Despite the fact that Seattle is ranked high on the list of Best Cities for Singles, from speaking with many singles around me I have learned that the reality can seem very different. Seattle should indeed be heaven on earth for singles who are looking for a mate, as the city hosts a large range of singles. According to the 2010 survey of the US Census Bureau 3 out of 5 adults in Seattle are not married and 43% of the city residents live alone. Then why is it not so warm and fuzzy when it comes to romance in Seattle? I believe that there are three reasons that explain this reality:
1. Competitive and demanding jobs (think Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Costco, Starbucks, T-mobile, and the University of Washington for example), which don’t leave much room or energy for a personal life. This fact is also true for married people in this town.
2. Men in the IT industry (a major industry in the area) are very knowledgeable when it comes to talking to computers but most lack basic social skills such as starting a small-talk. For more on the subject, read my interview with dating coach and former Microsoft employee Amin Lakhani.
3. Many young people move to Seattle for work. Those transplants are far away from their families and friends who are usually a very good source of social introductions and matchmaking.
This last reason, in my opinion, is the major cause of the local frustration of singles in Seattle, which stems from some aspects of the American culture. In many traditional cultures the whole community gets together to help singles find their mate. There is an understanding that searching for a personal partner is not an easy task and the burden shouldn’t rest on one person’s shoulders alone. There are strict rules of behavior and personal limitations in those traditional cultures, but at the same time there are benefits that the individual enjoys from such a social system. In the US - where individualism, personal space, and freedom are highly valued - the involvement of the community is somehow pushed aside. People enjoy freedom but sometimes it comes at a cost of loneliness.
I believe that the well being and happiness of individuals always benefit the community that they live in. I also believe that we can keep a healthy balance between individual freedom and community involvement. That is the reason that motivated me to create Making a Match. I wanted to create a platform for the entire community to come together, connect, and help singles find love while truly respecting each individual and their way of living. Making a Match is a networking system where friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors of singles step up and take an active part in helping their fellow community members in their efforts to find a mate. Right now Making a Match works in two realms:
1. Monthly community meetings, where we discuss issues that singles in town deal with and consider ideas, solutions, and actions that can be taken. To learn about upcoming events check Making a Match website.
2. Facebook group that acts as a community matchmaking board where friends & family (even out of state) of singles can tell the community about the people they would like to help find a match. For more information visit Making a Match Seattle facebook group.
I hope Making a Match will make a difference in the community that I’ve learned to love and appreciate. Seattle is already an incredible place to live, and I consider myself very lucky to be a part of it. My wish is that Making a Match will turn Seattle in to a more happy and loving place than it already is, and I need your help to make it happen.