Denver Dating No Worse Than Other Cities, Readers Say | Westword

Reader: Pretty Sure Dating Is a Dumpster Fire Everywhere

Married at First Sight made Denver look like a very bad place to find a mate.
Emily Balch moved to "Menver" for the social life.
Emily Balch moved to "Menver" for the social life. Lifetime
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Before she was the face of Denver's desolate dating scene, whispers of the legend of "Menver" lured Emily Balch to Colorado.

Frustrated with the romantic prospects in Chicago, Balch packed her bags and headed to Denver in search of the "down-to-earth, good-looking mountain men" who she heard abounded in the Mile High City. Her move eventually landed her on the first Denver-based season of the reality-TV dating show Married at First Sight.

Like Balch, the show's so-called relationship experts were optimistic about finding love in Denver, boasting on the premiere episode that viewers would soon flock to the "heaven on Earth" that is "Menver" to snatch up its hordes of eligible bachelors. But what followed was the least successful season the show has ever had; for the first time, none of the marriages lasted until the reunion episodes, a contestant was left at the altar, and one couple divorced in a near-record thirteen days. "It was a dumpster fire," says Balch, whose marriage on the show also went up in flames (read our Q&A with Balch here). "But I think it is actually a very true depiction of the dating culture right now."

Is dating in Denver a dumpster fire? Hannah Metzger talked to Balch and relationship experts for this week's cover story, "Got a Match?" And in comments on the Westword Facebook and Instagram pages, readers fanned the flames. Says Jolene: 
Pretty sure dating is a dumpster fire everywhere: Same crap, different toilet.
Adds Laura:
As someone who has dated in multiple cities, for longer periods of time, it’s definitely not just Denver that’s a full-on dumpster fire, I assure you.
Responds Mike:
Denver is particularly bad for dating. From talking to women, the main culprit is men who lie about their goals for and level of involvement in relationships. Second is the generational effect of Gen Z; they have significantly less sex and date less frequently than the generations before them. Third is the aftermath of COVID, where people are used to staying inside and using electronics — another thing Gen Z does more than other generations. Fourth is that Denver has a culture of independence and there are plenty of opportunities for non-dating activities. My impression is that single people here would rather do those activities than date.
Adds Paul:
 It’s because men who move to Denver move here for perpetual pot-smoking Epic ski pass adolescence, and women who move to Denver move here for the zen, porch gourmet-coffee sipping, internationally traveled sophisticate lifestyle.

Suggests Jarrod:
As for the dating scene in Denver being a “dumpster fire” — from the guys' perspective, the deal is that women have literally 1,000-plus dudes coming at them constantly all across Snapchat, FB, IG, dating apps, IRL, etc., kinda like Red Lobster’s endless shrimp. Meanwhile, we’re #1 of 1,000 and no one is looking to settle down — especially when they can just chase constant dopamine hits, validation, free meals and free nights out over and over with different guys each night of the week. Why bother? Make dating real again.
Replies Christina: 
Dating here is awful. The Peter Pan guy is rampant. Men well into their forties living with three roommates, working dead- end jobs but making sure to have an EPIC. At this point, a 401k with anything in it and having read even one book in the last twelve months would be incredible. Lots of women want to settle down. Yes, you are competing — but the bar is on the floor. If a man acts halfway decent, they’ll do just fine.
Jeff puts the focus back on Married at First Sight
Pretty sure that has more to do with that show and the concept versus any particular setting. If that show worked out, no one would watch it; we want to see the train wrecks.
Adds Peter: 
Anyone who would sign up for a show like that obviously has problems or just wants attention.
And Sabrina concludes: 
Well, as the old saying goes, Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
So, is dating in Denver a dumpster fire, as Emily Balch suggests? Post a comment or share your thoughts at [email protected].
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