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Does Arlington’s Dating Scene Need More Variety?

This article was written by Maddy Berner

Clarendon bars (photo by Maddy Berner)While Arlington is home to plenty of locations to mingle and date, some people think Arlington’s population could use a little more variety.

Last week, Redfin.com released a list that ranked Arlington as the best place for successful, educated, single women. According to the website, Arlington boasts high percentages of female college graduates (69 percent) and women with high incomes (49 percent). When asked about it on the streets of Clarendon, many young members of both genders seemed to agree with the ranking.

“It’s the best city for single people,” said Antwand Wardrick, 29. “It has so much to do, so many different venues, so many different people. Whatever you like, you can find it, and once you get it, you have to hold on to it.”

Even on a rainy Wednesday night, Spider Kelly’s was still bustling with people eating dinner and playing pool, the picture of a vibrant singles scene. Still, talking to some of those hovering around the bar, there were aspects of Arlington’s dating culture that remained debatable.

Elizabeth L., 25, grew up in Arlington, and said the county’s high marks were a bit odd because her personal experiences with dating. People in the area are competitive and too focused on their jobs, she said.

“Every time I go out, a man offers me a job or a security clearance when they’re hitting on me,” said Elizabeth, “which is really awkward.”

Taking shelter from the rain just outside of Clarendon Ballroom, Katharine Milburn, 31, vehemently supported the “successful” aspect Redfin’s choice. The Arlington native owns her own company in the area, and said many of her friends have high-paying jobs and are continually climbing the ranks within them.

Milburn agreed that Arlington has plenty of people and places to go — listing Galaxy Hut, Iota Club & Cafe and Northside Social as a few — yet there were still some factors that made the scene frustrating. The conversation, she said, lacks variety.

“I think Arlington is very cookie cutter,” she said. “I think you find that the same type of people have the same type of conversations with people over and over again.”

Standing in front of a quieter Whitlow’s on Wilson, Amro Shihadah, 24, and Charlie Morris, 27, also said Arlington is home to several places to meet people, but the conversation is more of the same.

“It’s the same people, from the same schools, from the same area, who know the same people,” said Shihadah.

While he doesn’t think Arlington is necessarily the top location for single women, Jayme Maddox, 25, said he thinks the high concentration of young professionals in the area makes it one of the best. He says he loves places like Fuego, Wilson Tavern and Clarendon Grill, which each yield different types of people.

“It is a great place to meet grounded, intelligent, and successful (or on their way) people,” Maddox said. “You consider that with the relatively intimate size of Arlington and that just increases the opportunities for dating.”

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