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Location, Location, Location

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Everyone knows that location is the most important factor in re-selling a home or commercial real estate. What most people don’t realize is that it’s also a huge factor in dating.

Let’s start off with the percentage aspect. If you’re looking to find another Jew, it’s best to live in a place with, well, other Jews. If you live in New York or Los Angeles, you won’t ever be able to get through all the JDate profiles in your area. But if you live in a city like Indianapolis or Charlotte, it’s like going to a small college. Your best bet is to wait for next year when the freshmen come in and try to snatch up a good one before someone else does.

Long distance relationships do happen, especially on the web. I’ve heard countless stories of a woman in Miami and a man in Connecticut, or even a woman in New York and a man in Israel. I always found this curious because most JDaters® are unwilling to date someone across town, but have no problem looking several states away.

When I briefly lived in New Jersey, I’d messaged a girl from New York. I say “girl” instead of “woman” because she immaturely responded that she wouldn’t consider someone who lived in New Jersey. I lived less than 20 minutes from Times Square, but she wouldn’t talk to me because my zip code started with a “0”. I told her she should uncheck the “willing to relocate” part of her profile.

Los Angeles has the same problem – any big city does. Despite the geographical closeness of many parts, the perception is that you’re a world away. If you live in Pasadena and try to date someone in Santa Monica, you may as well be pen pals.

And it’s not just who you’re close to. It’s what you’re close to. Every city has areas that residents see as inconvenient. People in the suburbs will regularly drive in to the city to go to a nice restaurant or show, but it rarely works in reverse. If you live in the suburbs, people are not going to come to you – you have to accept that. You might have better schools, but that’s not much of a factor on a first date.

I’ve been back in Manhattan for the last few years, but now that I’m getting married, we’re moving to a luxury building in Queens. It’s not just the nicest building I’ve ever lived in, it’s the nicest building I’ve ever been in – while being a few hundred a month cheaper than it’d cost to live in Manhattan. It’s a smart decision to live better for less money – but it’s a move I never would have considered when I was single. I learned my lesson in New Jersey; as much as people want to find love, they’re unwilling to take a bus to get there.

I’m not advocating judging someone as a person based on their zip code – I certainly didn’t like it when it was done to me. What that girl neglected to find out is that as a comic, I was in Manhattan more often than I was in New Jersey, and I expected that I’d be the one traveling to see her, and not the other way around. Thankfully, she was honest about her closed-mindedness. It helped me to avoid dating someone so closed-minded.

But you can judge the potential of a relationship based on the difficulty of starting one. Perhaps cross-country is more palatable than cross-county because there’s no pressure to actually see each other. A text message is easier than a 45-minute drive, especially if you don’t have a car.

And that is why location does matter. If nothing else, a good location increases your pool, and thus your odds. If you are stuck in the suburbs, at least make sure the place you have is inviting and interesting. The last thing you want is for your place to be scarier than the bus they took to get there.

But if your goal is to find someone, consider moving. Not across the country, just to somewhere in your area where you have a shot at meeting someone. I’m sure you can sell your old place – to someone who is no longer single.

Steve Hofstetter is an internationally touring comedian who has been seen on VH1, ESPN, and Comedy Central®, but you’re more likely to have seen him on the last Barbara Walters Special.

*Comedy Central is a registered trademark of Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division of Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks.

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