I tried to date local by sticking to a one-mile Tinder diet


Dating is hard enough in the city without adding a commute.
After a long day at work, the last thing anyone wants to do is sacrifice crucial do-nothing time for being stuck hot and nervous on a streetcar trying to remember some anecdote about a place they went to in Italy that one time.
Especially when the end result is almost always unsuccessful (It just takes one, so I keep being told).
And so after a couple years of singledom, I decided to rein in what had begun to feel like a long-running social experiment. I opened my dating app distance preferences and embarked on a One Mile Tinder Diet.
I’d read a New York Times article citing a 1932 study that found of 5,000 marriage licences issued in Philadelphia, one-third of the couples had lived in a five-block radius of one another before marrying, 1 in 6 in a one-block radius, and 1 in 8 at the exact same address.
I live in a pretty trendy area of downtown Toronto filled with many young(ish) eligible professionals like myself, and doesn’t all the collective wisdom about online dating tell us too much choice is a bad thing?
And at first it seemed promising. Keeping it in the neighbourhood meant there’d always be time to bike home and re-tousle my helmet hair before heading out to a nearby and well-tested drinking establishment.
I could wear whatever shoes I wanted without my feet hurting.
And even if the boy next door wasn’t Mr. Right or even Mr. I Just Live Right Over There, I’d be home in time to pick up wherever I left off on Netflix
And that’s exactly how it went, with the exception of one Tinder Tourist, who was swiping near my home when he really lived in the east end.
Then things actually became promising. One date with a cute guy became multiple dates, and I’d started to think I was a genius as we strolled to the park near our condos to share his homemade vanilla bean ice cream that didn’t have a chance of melting along the way.
But it wasn’t long before I came to see the drawbacks of my plan.
While out one afternoon in a less-than-date-ready outfit, I passed him drinking with a friend on a patio and thought how awkward this would be should our romance end, as it did, not long after.
Now, I realize, a walk to the grocery store or liquor store comes with the chance of seeing a past suitor and seeing him on a date with someone else, and so I have to think about going to the supermarket a few blocks over or taking a long route to a different park, one that doesn’t involve walking past any of the bars I think he might frequent.
And so I’ve recast my net a few more miles out. Because, really, avoiding a former flame is frustrating enough in this city, without adding a commute.

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