Photo: Colin Heinrich
1. The google-y eyes coming from across the bar probably belong to a tourist.
You’re at happy hour with a coworker who’s taking a call outside when the perfect recipe materializes next to you—a dreamy man or woman slides into your friend’s seat to order a drink. You start checking boxes—tall, dark featured and polite to the bartender. You tell them someone’s sitting there, but that they can stay until your friend gets back. Conversation flows and chemistry is apparent, until you ask that underlying question you’ve been burdened with since the printing of your Florida license—“So are you local or just visiting?” And, of course, they’re just some snowbird here for the week because Wisconsin got too cold. There is a consequence for being able to say, “We live where other people vacation.” A good percentage of possible love interests are doing just that.
2. You might not even speak the same language.
Rewind. Your prospect sits down in your friend’s seat, only this time when you let them know it’s taken, they just give you a cute smile and stay put. You’re no longer amused, but annoyed—till the bartender comes over and your neighbor’s order comes out in Spanish. Unless you’re bi-, tri- or quad-lingual, verbal barriers will work against you. They say all you need is chemistry and timing, but a common means for communication could also be important.
3. South Florida simply isn’t where you go to meet “the one.”
Scouting out a crush at your office building might seem more promising, and when your paths finally cross while waiting for the elevator, said person might ask if you want to grab a drink that weekend. Your excitement will turn to disappointment when what you thought would be a date turns into an invitation to a pool party at his or her friend’s place. The tip of the state is a place for escaping—it isn’t where you go to build a professional empire and start a family. There’s a reason the bars stay open until sunrise.
4. There’s too much to do
When you’re planning a date, it can’t be the classic dinner-and-a-movie combo because the weather is too nice and the options are too plentiful. You could instead take a trip to the beach, or go paddle boarding, or salsa dancing, or on a day cruise to the Bahamas. Too far?
5. The warm weather is not a conducive environment for monogamy.
Maybe you’ve found someone to date, and you’ve decided to spend the day at the beach. You’ll take in scenic views of palm trees and blue waters washing onto golden sands, and what’s this? Butts, and more butts, and where’s that woman’s bikini top? Warm temperatures mean little-to-no clothing. Your boyfriend or girlfriend IS going to look, and you probably are too—it’s human nature.
6. Your boyfriend, or girlfriend, could be 70 years old.
When you’re making small talk with a middle-aged man or woman at the auto body shop, he or she could misinterpret your kindness as interest. And when this person asks for your number, you’re now subjected to deciding whether or not being a sugar baby is something you see in your future. Age is of no concern in South Florida. Twenty-, 30-year gaps between couples are common. What pulls more weight than decades is dollars.
7. If you were a solid 10 in a northern state, you are now a five, maybe six.
Before a night out, you could crunch and curl and contour for hours in preparation. And when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror before leaving, you might realize you look freaking fab. But competition is fierce. Miami—and up the east coast—is obsessed with vanity—plastic breasts, bottoms, lips, noses, ear lobes and armpits. But we all know superficiality never gets you too far in a relationship you’d like to last.