Chicago is consistently ranked as a top U.S. city for millennials. Young, ambitious people move to the city in droves—pursuing their careers, looking for an urban lifestyle, and wanting to meet other young professionals and maybe even fall in love.
And we Chicagoans are unique in that we actually want date to each other. From my own experience, relationships are not as high on the priority list in other major cities. People are happy dating around for much longer and are not as drawn to commitment. Chicago singles always seem to be on the lookout for their next date or relationship. But how to find one?
Make a few changes: If you're truly looking for love, change your status quo. Summer in Chicago is the perfect time to switch up your routine. Free and interesting events happen daily, with opportunities to meet tons of other people. If you find yourself at the same after-work happy hour on a weekly basis, try out a new neighborhood and see what that’s like. Ask a single buddy to join a team with you to expand your social network. Commit to online or mobile dating and put effort into your profile, photos and messages.
Know what you want: It helps to know what kind of person you're looking to date and what that person may do in his/her free time. Are they a trivia guru? Do they play volleyball every Thursday at North Avenue Beach? Are they breaking it down at the latest show at Thalia Hall? Attending a lecture at one of Chicago’s finest museums? Maybe they're at the latest craft beer festival. Think about what you like to do and what you've always wanted to try but haven't found the motivation to take on. And do it.
Just go on a date already: Say you meet someone great, get their number and ask them out on a real date. Dating can be a lot of fun, but it requires time and effort. Couples don't generally go from a first date to a long-term relationship. Once you’ve been dating for a while, you can invite your new partner to join you and your friends for a night out, but until you’re comfortable with that, you'll be going on individual dates that will likely be outside your weekly routine. Be flexible and willing to compromise. If the dating starts being too stressful, stop. Dating someone who’s worth your time should not cause you constant anxiety. You're allowed to be picky when it comes to commitment.
Bottom line, if you want to find a relationship, you have to put in the work. Chicago is a huge city full of single, intelligent, ambitious and attractive people. Get out of your comfort zone and go find one.