The City Magazine Since 1975

Survey Says!

Survey Says!
February 2013
What 71 Charlestonians, both single and attached, had to say about the local dating scene, their best and worst dates, and where to find love in the Holy City

You’re single and ready to mingle. How do you prefer to meet someone new?

  • Ask mutual friends to set me up .... 42%
  • Check out or another online dating website .... 11%
  • Join an alumni/social club, sports league, or singles group at church .... 22%
  • Hit up the bar scene .... 15%
  • Other ....10%

“Treat everywhere you go and everything you do as an opportunity to meet someone—whether you’re at the bar, the beach, or the bookstore. Strike up conversations everywhere. Use an approach and conversation style appropriate for the environment—bar game is much different from daytime game.”
“Naturally. Just go out and talk to whomever you bump into. Anything but a bar.”
“If I knew, I wouldn’t be single....”

The Charleston dating scene is

  • Well-stocked! I’m always meeting new people and going on dates. .... 3%
  • A mixed bag. The good ones are tough to find, but the rewards are worth the effort. .... 66%
  • A barren wasteland. .... 27%
  • Other. ....4%

“I would say a shade below barren wasteland…. It’s one super small sea of singles out there. You will date your ex’s best friend or friend’s ex or colleague’s brother or all of the above at some point.”
“It’s easy to make friends but hard to date. It’s almost like no one wants to grow up and commit.”
“Once you’re over 30, it’s a living scene from Bridget Jones’ Diary.”

Who has it harder to meet their match?

  • Women .... 77%
  • Men .... 23%

63% blamed the “absurd girl-to-guy ratio.”\

The most unusual place you’ve met someone in Charleston:
“Waiting in line for the Porta Johns at the Cooper River Bridge Run.”
“While riding a pedicab.... He was my driver.”
“The lineup! I was picked up after a surf session at IOP!”
“Walking into a women’s clothing store. He was lost.”
“My house—he knocked on my door.”
“Outside of the Lil Cricket. Quite strange.”
“Wading through waist-deep pluff mud during the Citadel’s Mud Run challenge.”
“The cell phone waiting area of the airport.”
“In line to vote.”
“Lost in a corn maze and rescued by a handsome stranger.”

Dating Behavior

Average number of dates with new people per month:

  • One or fewer .... 70%
  • Two to three .... 27%
  • Four to five .... 3%

What feature attracts you most to a person?

  • Intelligence ....17%
  • Looks ....14%
  • Sense of humor .... 41%
  • Common interests .... 24%
  • Other .... 4%

Where did you meet your last significant other?

  • Bar/restaurant .... 23%
  • Church .... 2%
  • A local event .... 7%
  • Set up by friends .... 32%
  • Online .... 11%
  • Other .... 25% — Work (4 responses), Party (2 responses), Class/School (6 responses)

The best bars to meet singles:
Ages 21-29: The Belmont, Blind Tiger, Coast, Closed for Business, Cocktail Club, Gene’s Haufbrau, Henry’s, Mad River, Mellow Mushroom, Midtown, Mynt, O-Ku, Silver Dollar, The Shelter, Social

30-39: The Alley, The Belmont, Closed for Business, Cocktail Club, Cypress, Halls Chophouse, Macintosh, Rooftop, Moe’s Crosstown, O-Ku, Poe’s, The Pour House, Royal American, Rue de Jean, Social, Stars, Taco Boy, Mount Pleasant Triangle Char & Bar

40-49: Big John’s Tavern, Charleston Grill, Halls Chophouse, Home Team BBQ, Macintosh, Red Drum

50+: No responses

Have you tried online dating?
Yes, it’s a waste of time..... 21%
Yes, it’s okay..... 20%
Yes, it’s been a great way for me to meet people..... 7%
No, it’s not my speed..... 52%

The best kinds of local events to meet other singles:
Athletic events, like the Cooper River Bridge Run .... 11%
Blow-out parties, like Skinful Halloween and The Grand Ball ....14%
Festivals, like Charleston Wine + Food or Spoleto .... 62%
Other ....13%
“Smaller community driven efforts, like oyster roasts.”
“RiverDogs or Stingrays game, in a fall corn maze, or at the beach during the off season.”


DATES: Best, worst, and weirdest experiences

Best date in Charleston:
“Boone Hall Oyster Roast all day, followed by drinks and dinner—a 12-hour date”
“Spent the day on the boat, cleaned up for dinner, and then a night on the town with friends”
“Stroll along the Battery and dinner at a local haunt”
“Stargazing on Folly Beach”
“A visit to the Gibbes Museum, a walk on the Battery, and then drinks and apps
at Cypress”
“Went to the shooting range”
“On a Sunday afternoon/evening, drinks and appetizers at all my favorite restaurants. We stopped in six places, sat at the bar every time, chatted up the bartenders to learn about wines and spirits, and ate like kings.”
“Dinner downtown, then walking through Marion Square to pick up hot chocolate, then down to Waterfront Park. Many laughs along the way!”
“Going to see the Angel Oak and tea plantation”
“Citadel-Wofford game. I didn’t expect to meet anyone and ended up having a great time at the game followed by dinner and drinks with mutual friends.”
“Driving through the Festival of Lights. Romantic yet still had time to talk!”
“We hung out on the piazza all afternoon, evening, and night and walked to the Battery to watch the sun rise.”
“Running through the sprinklers on a summer night in Waterfront Park”

Worst date in Charleston:
“Took a girl out who had the most boring preference in food so had no idea where to take her. We couldn’t do anything eclectic, ethnic, or interesting in anyway. Finally got Italian, and she ordered lasagna and ate half of it. It was our last date.”
“I met a guy online, we decided to meet at a local bar, and he forgot his wallet. I guess that was a sign I should’ve known it would be a disaster from the beginning!”
“He was late, and I only had an hour break for lunch, so we had to take our food to-go. I went back to my job. He went back to the gym, I guess.”
“Went to Mellow Mushroom, and the guy relentlessly gave me crap for ordering a salad as an entrée. I heard you the first time! He turned out to be a jerk. Surprise, surprise.”
“Shrimping at night in the Cooper River.  He was trying to impress me, but had no idea how to cast a net! I wound up catching and de-heading dinner, but at least he cooked.”
“The one where he couldn’t stop telling me how great his ex wife was.”
“Ended up being set up with a guy who was not interested in women.... It was a blind date—for both of us.”
“Lunch. Some dude literally did ‘talk to the hand’ to me.”
“Taco Bell”
“A experience where he asked about my uterus and ovary health.... I was only 33!”

Weirdest thing that’s happened on a date:
“Upon the conclusion of our date at his house, a guy said to me, ‘This is my bedroom where I hope we’ll be lovers soon.’ Ummm, see ya!!”
“Getting pulled over on foot on Folly Beach. Yep, that’s apparently a thing.”
“His ex-wife’s friend started taking pictures of us at a bar.”
“He kissed me during The Hangover—really?”
“Flat tire at the start of the date, which made us late for dinner reservations, which ticked my date off, that ultimately gave him a reason to drink too much wine during dinner, and resulted in a DUI on the way home. A total fiasco.”