Single in Chicago? Break out that champagne and celebrate. Chicago may not be universally recognized for its singles scene, but according to Time Out’s 2018 City Life Index—a thorough survey of readers in Time Out cities around the globe—we’re rated the best city in the United States for going on the most dates, getting lucky and even finding love.
Here are a few reasons why it’s truly rather fantastic to be searching for your soulmate—or be content with being solo—here in the Second City.
1. You’re not alone. Surveys suggest that upwards of 60 percent of Chicago adults between the ages of 18 and 44 are single, regardless of gender. So no more of the “OMG-I’m-the-only-single-person-left” crap, because most of us are, too.
2. Sex in our city is pretty great. According to our numbers, 41 percent of Chicago women are even cool with sex on the first date, if it seems right (compared to only 37 percent of men). I mean, you gotta stay warm, right? There are also plenty of places around town that give away free condoms.
3. We’re smart: Almost half (48 percent) of the of 25-to-34-year-olds in Chicago have a bachelor’s degree (New Yorkers dip below us at 46 percent), and there’s a ton more working on a degree. There are more than 20 colleges in Chicago, and more in the suburbs. Future lawyers, doctors, writers, artists and the like are earning their credentials here. Go take a class and meet a few.
4. You can actually afford to live alone. If you’re single, you’re not obligated to live with eight roommates and their seven annoying cats. According to U.S. Census Bureau data for 2016, the median rent costs here are $987. In Manhattan, you’re paying $1,575. Boston is at $1,369. San Francisco's median is a whopping $1,632. While roommates are cool, you don't have to scale down to have a space to yourself. And in case you want to compare our incomes, “nonfamily” salaries (a.k.a. single people) in Chicago ring in at $41,895 while New Yorkers pull $45,345.
5. We’re nice. I have no official statistics on this one, but we all know Midwesterners are just nicer than East Coasters. We’re much more likely to start a conversation at Trader Joe’s, help each other when you’re alone in a snow drift trying to move your car and no one judges you if you go solo to the many events, museums or other amazing Chicago institutions.
Overall, it’s okay—no, pretty damned great—to be single. Stay smart, sassy, sexy and single, Chicagoans.