you get to do. And frankly, if you wish to have children, the advice that you date women your age or older doesn't make very much sense.

I have some more thoughts that I would be happy to share over MeMail if you would like.
posted by Tanizaki at 6:44 AM on September 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not trying to question your premise - I swear.

But I'm not sure you're being well served by this idea that there's something in the water in your town that makes all the women frisky and commitment-phobic, and you'll fix that by moving to a different place.

I think moving to a new city is a fine idea. New start in a place that doesn't remind you of the past you need to put behind you, and all that. But I think you'll have better luck if you can tease that idea out from the "having trouble meeting the right woman" idea because I don't buy that it's something about your town. As others have said, I think it's more how you're meeting women.

I note that from the other things you tell us about yourself, you seem pretty comfortable in your progressive college town, and would probably miss a lot of things about it if you ended up in some rural conservative backwater someplace. So if you find yourself in a similar kind of city someplace else, I'm not sure the women would be all that different from where you are now.

Again, I think the kind of women you're looking for are out there where you are now. Moving to a new place would solve one of your problems, but by itself I don't think it's going to solve the other as you expect.

Second the suggestion to look online. It's much easier for people there to self-select into different categories by what they're looking for. You might be surprised at how many women your age are looking for just what you're looking for.

(Of course if you're going to move to another country, you probably want to do that first. "Say, want to relocate to New Zealand?" is an awkward thing to bring up on a third date.)
posted by Naberius at 6:54 AM on September 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Women from latin america are very traditional and relationship oriented. Also, culturally, these countries are closer to the US than most of Europe or other countries. Learn a little spanish and go see what you've been missing.
posted by eas98 at 7:21 AM on September 23, 2013


Ugh, reading some of these answers as a Latina makes me feel sort of sick. There is no one place where all the women will be one way, and statements about Latin American/other post-colonial culture's 'traditionalism' always read to me like a less explicitly sexist veneer for some seriously misogynist and racist ideals about non-Western women, namely that we are subservient and happy to be kept 'barefoot and pregnant' by white men. Date women close in age to you, whether in your city or somewhere else, and only move to these countries if you have a genuine interest in the culture of the place you're moving, not as simply a location for finding a wife.
posted by Papagayo at 8:35 AM on September 23, 2013 [64 favorites]


Please don't move to another country because of racist crap about "the women here are so much traditional and submissive, unlike slutty American women." I can guarantee that A) the women there are unimpressed by men with that attitude, B) you are projecting some weird stuff from your ex-wife on entire groups of people, and C) moving to another country is far more difficult than you think.

So here's a better idea: Move to a city in the South.
posted by dekathelon at 9:05 AM on September 23, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm nthing what most people above have written about the one who calls himself "Roosh." I have less than zero interest in "picking up" girls, but often stumble across his odious books when searching for travel literature relating to Eastern Europe on Amazon. (Example: search for Estonia, and on page 1 there'll be "How To Bang Estonian Girls" by Roosh.) If that's the kind of generalising and objectifying role model you aspire to, then with all due respect, you deserve all the dry spells you get.

Having said that, I understand where you're coming from, even if I don't agree. The most fulfilling relationship I ever had was long-distance with a girl from Indiana (I'm in the UK). The relationship itself was pleasant and nothing special - but the adventure of knowing someone in a different country, being there, experiencing life there with her, her friends and family was what made it so special to me and even though it's over, it's an experience I'll always treasure and would like to repeat one day - probably with someone from a different country.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to pursue a relationship specifically with someone from another culture or country to your own - it's perfectly natural to seek something new and interesting and exotic, especially if it's a country you already have an interest in for other reasons (if you love the language, the music, the food or whatever). But please, please approach it from the point of view of wanting to get to know her and her culture, not going after a caricature of Girls from Country X as being submissive, sexy, good in bed or whatever else gobshites like Roosh want to say. Good luck!
posted by winterhill at 10:16 AM on September 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have you already lived overseas? Do you speak any foreign languages?

Living "abroad" (I'll get back to the scare quotes) and learning foreign languages are things you need to want to do in and of themselves, for themselves. If you are 38 and have not done that yet (you say live abroad for a "longer term", so maybe you've traveled?), and plan to do it mainly to find a wife... that way lies a slew of complications. As others have mentioned, it is not a piece of cake to live overseas. You need income (either loads of savings or a job), a work permit, housing; none of those things are simple. Really. They are not simple. If, for instance, housing can seem complicated in the States, multiply that by two. You will be a foreigner and treated as such.

As pertains to finding a long-term, committed relationship while living overseas, the fact that you call it "living abroad" as opposed to "moving" or "immigrating" somewhat implies that you may not have thought this through entirely. You say you don't want feedback about how your perspective may be skewed, but it's hard not to point out that your perspective is indeed missing some key components that would help you make more informed and fulfilling choices. If you want an equal partner, you need to view her as an equal: she too will have her own desires for work, residence, family, etc. If you go into a relationship with the unspoken (even perhaps unrealized on your part) expectation that any woman you find will eventually move back to the States with you, you may very well be looking at another divorce in the future. And it will be a very hairy international one, especially if children are involved.

As far as specific cities or countries are concerned, that's, yeah, kind of an odd question. Humans are human the world over. I don't want to sound dismissive, it's just that culture and our perception of it are very much shaped by what is in our own heads. For instance, I am French. Ooh, seductive, traditional yet spirited, classy, great taste, blablabla... this is exactly what a man went out with me for (in his words, apart from the "blabla"). The stereotype. Not the actual person I am, who, y'know, happened to have been born and raised in Oregon USA. Do your stereotypes of Oregonians mesh well with those of Frenchwomen? Yeah. Didn't think so. That's the thing, stereotypes tend to be self-fulfilling prophecies, up until the reality they've been covering up gets too big to ignore any longer and you discover that, no, you're dealing with an individual. Look for an individual, who has the qualities you'd like. Don't take the opposite tack and look for a culture that seems to have the qualities you'd like – every culture has the qualities you like. Because they consist of groups of humans. Individuals are as diverse as the world is round. You will find French people who hate wine (I know several) and Americans who hate ketchup. Et cetera ad infinitum.

Aside from that, I too got the sneaking sense that you were dating younger women. Try your own age group! Can't hurt, after all.
posted by fraula at 10:28 AM on September 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Though it's there already, I'd like to emphasize that you should think of where you tend to meet women. Parties, bars and some (not all) dating sites are rarely good places to meet someone who wants to commit. Meeting people through a common interest or volunteering is much sounder.
If you are American, I think immigration will be very tough for you, and you might want to reconsider that. One thing is visiting places as a student or a tourist, immigration is a whole other thing.
posted by mumimor at 11:52 AM on September 23, 2013


(A thought: if you are in fact dating girls in their early/mid-twenties in a progressive college town...well, I know a couple of guys about your age who date much younger women, and the type of much younger women who want to date a substantially older guy is precisely "women who are looking for something casual with someone who is outside their usual social circles or has some other interesting characteristic". If you really want to marry a much younger woman (and you don't have family money and would like something approaching a mutual and egalitarian relationship) I would actually suggest places where youngish women are starting careers. A woman who is 26 or 27 and has a starter-but-serious professional job is much more likely to be looking to settle down than a woman who is still finishing her degree, deciding about graduate school or unsure where she'll end up once she gets a job offer. Progressive college towns aren't career-prospects towns for most young people; they're places you plan on leaving. A motivated woman who wants a job and some ability to take care of herself isn't going to consider settling down in a place where her job prospects will be poor before she's even had a shot at a career. And a lot of young women are going to think "many marriages end in divorce; I need to establish my own career so that I can take care of myself if my partner splits on me". That's not something you can do in a town where your adult job prospects are "work for the college" or "wait tables".

So anyway - I wouldn't suggest a city where women are "traditional", because that's pretty gross. I'd suggest a city - regardless of nation - where there are lots of women who have started to build their careers, know what they want to do and are committed to staying in one place for a while.

Also - and I say this as someone who is rising forty myself - remember that you are rising forty. That's not decrepit, but we're not young anymore. You may be tempted to try to date someone substantially younger because when you were dating you were younger, or because someone younger seems to have less baggage, or because it's a way to ignore some of the emotional challenges of aging and the pain of a lost relationship. This is in my experience not actually a very good idea.
posted by Frowner at 7:29 AM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


...every woman I've met for the purpose of dating is much more into sex and self-discovery / indulgence than relationships

It's worth considering whether the problem here is the women or your selection choices. Maybe you're putting out some signals that keep attracting these women. Maybe you're looking in the wrong places. Who knows, but figure out whether this is a you problem or local community problem before you wandering off to another country.

in short, do you want to move to another country specifically to find a woman more your type or do you want find a woman more your type and figure that combining it with moving out of the US will be a bit more fun and possibly get you out of the town where memories of your ex-wife linger? Either one is fine, just make sure you know what you're looking for and why.

Finally, in my experience, every city has minor cities within it, where people of similar types live in or at move in socially. For instance, here in Savannah, there's a vibrant liberal and progressive community coexisting with a strong church going crowd. Even in the church crowd, there's evangelical Southern Baptists and progressive Unitarians. I bring this up to mention that what your'e looking for may be close than you think. Food for thought? That's up to you. Either way, good luck!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:58 AM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Prague? Krakow? Budapest? I am not sure of your background but these cities might offer what you seek.
posted by 99percentfake at 9:39 AM on September 24, 2013


I think you are getting a lot of (in my opinion) unfounded criticism in this thread. Nowhere have you even suggested that you wanted to date very young college girls. You have interests that are generally more liberal, you live in a college town, and so you are going to be associating with a lot of college-aged people naturally. That could mean anyone from an 18 year-old freshman to a 30-something grad student. Absolutely nothing wrong with that!

I know several college students who are NOT looking to add to their sexual scorecars (and whose scorecards would be very low if they had them, which they don't). Point is, yes, there are young women out there with the same relationship values you have.

How to meet THOSE women is your problem. I would guess you aren't just hanging out at the local college, so where you ARE meeting women requires adjustment. You get that. I think leaving the country is an over-reaction, though. Slow down a bit. That's always a option, but are there others less extreme?

Online dating is not a bad idea. It does not have to be impersonal or robotic, if that's what worries you. You don't have to be tech-savvy, either. You just set up a profile. You can highlight what IS important to you--music, travel, liberal political and religious views--and what you are looking for in a partner. This is just a way to help you meet similar people. Once you meet them, how it goes from there is up to you. OKCupid or EHarmony are the major internet dating sites, I think.

And, another point to consider is that you may meet someone online you like who IS overseas, and then you can go meet them in person. That has got to be better than randomly throwing a dart at some country on a map (or asking people on the Internet).
posted by misha at 11:42 AM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are liberal women looking to settle down everywhere. However, in most western countries, those women will be in their late 20s and older, and in non-western countries, they will generally be relatively young. And being young, they are going to look more toward men in their own age cohort, unless you've got something they really want (such as money or a potential visa). There is also often a perception that American=rich. Tread very carefully in these waters.

Anecdote: my uncle married someone much younger from our native country. He thought he'd retire peacefully in a lower cost of living area with his new bride. Instead, she convinced him to take her back to his Scandinavian country. It's been pretty miserable since the paperwork became official. And this is with the advantage of shared language and culture. Please try to understand the social and economic climate you're entering before you make a decision.
posted by snickerdoodle at 1:49 PM on September 24, 2013


I live in a small town in the mid-Atlantic US. It's a progressive college town and every woman I've met for the purpose of dating is much more into sex and self-discovery / indulgence than relationships. The women I'm meeting almost have what I'd call a frat-boy approach to pursuing (mostly physical) relationships. Even as a younger man, that wasn't really something I pursued, nor did any female friends for that matter. When I got divorced a couple years back, it felt like a lot had changed. I realize I sound old.

I lived in a progressive college town as both a student and a townie and I think your problem is probably the college town, not the US, per se. The ladies I knew in my town who were over 30 were all kinda bohemian and free-spirited. College towns are attractive because they are cheap and liberal and it's easy to, like, wait tables while doing sculpture and running your own dance studio. In my experience, those ladies weren't really looking to settle down. Many of the other 30s ladies I knew had moved as part of two-body academic couples and weren't in the dating pool. On the whole, if you wanted to settle down, dating for townies seemed more limited than you would expect from the size of the town.

I think you would do fine in a bigger metro area in the US. I thought of Denver while reading your question.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 4:34 PM on September 24, 2013


There's a whole English-speaking country that shares a land border with the US with all sorts of cities where you could meet women. Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver.

It's not really all that different from the US, but if all you want is a different country it's right there waiting for you.
posted by GuyZero at 8:56 PM on September 24, 2013


I know you're an atheist but the best possible place to meet women with the values you're seeking is probably a church really. So maybe a Unitarian church? The people there are very nice and not excessively bearded-invisible-man-in-the-sky.

Also, in my experience going to new places can be fun and eye opening, but you still bring yourself wherever you go. The transformation has to happen *before* you leave for there to be a real change.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:23 AM on September 25, 2013


I live in a small-ish liberal college town in the U.S. and I want to echo Snarl Furillo and Frowner. I am not surprised that you're finding a lot of women who are uninterested in settling down or having a serious relationship, even if you're dating women significantly older than undergrads--these types of areas attract a lot of people looking for a specific lifestyle that allows them a lot of personal freedom (along many axes), and that definitely affects what types of relationship that they are looking for. Not that you can't find women who are looking for what you are, but the proportion may be lower than average and I could see that being frustrating.

I don't have great suggestions about non-U.S. cities, because I think the cultural and particularly language differences may present just as large of an obstacle as what you're facing now in terms of finding an emotionally-intimate relationship, but I'd encourage you consider whether moving a larger U.S. city where ambitious / career-oriented women tend to congregate would get you a larger dating pool of what you're looking for. The big east coast cities qualify (D.C., New York, Boston, etc.) but if you're looking for a real change of pace from small mid-Atlantic college town you might be really happy in Seattle or San Francisco or Denver too. Different enough culturally to perhaps scratch the itch of a total change in scenery without actually leaving the country, plus a lot more (probably liberal) women of all ages who are looking for serious, committed relationships with lots of emotional connection rather than just dating for fun or sex.

Also, as someone who moved from the east coast back west in the past couple of years, I'd definitely say that on average, the further west you head in the U.S., the less jaded people get. (Self-indulgence is probably cured by getting out of a college town.) By the time you get to California you're running into a lot of people who are downright painfully earnest.
posted by iminurmefi at 12:07 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


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