13 Reasons Why Dating Is Different in Pittsburgh

Want to date in Pittsburgh? Good luck finding someone you haven’t already dated! Just kidding (kind of), there are plenty of singles squashed inside the three rivers and lots of ‘Burgh-specific dating quirks to bolster the relationship-scouting game. These 13 things set our local dating scene apart from just about anywhere.

1. There are endless ways to impress your date on the cheap

Pittsburgh is nothing if not affordable. Quality culinary experiences can be had for as little as $40 for a pair and pretending to like opera can happen for as low as about $12 per ticket. Romance has never been so wallet-friendly.

2. Being dumped by a Steelers fan for not bleeding black and gold is inevitable

In some circles, if you can’t hang at a tailgate every Sunday, you are getting a pink slip. Bratwurst + beer + face paint = pretty intense mating.

3. You’re likely to come across more than a few Eskimo brothers/sisters

With a population of just over 300,000, this city is small enough that some dating crossover is bound to happen. Get ready for the “wait, how do you guys know each other?” conversations to happen real quick.

4. Every dating app has the exact same pool of singles looking for love

Like some weird alternate reality, every single dating site and app has the exact same singles on it. Match, eHarmony, OkCupid, Tinder -- you name it, every technology-bound single in the city is on it. In the ‘Burgh we look for love in ALL of the places.

5. Chivalry is not dead in the ‘Burgh

Pittsburghers are nice folk. Even when not on a date, we hold open doors and offer general kindness to strangers. This behavior extends to courting. Knights in shining armor aka yinzers in jeans and a T-shirt.

6. All single ladies are Pittsburgh Penguins fans and all single men are Pittsburgh Steelers fans

It's classic “look at me watching sports” looks that spring up relentlessly whilst swiping left and right on Tinder. The ladies exclusively in Penguins gear; the men sporting that football pride. Not a sports fan? See above.

7. Casual dating? What’s that?

No such thing as just “going out on dates” in this city. We love commitment and cannot get enough of Pittsburgh wedding cookie tables. Not looking to settle down? Prepare your awkward “we’ve only gone out two times, I’m not really into anything serious right now” speech.

8. The scenic places for your first couple selfie are plentiful

The city is so f’n beautiful, it is hard to not want to take photos of it constantly and then insert yourself and your new love. Couples giddily snap shots at the Point State Park fountain and on Mt. Washington’s overlooks. Instagram likes are going to stream in, y’all!

9. Searching for true love on the South Side is a lost cause

With a ludicrous number of bars, the South Side is known for debauchery. Trying to secure ever-lasting love while strangers puke on the sidewalk beside you is an up-hill battle. But let's get real, who hasn’t at least tried? 

10. Even if there are no figurative fireworks, there will be real fireworks

We shoot fireworks off of bridges, buildings, and from rivers. And we do it often. Like seriously always. Even if sparks aren’t flying between you and your date, you can just watch them Zambellis light up the sky.

11. Explaining why you live in your neighborhood is requisite first date material

Each Pittsburgh neighborhood has a distinct identity that prompts conversation and often defense. “I live in Lawrenceville in a fixer-upper, but I was there before it was cool.” “Shadyside, but I don’t go out there. It’s just such a central location for everything.” A mix of pride and shame is the appropriate response.

12. Pittsburgh’s 60 days of sunshine are prime mating times

When the weather is nice, Pittsburghers lose their minds. Everyone is outside, in kayaks, on bikes, and going crazy for love. This small window of time allows singles the chance to frolic in the warm weather with a new beau and show off those short shorts.

13. Craft cocktails & talking about pickling your garden harvest is the new dinner & a movie

With an influx of young and hip millennials taking the city by storm, finding yourself on a date with someone who is passionately committed to baking slow-rising bread, writing short fiction, and collecting vinyl is likely. Pittsburgh is like Portland; just better.

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Laura Zorch is a Pittsburgh-based writer. She met her husband on Tinder. It happens.