The Best U.S. Cities for a Meet-Cute

Introductory graphic for a blog about the best U.S. cities for a meet-cute.
Introductory graphic for a blog about the best U.S. cities for a meet-cute.

Everyone dreams of having that special moment when you meet the love of your life in the most unexpected place. In a movie, a meet-cute is a scene where two people who have a romantic future together interact with each other for the first time, usually under quirky or unusual circumstances. For this study, the team at Shane Co. will map out the best cities in the country for the highest chance of beginning your love story like a scene straight out of a fairy tale!

Key Findings

  • Akron, Ohio, is the #1 city to have a meet-cute, thanks to its high number of coffee shops, bookstores, music venues, and farmers markets.
  • Close behind is the neighboring Ohio city of Dayton. Dayton residents have little search interest in online dating apps, meaning your odds of meeting someone in person are even better.
  • Rounding out the top three is Greensboro, North Carolina, which has plenty of parks and trails per capita to fall in love on.
  • 3 of the top 5 cities are located in Ohio, making the Buckeye State perfect for a spontaneous love story.

Locating Love: 15 U.S. Cities Where a Meet-Cute Is More Likely

U.S. map showing the top 15 cities for a meet-cute.

Akron, Ohio, comes in first as the best city to have a meet-cute, thanks to its abundance of coffee shops, bookstores, music venues, and farmers markets. No matter how you like to spend your free time, you have a better chance of finding someone who shares your interests in Akron. Apart from Akron, Dayton and Toledo also made it into our top five cities to run into your true love on accident. With three of the top five cities being in Ohio, it would seem that the Buckeye State truly is for lovers!

If you’re a nature nut or fitness enthusiast looking to bump into your forever lover next time you go on a hike, then run on over to Greensboro, North Carolina. Greensboro rounds out our top three cities for a meet-cute primarily due to its high number of parks and hiking trails to fall in love on. If you’re always looking out for the birds and the bees whenever you’re out sightseeing and birdwatching, then this charming college town in the Tar Heel State may be the perfect place for you.

Going to where there is a high percentage of singles will improve the odds of running into the love of your life at a farmers market or café. If you feel the dating pool is drying up in your hometown, it might be time to consider sailing to a different city. We found that Springfield, Massachusetts, has the highest percentage of singles out of all the cities in our study, at 47.7%. At any given moment, there’s a 50/50 chance that you’ll run into your future fiancé! If you’re single in Springfield, keep your eyes peeled next time you go to the grocery store because you never know.

The perfect meet-cute should be a magical experience that happens naturally, without the help of dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble. While those apps are a great way to meet singles, some dates can feel forced or uncomfortable. Those of us looking to begin our relationship without the help of technology might be hard-pressed to find a partner if everyone around us is buried on their phones, swiping through dating apps. Thankfully, there are still some places where apps haven’t completely taken over the dating game. Jackson, Mississippi, has the lowest online search interest in popular dating apps, meaning you might be more likely to find others seeking an organic experience in the heart of the Magnolia State.

Closing Thoughts

The recipe for a perfect meet-cute is primarily luck with a twist of fate. At one point or another, everyone dreams of running into the love of their life in the unlikeliest place. While dating apps are incredibly helpful in finding new singles to talk to, nothing beats bumping into your future partner purely out of dumb, beautiful luck. You should never try to force a meet-cute or a relationship, but if your dating preferences lean toward organic and non-GMO, moving to one of the cities in our top 10 might help your cause.

Maybe you’re one of the growing few who met your partner thanks to a twist of fate without help from the internet, and now you’re looking for ways to take your romance to the next level. If the next item on your to-do list involves planning a fairy-tale wedding that would make Disney jealous, then consider letting Shane Co. help you. We have a wide selection of engagement rings and fine jewelry fit for the big screen for you to choose from. If this list helped you find your one true love, don’t forget to thank us with an invite!

Methodology

In order to identify the best cities in the U.S. for a Hallmark-worthy meet-cute, we started with a list of the 100 most populous cities. We then identified 14 factors relevant to a spontaneous romance, including locations (number of record stores, coffee shops, etc.), interest in dating apps (the more interest, the worse it is for meeting someone in real life), and the percentage of the population that’s single.

We assigned cities with a score of 0 to 5 for each factor, with a score of 5 representing the most favorable conditions for a meet-cute. We determined each city’s total score from the total of its individual factor scores, which were weighted according to their impact on a meet-cute. Individual factor scores were then added together to give each city a final score from 0 to 100. Higher scores indicated cities are better for real-life meet-cutes.

Ranking FactorWeightSource
No. of Dog Parks (per 100K)1.00Trust for Public Land
No. of Bars (per 100K)1.00Yellowpages
No. of Gyms (per 100K)1.00Yellowpages
No. of Parks (per 10K)1.00TPL
No. of Trails (per 100K)1.00Trail Link
No. of Music Venues (per 100K)1.00Yellowpages
No. Farmers Markets (per 100K)1.00Yellowpages
No. of Bookstores (per 100K)1.00Yellowpages
No. of Coffee Shops (per 100K)1.00Yellowpages
No. of Record Stores (per 100K)1.00Yellowpages
Single Population3.25U.S. Census
Search Volume of ‘Tinder’2.25Google Trends
Search Volume of ‘Hinge’2.25Google Trends
Search Volume of ‘Bumble’2.25Google Trends
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