12 Reasons Why Dating in Detroit Is Different Than Anywhere Else
If you’re gonna go to one of Detroit’s sweet outdoor movie screenings, or do anything else cool this summer, you’re gonna need someone to go with. But before you swipe right, you better make sure you’ve got the right date, but be warned: it might not be easy. Here's why dating in Detroit is unlike dating in any other city...
Everyone knows everyone...
Detroit has a longer memory than the North in GoT, and everyone in Detroit knows everyone in Detroit so your next breakup has every chance of becoming a public fiasco involving overlapping social circles and people you only know through Facebook coming up to you at Great Lakes Coffee to ask you about it.
... but there is a solution
Even though you might not like it: date someone from the suburbs. It's seriously like dating someone from another country. They know and care nothing about your silly little city drama, and no one in the city knows who they are because "ew, suburbs." But hey, at least they’ve got a few good restaurants out there.
Everyone in your social circle has probably had sex with everyone else in your social circle
That cool new guy/girl you're really into? He’s/she’s dated someone you know. Sorry, but Detroit’s a small city -- you're just going to have to deal with it.
Your date’s job isn’t that cool
The "new economy" careers in social entrepreneurship, tech startups based in coworking spaces, and freelance consulting that have been exploding in Detroit as of late have made it very difficult to figure out just what exactly your date does for a living. The most obvious answer is usually the correct one: parental sponsorship.
Most of your dates will probably involve sports...
This is unavoidable, but no one's complaining. The girls here love the local teams just as much as the guys, and thanks to consistently championship-caliber national teams, the minor league Detroit City FC and the recreational Detroit City Futbol League, and fowling, a sport we just went ahead and made up, there’s stuff going on just about 365 days a year. A Tigers game on Tuesday, fowling on Friday, a DCFC game on Saturday, and disc golf on Belle Isle on Sunday -- this is your first week of dating. And if that doesn’t sound good, you're probably in the wrong city.
... and beer
If you don't like beer you are definitely in the wrong city. And state. And region. Probably country. Okay seriously, why do you even live here? Michigan is the Great Beer State for damn good reasons and a perfect date here might just mean a Midtown brewpub/beer bar crawl of Motor City Brewing Works, Traffic Jam & Snug, Jolly Pumpkin, and HopCat. And then going to the game.
We all owe Quicken a debt of gratitude
Bless you, Quicken, and the endless stream of starry-eyed 20-somethings you bring into the city "to make a difference." To paraphrase Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused, the best thing about Quicken employees is that we keep getting older and they keep staying the same age. Also, the presence of the Quickenstanites has vastly improved Detroit's overall attractiveness factor (they even shower!). Say what you will about Dan Gilbert, but you can't deny that the dating scene got a whole lot brighter once he started shipping these people in by the busload.
Coastal transplants: we love them, until we hate them
Oh, you're from New York? Cool! Oh, you only lived there for, like, six months? Okay, well... still kinda cool. Oh, you're originally from here, moved to New York, couldn't hack it there, and moved back here when the tide was high so that you could "make a difference" and "be a part of something," and "get in on the ground floor" of this "blank slate" city? BYE.
Cycling: also a big deal
Correction to the above first week of dating: Slow Roll on Monday, Tigers game Tuesday, etc. In the last five years Detroit went from a bunch of angry fat slobs to... well, at least we’re not quite so fat anymore. You and your date both own cars but nowadays you will probably never use them but for the occasional trip North of 8 Mile and the annual summer sabbatical to Up North. Detroit bike city!
People here totally work out now, what?!?!
Seriously, this list would have looked a lot different five years ago. Cycling is a thing. Running is a thing. Soccer is a thing. CrossFit is a thing. Related: healthy eating and juicing is a thing. Ten years ago, none of these were things. It's really amazing anyone survived long enough to reproduce, honestly. So now people are active and health-conscious and what this means is that your cute face and sparkling personality alone are not going to cut it anymore. Sorry.
But showering has yet to catch on
There has been so much progress here with personal health and fitness that you would think personal hygiene would follow. Alas, it has not. That bartender in your favorite Corktown/Midtown/Hamtramck dive whose hair looks like it's always wet? It's not wet.
We've got the best freaks and geeks North of New Orleans
Detroit, let's not forget: this is the home of techno. Of the Dirty Show. Of the Marche du Nain Rouge. Of Theatre Bizarre. Yes we have all of the various archetypes you'll find in every other major city -- hipster, tech bro, urban farmer/social activist, yoga pant-wearing socialite -- but if you're into any kind of "alternative lifestyle," Detroit has just the right kind of weirdo soulmate for you. The national narrative may have shifted from doom and gloom to pseudo-Silicon Valley, but the "Keep Detroit Weird" crowd is still very much here. And weird. Just don't go looking for them in Quickenstan.
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