Dating in the Queen City: The good, the bad & the ugly

Dating in the Queen City: The good, the bad & the ugly

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by DION LIM / NBC Charlotte

WCNC.com

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 1:28 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 10 at 12:36 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- On a chilly Saturday night in December, a group of singles from 30 to 40 years-old gather at a meet-up group, organized by Sheryl Spangler, the owner of Heart and Soul Matchmaking in Charlotte.  The many men and women in the group seem to agree on one thing: when it comes to dating in the Queen City…

“The ratio of women to men, there’s a lot more women than men, especially in our age group.  The older you get, the less there are,” laments a woman named Jane who moved to Charlotte a few years ago from Reno, Nevada. 
 
Another woman, Carmella, has been living here for eight years and tends to agree with Jane. 
 
“I personally think [dating is hard] because of our age.  We're over 40 and it's difficult”. 
 
According to the Census Bureau, Charlotte has about 10 percent more single women between the ages of 35-64 than the national average.  Granted, we’re doing better than cities like Yuma, Arizona, where more than 41 percent of the population is single.  Though, it’s not much comfort for some. 
 
“I didn’t know that.  So my odds just went up,” questioned a man who’s participating in a Heart and Soul Matchmaking speed dating session at the WCNC/NBC Charlotte studios. 
 
To see what the dating pool in the 30 to 40 and 40 to 50 year-old age range is really like, we invited nearly 40 couples to the station, to take part in speed dating. Most of the participants had already tried the bar scene and online dating with little success. 
 
“The dating scene here in Charlotte is a little difficult,” said one participant, “It’s hard to meet people.  It’s a lot of people going out to bars.”
 
Charlotte often has a reputation for being the next great city of the South, full of progressive transients who bring new ideas to the area.  According to Spangler, that’s the reason why so many singles are having trouble. 
 
“People are coming here for career choices, to get transferred or get relocated.  They’re focused on their jobs, so they’re making dating their second or third priority.”
 
Spangler says the need for love is so great in the Queen City that her clients pay $1500 for her services, all the way up to $10,000 a year for her private matchmaking.  It’s a price some believe is worth paying, to find “the one.” 
 
Financially, a report by Business Insider shows single people pay more for food, housing, taxes and health insurance; across the board, they make 25 percent less than their married co-workers. 
 
Najam Usmani of Jackson Hewitt says while saving on taxes shouldn’t be the only reason to get married, depending on the situation, tying the knot can save you a pretty penny. 
 
Usmani explains that married people have an array of deductions and credits the claim that single people just don’t have access to. 
 
The benefits to being married also go beyond taxes and finances into benefitting society as a whole, says economics professor Dmitry Shapiro of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. 
 
“People, they get married and they volunteer significantly more.  They fulfill a different social role,” Professor Shapiro explained.
 
Back at our speed dating session, the room is abuzz with chatter amongst our speed daters. The golden bell rings, signaling time is up, and we check in with Spangler on how the night went. Each dater marked down on a sheet who he or she would like to see again. 
 
“We had eight matches,” Spangler exclaimed.  
 
So perhaps the idea of finding love in Queen City isn’t as elusive, after all.
 
To learn more about Heart and Soul Matchmaking, click here.

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