Rural dating isn't impossible! The owner of Luxe Matchmaking shares tips her company uses to help people find a match while dating in the country.
Let’s face it: dating is difficult – even more so in small, rural towns. That’s why people like April Davis are making rural dating easier with matchmaking.
April Davis launched Luxe Matchmaking in 2010 after hearing her single friends talk about bad experiences with online dating. Davis has a background in process improvement—along with a pretty strong matchmaking sense—and she knew she could do it better.
Finding the Right Rural Dating Approach
Luxe’s “matchmakers” take what Davis refers to as a “consultative” approach. They meet with clients and go through a series of questions to learn more about them and who may be an ideal match. Along with using their “matchmakers’ intuition,” LUMA matchmakers are also certified life coaches. A large part of their job is helping clients present the best version of themselves to their potential matches.
Davis is clear that finding a perfect partner isn’t about matching someone with identical responses on a questionnaire; it’s about finding a complement – not a twin.
“One analogy I have is if you don’t like the fish you’re catching, it’s time to change your bait,” she says. “So we may need to turn the dial a bit to up your game.”
Today, Luxe matchmakers work in 40 cities (and their surrounding areas) across the country and even has a special section on its website for rural love-seekers.
“I myself am from a small town of 600 people in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota,” says Davis. “So, I experienced firsthand how challenging it can be. I always joke that I had to import my boyfriends.”
We asked Davis for her take on how rural dwellers in particular can up their dating game (and to throw us a few tips on the perfect first date). Here’s what she had to say.
What are some of the biggest dating challenges when you live in a rural area?
Davis: The biggest thing is there’s a lack of options. It’s not like in the city where there are so many people everywhere – you can be a lot more selective. In a small town you have just whoever is there – and that goes for dating and friendships. Unfortunately, this means you may have to date someone who is the ex of one of your friends and you're bound to run into your exes from time to time.
Why is matchmaking ideal for someone who lives rural, rather than going the online route?
Davis: Only 5 percent of married couples have met through an online site [according to the Pew Research Institute]. The number one way is still through someone else. Someone that knows you, so you have someone vouching for the person. That makes people feel more comfortable.
If people don’t get married soon out of high school or college or end up getting divorced and they’re single in their 40s, 50s, 60s, it’s a lot harder to meet someone. It’s already hard enough as it is with online dating, but when you have a lot fewer options, then it makes it all the more challenging.
How do you get over that hurdle of just a small pool of available candidates?
Davis: When you're dealing with such low numbers in population, it’s necessary to open up your search parameters. There may only be two to three viable matches within a 100-mile radius and they have to be interested in you as well.
We will do different things depending on the client but often times the client is going to have to travel; they’re going to have to get out of their small town and date someone in another town. We can pull from a larger geographic range, so as long as they’re open to that we can work with them.
What is your best advice for finding someone who complements you?
Davis: Like with fishing, you’re more likely to catch a fish if you have a couple lines out. You may have to try a couple of different avenues, sites, or services like ours. You have to be open-minded. Even if you aren’t the same faith or politically someone doesn’t look at things the same way you do, you might have more in common than you think. You might actually believe a lot of the same things. If you’re open to hearing their perspective, it may allow you to open your mind to something else.
Give us an idea of a great first date.Davis: I think one of the sweetest things we set a couple up to do is they took the guy’s truck out mudding and had a picnic in the woods. It was really cute and sweet. Being outside is a fun date because you’re doing an activity, not just sitting at a table and having dinner, where you feel like you’re being interviewed by the other person. You’re actually doing something fun. I think people generally thrive under those conditions because it’s more natural.