If you want to ease any first-date nerves with a couple of drinks, how do you get to the pub without driving?
Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 11:50 am
Like many countries that are experiencing a population drain from rural areas to major cities, Japan is trying to provide incentives for urbanites to move to the country. It seems nothing is off limits. One local authority is even using an online dating service to try to tempt town and city dwellers to look for rural romance and – hopefully – move out to the country.
Akita, a mountainous northern prefecture on Japan’s main Honshu island, has run a state-owned dating service for nearly a decade, but now it has extended the service to try to encourage single urbanites to look for love in the countryside.
It appears there is no such need for state-backed dating here in the UK, where the rural population is expected to rise by 6 per cent by 2025. But countryside dating here still has its pitfalls – from getting one solitary match (with a neighbour) on Tinder, to having everyone else know about the minutiae of your flirtations. And if you want to ease any first-date nerves with a couple of drinks, how do you get to the pub without driving?
There is a big market for countryside dating services, ranging from Muddy Matches and its dating app “Get Muddy”, run from a converted barn on a Northamptonshire farm, to Country Living magazine’s websites “Country Loving” and “Farmer Wants a Wife”.
In the BBC series Love In The Countryside, now in its second series, Sara Cox plays Cupid for farmers who have little time for dating in between the demands of their rural, agricultural lives, and finds them matches from across the UK.
Dairy farmer Grace, 23, is looking to widen her net beyond the young farmers at her local club in Shropshire, while in Yorkshire, another dairy farmer – 44-year-old Martin – says that finding someone who can handle life on the farm is a priority.
Dating in the big city can bring its own big pressures, but this is a reminder that finding love can be tough no matter where you are.