Dateless in Seattle: Tips for Dating Amid Seattle’s Chilly Freeze

How to find that special someone in our notoriously bleak dating city

By Beau Iverson


January 30, 2019

This article originally appeared in the February 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the February 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Dating in Seattle isn’t easy. Our weather is gloomy, we work a lot, many locals have embraced the Nordic reserve of the city’s early citizens, and, yes, the “Seattle Freeze” is a thing. So, how does one find love here? We asked Jenna Bean Veatch, a multidisciplinary artist, teacher and creator of “The Not-Creepy Gathering for People Who Are Single and Want to Fall In Love” meetups, and Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., a sociologist and sexologist at the University of Washington—and the Salish Lodge’s “romance concierge”—for their tips.

1. Thaw out.
“Could you be contributing to the Seattle Freeze?” Veatch asks. Don’t write people off immediately. Veatch says the first step to creating relationships is actually talking to people in an open and honest way. “You might make some really good friends—or you could even end up being surprised.”

2. Explore your interests.
“Go to places for which you have a natural affinity,” where you’re likely to meet others doing the same, Schwartz says. Whether you enjoy scaling mountains or hunkering down in coffee shops, exploring your affinities is the best way to expose yourself to people with similar interests.

3. Remember that you’re awesome. 
Seattle’s “gray drizzle can make it easy to get down on the world and down on ourselves,” says Veatch, who advises working on your self-confidence. The right attitude can make Seattle seem a “little less dreary,” which will help attract others to you.

4. Be proactive. 
Whether it’s the popcorn counter at Cinerama or a chairlift at The Summit at Snoqualmie, Schwartz advises striking up a conversation anytime, anywhere. “Keep your eye out for someone who attracts you. Smile. Begin a conversation. See if it lands anywhere friendly.…No place is off limits” when it comes to potentially meeting that special someone.

5. Make time for love. 
Veatch says to forget about the “cruise-y bar scenes and soulless dating apps” and try the old-fashioned approach. “If you make a date, show up for it! And don’t ghost someone you meet online. That’s super disrespectful.” Schwartz adds that while many highly educated Seattleites will postpone relationships to pursue their careers, “getting serious” takes time, so you may have to clear your schedule to make room for a genuine connection.

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