Single in Greenwood this Valentine’s Day? You may just be in luck.
In a study conducted by Insurify, Greenwood has been named the best city for singles in Mississippi.
Insurify, a Massachusetts-based insurance comparison shopping website, uses a team of data scientists and content specialists to produce a series of automotive, home and health studies, including the best city for living single.
To identify the best cities for singles, the data science team used statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Numbeo cost-of-living database, and Google Trends to identify the most singles-friendly cities.
The team assembled the scores based on such data as the proportion of unmarried adults, cost of living — including rent and restaurant meals — and interest in dating apps.
“Insurify has nominated U.S. cities for the ‘Best Cities for Singles’ award for the past two years, and we felt that despite the current unique circumstances, we wanted to maintain the tradition and continue to honor cities for being good places for singles to live,” said Emily Leff, a data scientist and writer for the group.
The finding does not necessarily mean that any single person in Greenwood will get struck by Cupid’s arrow right away, Leff said, but the numbers show cities where living as an unmarried person is more common and comparatively less difficult due to the lower cost of living and the higher proportion of other unmarried individuals nearby.
Even during the past isolating year of 2020, she said, the researchers were adamant about pursuing the data.
“The pandemic has not necessarily hurt these statistics, but we’ve adjusted the methodology from previous years to better suit this current context. The dating app popularity metric is new this year, given that dates are increasingly going virtual and many dating apps now have video-chat features to account for this,” she said.
Regardless, Leff said the study was meant to celebrate all people, paired or not, during this time of year.
“While the pandemic has made it certainly more difficult to be out and mingling in traditional social settings, we still want singles everywhere to know that they are not alone and deserve celebration, just as much as couples do in February,” she said, pointing out that Singles Awareness Day is on Monday, the day after Valentine’s.
But how do singles feel about Greenwood being labeled a great place for the lonely hearted?
One Greenwood single, J.T. Hurst, an inventory manager representative for the automotive supply company Wurth, said that he was “shocked” when he first heard about the designation.
Later though, Hurst, who has been single since 2019, decided that perhaps the study made sense in comparison to a place such as Oxford, where he once lived, as it is a lot busier.
Greenwood is smaller and quieter than some other cities, and that makes it a good place for single people to find themselves, he said.
“If you are single here, it is a lot easier to figure out yourself more,” he said. “It may sound a little cheesy, but I really do think that you can understand yourself better while living here.”
And as for Valentine’s Day, Hurst said he is just looking forward to relaxing. “I have no plans for Sunday, and don’t mind that at all,” he said.
Mary Claire Martin said she has been flying solo for “a very long time.” Dating in Greenwood has been “pretty much like non-existent,” she said.
Martin is the general manager at TKB’S iRepairs, which repairs cellphones and other electronic devices, but she said that she herself is not on any mobile dating apps. She has, however, met some possible companions at local bars and restaurants.
Still, the city’s size might present an obstacle to finding a steady relationship.
“Greenwood is a great place, but there’s not quite a lot of things to do. You always have to travel outside of Greenwood,” she said.
And as Valentine’s Day approaches, she said she is fine with her plans, opting to spend this day of love and compassion eating candy and spending time with family.
“I’m actually going to spend it with my niece and nephews,” she said. “I’ve got them these little smash hearts with candies in it. I got it made for them.”
•Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or email@example.com. On Twitter at @AdamBakst_GWCW.