Single and Dating in Tacoma: Stories and Survey Results

Last week we did a survey to determine what it was like being single and dating in Tacoma. You’ll find the results of that survey below along with a few interesting dating stories and some insight into how singles feel about their chances of romantic bliss in the City of Destiny.

While reading through the survey results, here are a few things to keep in mind.

The vast majority of respondents were straight women interested in monogamous relationships. Additionally, most respondents had lived in Tacoma for 10+ years meaning they are familiar with the city and its dating pool.

Lastly, some respondents skipped certain questions which may have skewed some of the results. Just a few notes to consider!

We mixed in a few quotes from dating experiences and listed a bunch more at the end. If you have some stories of your own to share, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

1. Age range

More than 65% of respondents were 26 to 40 years of age. Respondents between the ages of 36 to 40 had a slight majority at 23.9% followed by 26 to 30 at 22.7% and ages 31 to 35 at 20.5%. Roughly a fifth to a quarter of respondents were in one of these three age groups.

My most fun first date was riding bikes down Ruston and over to Point Defiance around 5 mile drive. We went to Parkway Tavern afterward. He was a really fun guy. Although, I could tell he was kinda unhinged. He rode a BMX bike without any brakes down some big hills. When we saw a bunch of raccoons in Point Defiance, he yelled at them in a Boston accent, “Heyyyy! You got any apples?!”

2. How long have you been actively dating?


Approximately 64% of respondents have been actively dating for 1 to 5 years with a slight majority (35.2%) actively dating for 3 to 5 years versus 1 to 2 years (28.4%). The fewest respondents selected 6 to 10 years of active dating.

I once had a guy tell me he was psychic in the first 10 minutes. He said in a past life he was a German officer tried for war crimes, a first mate made to walk the plank… and don’t forget the gargoyle that sat on his chest every night.

3. Do you use dating apps? If so, which ones?

The majority of respondents selected Bumble (61.3%), Hinge (55%), Tinder (51.2%), and OkCupid (22.5%) as dating apps they use. Honorable mentions were Match, Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, the League, and Her. Considering the majority of our respondents were women, it makes sense Bumble would take the lead. It’s also one of the top dating apps at the moment.

While Tinder was not the first dating app, it introduced the “swipe right” concept which solidified in the mobile dating game. No surprise it was one of our most selected options!

She took me to Titlow, and we walked up the trail a bit. She brought a big blanket, and we painted by the water while listening to music.

4. Where do singles go to mingle in Tacoma?

*This is a summarized graph of the most popular answers

Most of you responded with some version of a “No idea. Please, tell me where.” Well, here’s what we got for ya!

For specific locations, Triple Knock, The Mixx, McMenamins, and The Forum received the most mentions.

In terms of location, most of you think 6th Ave, Downtown, and Pacific Ave are the places to be if you’re looking to meet single people.

We went to a bar. I ordered one drink, and an appetizer. She had an appetizer and a meal, kept ordering drinks despite me very obviously trying to wrap it up. I was there for 4 hours while she talked at me about her ex and how she was *almost* in the peace corps.

5. How do you feel about the dating pool in Tacoma?

Most respondents believe the dating pool in Tacoma ranges from “Way Too Small” to “Decent Sized.” Only 2.3% felt there were “Plenty of Options.”

I don’t know about best or worst, but I had the very odd experience of going on first dates with 2 different guys within a month (or so) of each other who told me they were suffering from terminal cancer. Very sad, but what are the chances?

6. What type of dates have you gone on? e.g. movies, restaurants, hiking, etc.

Like one would imagine in most cities, bars and restaurants are popular types of dates for singles. Because we’re PNW, outdoor activities were also highly selected.

Went on one date with a guy and he kept bragging about his wingspan.

7. How often do you travel outside of Tacoma to find singles?

Most respondents said they traveled outside of Tacoma “Occasionally” (48.9%) followed by “About Half the Time” (19.3%) to find singles.

Upon finding out a guy I’d been talking to wasn’t vaccinated, I mentioned how he would have to wear a mask inside my house (this was last summer). He said “I would laugh in your face if you said that to me.” Glad I figured out what a douche he was ahead of time!

8. How has the pandemic affected your dating experience? (Multiple Choice)

No surprise here. Most people believe the pandemic has greatly affected their dating experience.

I walked into E9 for a one-hour beer date and ended up being filmed eating meatloaf with my date for the TV show Food Paradise on the Travel Channel.

9. Overall, how do you feel about the dating scene in Tacoma?

On a scale of 1 (It’s the Worst) to 5 (It’s the Best), most respondents selected 2 (It’s Bad-38.6%) and 3 (It’s all right-36.4%). Considering many people feel the dating pool in Tacoma is small (See question #5) it tracks that most people would not feel too hopeful about the local dating scene either.

We asked if you had any stories to share and you all did not disappoint:

  • I went on a date with an incel.
  • One of the last tinder dates I went on years ago was a soldier who insisted we go to the cheese cake factory because I had never been and that was not acceptable to him. He showed up late wearing basketball shorts and a dirty hoodie. Then talked about all the cheese cake factories he’s been to with his mom, his favorite is the one in Seattle. And because their menu is a f*cking novel I couldn’t decide fast enough so he ordered me what his mom usually ordered… it was not what his mom usually ordered and I know that because he tried it without asking me and said “oh that’s not what she gets, oh well, still good!” The rest of the meal was awkward, we really had nothing in common. (Also the cheese cake factory’s food isn’t that good… definitely not good enough to have been to multiple locations and have a favorite) When we were leaving he backed into a parked car so he got out to look at the damage and when he saw that there wasn’t any he tried to drive off but a woman saw him start to leave without leaving his info on the car he hit so she began to yell at him. After that I messaged him and told him that it wasn’t going to work out. A few days later he found my ig and messaged me to tell me i was a shallow b*tch and that he thought we really had something… nice guy.
  • One time after a hookup, a guy insisted on needing a nap before driving home. He set an hour timer and immediately fell asleep. He woke up in the middle of the nap because his stomach was gurgling. He pulled out alkaseltzer from his pocket and asked me to get him a glass of water. I literally had a broken ankle and was using crutches. He immediately fell back asleep and was snoring.
  • Went on a date with a sports radio “personality”. He talked about our date on his podcast, including that we had sex. Except we didn’t. He’s a tool.
  • Went on a date with a lovely lady, walked up and down the Ruston waterfront during a nice summer day. We ended up talking each other’s ears off which usually is a good sign. We both had a really good time and we ended the date with a kiss! We kept in touch for a while and agreed on a second date, however after increasing periods of being ghosted, I decided that it wasn’t worth the effort 🤷‍♂️
  • My worst date story was I met up with a guy for a walk. He walked at a snails pace. He did not look like his pictures. The photos just have been 10 years old. He was super weird. He said the oddest things on the date. Like, he interrupted me and said “Macchu Picchu.” When I said, “What,” he proceeded to tell me that was his safe word. He would also just randomly ask if he could have a hug. He also told really bad jokes. Like, he was Jewish, and he asked me if I was. When I told him no. He said, “Do you want some jew in you?” There were so many odd things about that date, that I thought I must be getting punked, or he was a comedian looking for material.
  • Met a guy online, he was in town from an affluent Hollywood suburb. We met with a nsa in mind. He told me he was road tripping the west coast a few weeks during the pandemic. IG confirmed. Gets to my house and he smells AWFUL. Like he’s lived in a van by the river his entire life. He apologized profusely because his shower stop fell through. I offered to let him shower and asked if he wanted to do a load of laundry while we were at dinner. He was so grateful. He gets the laundry, comes up to the bathroom and strips down in 3 seconds. It’s then I see his black over grown Covid-neglected pedicure falcon toes, and I worry for the safety of my cats. I can’t even. He takes a shower only to realize ALLLLL of his clothes are in the laundry. Now naked-falcon man is sans pants and has huge block words tattooed across his feet that I can’t repeat here. I let him borrow a pair of my purple leggings and a hoodie. (Me 5’1, him 6’4). In the sake of starvation, we ended up driving to Taco Bell in his $140k Porsche that had been modified to a camper thing. We are tacos by the water. He gave me the story behind the tattoos which was truly endearing. There was no hook-up to be had, which possibly would have led to an exorcism not an orgasm, if I’m being honest. He did however apologize profusely and a week later I received a package on my porch (-no, it was not a crow’s head) but it was 5 new pairs of LuLu Lemon leggings and a card for not making him feel like an ass during our date. He turned out to be a super nice guy and we’ve since had dinner dates a few times when he is driving through. He comes showered now. We never crossed into dating or FWB but he’s a nice guy. Give the weird ones a chance, I say.

Header photo by Sierra Hartman, You’ll Like Tacoma sign by Tacoma Lights and the 253 Heart

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