We’re still scratching our heads. For the third consecutive year, Forbes magazine declared Denver the best city in America to be single. The data were clear: Based on criteria such as job growth, number of single residents, online dating activity, cost of living alone, culture, and “coolness,” Mile-High residents had it made. Forget New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami. Adorable, available singles flock to Denver by the thousands. And with those odds, the ranking inferred, everyone is dating—all the time. Problem is, as far as we’ve been able to discern, the ranking was—and still is—dead wrong. Why else would we be constantly approached by a seemingly endless parade of readers, friends, and acquaintances lamenting their grim searches for soul mates? “I never meet anyone,” they say. “Everyone worth dating is already married.” “Where are all the women?”
Why are Denverites so unlucky in love, despite the prospects? We’ve got a few ideas. First, there’s the “Recess Syndrome.” Lots of us are here to float through powder, fly down singletrack, or stand atop high peaks. Newcomers to town will purchase a new pair of fat skis before buying a proper mattress and box spring. Which is to say, some of us are delaying adulthood. Seen another way, we’re narrowing our partner pool by paying too much attention to our recreational obsessions. (“She won’t come on a mountain bike ride? Forget it.” “He doesn’t climb? What are we supposed to do for fun?”)
Some will tell you that all the Denver men are busy cultivating their “bromances,” cavorting like schoolboys in the mountains, to take a woman out to dinner. Of course, those guys will chalk up their eternal bachelorhood to the disproportionate man-woman ratio, known to some as the “Menver” theory. Valid point, if it were true. But the census says Denver has a fair man-woman split.