16 Reasons Dating in Portland Is Different Than Anywhere Else

People date in every city (at least we think they do, right?), and the whole process usually comes with certain expectations (dude, don't seem so eager for that third date), but in Portland you've got to throw out the old dating rules. That's right, in PDX we like to keep things like our food -- organic, so from first dates at strip clubs to possibly polyamorous "girlfriends," here are 16 reasons hooking up in Stumptown is different than anywhere else: 

1. Finding someone to date is actually pretty easy

Multiple colleges mean a constant influx of young students and a similarly constant stream of relatively young transplants looking for the proverbial early/hipster retirement (or even "gasp" a job at Nike, Intel, etc.) means it’s really easy to find someone that’s willing to give your ugly mug a chance.

2. You should be cool with alternative lifestyles...

Just be prepared for them to be in a non-committed but serious relationship with at least one other person. Oh yeah, and there’s the roommate who’s totally just a friend but they share a bed.

3. ... and your dates being pale...

So you just moved here and think winters are always this sunny and warm? Think again. The only way you're getting a sunburn is snowboarding at Mt. Hood.

4. ... and androgyny

Is that a clean shaven dude with a nifty haircut or a really stylish chick? Only one way to find out!​

5. We hope you have a crunchy, lumbersexual fashion sense

Because dressing for the weather is not only utilitarian here, it’s revered. Just wait and see how many catcalls you get wearing that new pair of Danner’s and a softened second-hand Pendleton.

6. You'd better get used to strangely timed dates

It’s well known that everyone in Portland either freelances or works in the service industry (or both!) so that coveted seven o’clock dinner date probably isn’t in the cards, and morning coffee is kinda played out.

7. There are photo booths everywhere. Use them!

These are prime first-kiss spots when you do finally manage to set a date. Another sweet move: catch a matinee at one of our many independent theaters (they serve beer!)

8. Your best dates might be outside the city

We don’t just look the part, we live it. If you’re not down for skiing or hiking you’re probably not getting down at all.


9. Nice restaurants are totally affordable...

But everyone's a snobby foodie so if you choose a place that’s been open for a while, we’ve probably been there. Twice. And Yelped about it. Oh, and we're definitely judging you by what you order. Kale is SO last year.

10. ... just be prepared to accommodate a dietary restriction

Soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, definitely meat-free, and "have been known to break out into hives if the onions were picked on a weekend." Luckily most restaurants are used to this sort of behavior. Are you?

11. It's cool if you want to stay at home

Everyone has a garden, brews their own beer, and makes moldy sauerkraut because that’s definitely how it was done by their host family that semester abroad in Germany. Why don’t you just treat the girl of your dreams to a romantic dinner on the floor of your apartment?

12. You don’t need to worry about not having a car...

Odds are they don’t either and would much rather bike there with you. If it's raining you can always get a little fancy and spend $2.50 on public transit. Bonus points if you have a Car2Go membership. (Note: this doesn’t apply to dates with more than two people.)

13. ... unless your date doesn’t actually live in the city

Uh oh, you’re falling for someone who works in a suburb office park and usually takes the MAX into the city. Good thing there’s nothing more romantic than sending ‘em back home with a quick kiss and a half hour ride back to Beaverton!

14. People go to strip clubs on dates

Yes, it's weird. But they do. A lot. We have personally been "dragged" to some of Portland's finest topless establishments while one first dates.

15. You never know if you’re actually dating

Don’t expect to be Facebook official with anyone until you’ve moved in together. And even then, are you really dating or just roommates who hang out a lot and have sex? Seriously, what does "dating" even mean?

16. Regardless, you’ll still probably run into an ex

Portland’s small. And we’re all into the same stuff. So be prepared to be Lady and the Tramping spaghetti in some 20-seat restaurant when your ex and their new bae walk in. If you’re lucky maybe everyone catches each other’s eye and you’ll get to try out one of those alternative relationships you’ve been hearing so much about.

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