City singles dismiss dating

01:13, May 21 2012

The odds may be in favour of men meeting a maiden in Nelson, but many singles are dubious about dating in the city.

There were almost three times as many separated single women as separated single men in Nelson city, 1359 compared with 591, according to the last census in 2006.

Women who spoke to the Nelson Mail this week said the odds were getting worse and there was a single-man drought, while many singles were wary about dating in the city, saying the scene was almost non-existent.

Overall there were 22 per cent, or 2238, more single women than men in Nelson city across all ages, the Statistics New Zealand figures show.

The main reason single women outnumbered single men – 10,044 to 7806 – in Nelson was due to the higher numbers of separated women.

That included singles who had divorced, or separated from a civil union.


On top of that there were more widowed women than men, 1719 to 426, the latest figures show.

Singles social club founder Adrienne Ford said Nelson was prime dating ground for widowed men looking to start over, with the odds almost three to one in their favour.

"I think if you are a single widowed man, Nelson is the place to be. We have loads of single, attractive wealthy widows – just look at the numbers," she said.

However, the Duck Soup founder, also single, advised against dating. Women or men actively looking to date were likely to scare off or turn off many singles in the city.

Dating was a horror word for many in Nelson, viewed as scary by some because it meant putting yourselves out there when you just wanted an active social life, Ms Ford said.

She knew several dating groups which had tried to start in Nelson, but folded in the past few years.

"It tells me that people don't want the pressure of dating. They don't want to worry about dates, they just want a social life that's meaningful, she said.

Speed Dating organiser Jane Metcalfe was forced to dump dating events in Nelson earlier this year after she said they were snubbed by singles in the city.

Miss Metcalfe, of Mainland Dating, said she had to cancel more events than the dozen she ran in 18 months. Dating was dismissed by many in Nelson, she said, but she was unsure why after successful speed-dating events attracted hundreds in Christchurch, Dunedin, Timaru and Invercargill.

"If I can make dating enjoyable and fun in Invercargill then what the hell is going on in Nelson?" Miss Metcalfe said.

"Something's wrong when your most active dating age bracket is 60-70. In Nelson there's 70,000 people ... there has to be single people there. How are they meeting?

"There's something queer going on, it's really strange; but I would come back," she said.

The next census, gathering residents' relationship status, is in March next year.

Statistics New Zealand figures show there are more women than men nationwide, with 97 males for every 100 females.

In the Nelson region there were 19,277 residents with partners, compared to 11,796 who did not have partners, the 2006 Census shows.

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The Nelson Mail