Sunday, February 17, 2013

Allentown, PA: Where the Single Men Are/Where are the Single Men?

According to Jed Kolko at The Atlantic Cities, the Lehigh Valley and nearby NJ municipalities has one of the best male/female ratios (in favor of women) in the country.

The number of men living alone per woman living alone is 1.19, and that does not include anyone over 65 or the gay and lesbian population. That's pretty close to Silicon Valley (1.23) and Las Vegas (1.34)!
"To figure out where the gender ratio is most skewed in each direction, we went right to the data. We know from our consumer survey about love and housing that not all singles are equally in demand, at least when it comes to dating. Among unmarried adults, 62 percent prefer to date someone who lives alone; only 14 percent prefer to date someone who lives with other people. Perhaps living alone sends the right signal about independence and availability – or perhaps living alone just makes dating easier (does anyone really want to hear their mom ask, "Honey, can I make you and your friend some pancakes?").
Whatever the reason, we get it: so we looked at the ratio of men living alone to women living alone in order to assess the dating scene."
If that's the case, why do so many women complain about not meeting good guys in this area? 

I have a few theories, so here are my sweeping generalizations.
A lot of single men who are FROM the Lehigh Valley are tight with their families and friends from growing up. Come Friday night, you will find them hanging out with the same crowd as always, either at somebody's house or at a neighborhood watering hole. They aren't meeting you, fabulous female transplant, because you are checking out the new hookah bar with your girlfriends. Want to meet these guys? Get in with co-workers or friends-of-friends who are from the Valley, and ask them to introduce you to their high school friends.

A lot of single men who are NEW to the Lehigh Valley roll with their co-workers. That means their day and night life is shared by the same small group of people. I have observed this among people I've met who work at a number of large and small companies in the Valley. If they moved to the area for the job, the first people they met and spent time with were co-workers, who in many cases were also transplants. They travel a lot to see old friends and family. They also tend to have fewer roots in the area, and are more likely to want to "move back home" at some point, or plan to leave for the big city soon. Want to meet these guys? Put up an online dating profile, chat up the guy in the line for the Bieber bus to NYC or Philly on a Friday night, pick him up in the produce section at Wegman's on a weeknight, or ask your pals who work for large companies to invite you to their group's next happy hour. 

Then there's the population of single men who still live with their parents, who are not counted in this ratio but are similar to the native male type. They are extremely close with their families (obviously) and are probably driving a nice car. They may have very legitimate, practical reasons for living under their parents' roof - saving to buy a house, roommate got married, helping out their parents with bills/heavy items. Want to meet these guys? You'll find them at the gym, church, and private clubs (e.g. Northside Republican Club in Easton, Jeffersonian in Bethlehem, Pomfret Club in Easton). If you date this guy, you will likely "meet the parents" pretty early on, and if you want to play house, it will have to be at your place.


  1. As a formal single LV transplant, I support this blog post with an overwhelming AMEN.

    Also, THANK YOU for not outright suggesting a bar/nightclub.

  2. If you're going to a Lehigh Valley bar or nightclub, I wouldn't have any expectations about meeting your future husband or wife there. Though I hear it happens from time to time!

    Readers - Where did you and your coupled friends meet their significant others? I met my native guy at work!

  3. Anonymous11/20/2013

    I'm a single LV female in my mid-twenties. I've lived in the LV my entire life- but my best friends from high school are all married or otherwise seriously committed (literally all of them- male & female) so I struggle with meeting new single people to go out with! All of my closest friends (from the LV) met their significant others in high school or college.

  4. Anonymous4/23/2014

    As a guy in his early 20's, where do women go to meet people?