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Monday, September 2, 2019

If you believe these testimonials, the Capital City needs to to be working harder on its dating scene

Once upon a time two people wanted to go on a date in Cheyenne. For some reason they called their City Council person to find out where two twentysomethings could go to have fun.
The evil city councilman crushed their millennial dreams when he said, “This is Cheyenne! Date night consists of a chain restaurant and a Marvel movie.”  
That’s right folks. That’s the epitome of our dating scene, but it gets so much darker.
Technology plays into every facet of our lives, and dating is no exception. I’m not saying Cheyenne is unique in its dating problems and finding a suitable partner. But the stories I received about dating were macabre. 
Here’s a few examples of stories that were shared about online dating.
Testimonial No. 1 - Female:“The richer, the more perverted. I have met a few new friends here.
Community events like Fridays on the Plaza are a dating option.
Guys say most women want money. We need a singles meetup group. … We sure need a safe option. How can we get a group meetup going? I have been stalked in the past. … We need a good place for all ages to meet with music. I know a lot of singles would go.”
Testimonial No. 2 – Female"Everyone is on drugs. People lie and you end up seeing them in the police blotters and discover who they really are. … They claim to be this person with their heads on their shoulders and then when you find out the truth they expect you to just accept them as they are. … So these (people) are out scamming good people who are looking for a solid relationship. Cheyenne don't have a dating scene. It has a drug-fueled infatuation with a dream of a blue-collar relationship”
Testimonial No. 3 – Male:“Everyone has already (screwed) everyone you know.  Online dating is creepy and horrible.  The same people are always at the same places, so there’s no one new to meet.”
Testimonial No. 4 – Female:“Being a single mom, I also didn’t want or plan to seriously date anyone who I didn’t think was worth my time and … I didn’t want to end up with someone who could potentially molest my child. … I’ll say that if you’re looking for a hook-up, go to the bar. If you’re looking for something serious or semi-serious, you have to meet someone through a friend, coworker or hang out at a brewery or other events or adult sports leagues. The dating pool kinda sucked here if you lived here too long because you kinda knew everyone. … Cheyenne also has a ton of folks who like to cheat on their spouses or people who like to date their co-workers, which I frown upon. … A lack of places to meet is a huge issue.  Every decade expressed concern of where to meet people their own age. From 20s to 80s, it seemed everyone thought the bar and church were the only place to meet people. … I was surprised how many people just stayed at home and preferred to be lonely.
Testimonial No. 5 - Female: “I gave up and started working on myself. Because obviously I attract creeps, nut jobs, married guys who think I am the type of woman who has no morals. Very difficult to find decent, men who aren't the above or addicted. … I'm looking for a unicorn. Here’s what an admin of a Cheyenne dating group had to say: “People are either in long relationships here or they just want to hookup. There’s no in between. … If people have their shit together, they’re too burned out to date due to all the losers who are trying to take advantage of everyone.” Another woman had this to say: “Cheyenne doesn't really have a wide selection of individuals who have their poop in a group along with being a generally nice, honest, educated individual who doesn't rely on vices of some sort to survive this regulated ‘refusing to grow into modern times’ town.” 
Testimonial No. 6 – Male: “There really not a gay dating in Cheyenne. … I haven’t really met anyone I like to date. The ones I have met usually ended up being a bit of a mess.”
Testimonial No. 7 – Male:"The city has a stigma for being close-minded, STD-infested and all around stagnant. The thought of dating someone from Cheyenne, marrying them and then staying there forever made me sick to my stomach. In regards to diseases, it was interesting this topic came up as frequently as it did.”
Testimonial No. 8  -- Female/Male: “Oh wow I am so scared to date. I feel that people sleep around too much. And as an HIV case manager, we are the high in number of cases. I feel also nowadays people are more open to dating more than one person. I'm old school on it.”
Testimonial No. 9 -- Male:“Everyone here has HPV. … I'm a terrible dater and I generally attract and am attracted to train wrecks. My current girlfriend is a departure from my usual, terrible taste.”
Testimonial No. 10 -- Male: “We have been hit with the same hookup culture as the rest of the country. It's hard to find someone who’s interested in an emotional connection as opposed to just physical or monetary relationships. It's not fun for me at all.”
Testimonial No. 11 -- Female:“It just would be really nice to have a guy come pick you up take you out and not expect anything.”
Testimonial No. 12 -- Male/Female:"I haven't been on a date in almost 4 years. … It was really bad, but from what I understand, it's getting better. I don't drink … so the bar scene is out for me. Community events are where I meet a lot of people. More community involvement over the last few years at events downtown have really improved the scene.” 
Testimonial No. 13 – Female: The scene can feel somewhat small … so unfortunately you can have a wine night with the gals and find out the guy who asked you on a date has also talked with three out of your five friends who are sitting at the same table with you.”
Testimonial No. 14 – Female: I've grown up mostly in Cheyenne .. and feel I've completely run out of options. I've also tried dating via apps, including going on dates with people in Laramie and Fort Collins. Sure, Cheyenne has a small population and a lack of places … but there is just a new idea of dating these days where no one wants to commit.  I have friends in bigger cities ... who still can't find someone to settle down with. I really do wish, however, Cheyenne offered more available places and events for singles in their 30s."
If you do meet that special someone, here are some ideas for what to do for dates: Flydragon Art Studio, Graffito Pottery, Bulls and Barrels (Friday nights, June and July), DeLancey Team Roping (Thursday nights, summer), Cheyenne Little Theaters Playhouse, 5K or other race almost every weekend May through September, basketball/volleyball/softball through City Recreation, Cheyenne Symphony, Cheyenne Civic Center, Fridays on the Plaza, Trivia Nights, Olympus Games and Comics Game Days, Tuesday Slow Roll bike ride, hiking, fishing, mountain bike riding in Curt Gowdy.
As I write this, I just got home from going to lunch with my parents for their 51st wedding anniversary. They went to high school together, came back from college for a winter break, ended up at the same basketball game, started dating, and now 51-plus years later, they are hanging with me and my girlfriend at Red Lobster. Maybe we'll all go out to a Marvel movie later.

            Richard Johnson is a former City Council member from Ward 3 on Cheyenne’s east side.

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