’Ships start here

When it comes to dating, Haligonians are into playing the long game.

Lattes and looking and longing for forever: That’s you, Halifax.
Lattes and looking and longing for forever: That’s you, Halifax.

Halifax wants to lock it down. Go steady. Bring you home to meet mom, ask you to wear its letterman jacket, tag you in its relationship status and be totally OK farting in front of you. The Coast’s annual Sex + Dating survey revealed a lot—like, maybe too much—about the dating habits, desires and kinks of the city, and it turns out we’re a lovelorn bunch of saps looking for the real thing. Collectively, we have some serious relationship goals.

This year, a whopping 78 percent of surveyed lovers say for better or for worse, they’re looking to commit to one person and mate for life. And a lot of them are achieving that ambition. Forty-four percent of respondents have had just one sexual partner in the last year, 41 percent are in the same relationship they were 12 months ago and 44 percent have only ever dated one person at a time. No thanks one-night stands, friends-with-benefits and out-of-the-blue booty calls (because, that’s a realistic depiction of single life, right?), it looks like we won’t be needing your services around here.

The icing on this vanilla cake? When we asked “What’s the kinky thing you want to try this year?” the most common answer we got—beating out threesome, public sex and BDSM—was being in a committed relationship. Well, tie me up and call me Christian Grey!

But are those hoping to satisfy that craving for fidelity looking for love in all the wrong places? (This municipality, for instance.) “Depends on your demographic and gender, but Halifax generally stinks for long-term mates,” writes one anonymous entrant, a sentiment echoed by many. “For one-nighters and short-term flings, if you don’t mind a host of emotional bullshit, Halifax has you covered.”

However, according to our research, most folks aren’t actually looking for “just a hook-up.” Forty-two percent of the people we surveyed are “not into that,” hard stop. Even more charming is that almost half of our survey-doers would choose bad sex with someone they love over a great romp with a stranger. Dawww, you guys.

You might be hard-pressed to find a stranger to get sexy with in this city’s supposedly shallow sea of solos, though. “Everyone knows everyone, and if you haven’t slept with someone, your friend or friend’s friend or cousin or sister’s boyfriend’s sister has,” one singleton gripes. This year 45 percent of respondents agreed Halifax is a brutal place to be a single, and they have major complaints about the dating scene being “incestuous.” Basically we’re all just bobbing for love in a “cesspool” of sloppy seconds.

And while the tangled web of whodunnits is an annoying obstacle, its nowhere near as bad as the public shame and general confusion that greets the rebels who dare choose to be single on purpose.

“People assume if you’re single you shouldn’t be. It’s really weird,” writes one participant of Halifax’s love-seeking lone wolves. “People here would rather be in a shitty relationship than try learning to be happy alone.”

Perhaps that’s because lots of people—38 percent—cite rejection as their biggest dating fear; being shot down or shrugged off is scarier than disease, pregnancy and performance, according to our results. Or maybe its because society is a judgmental asshole that’s rubbed off on us.

Whether you’re trying to find somebody to love, or already hunkered down with your one and only, this city is full of folks committed to playing the long game. Trust us, the proof is in the numbers. When faced with the age-old question, “Netflix or chill?” 58 percent of our survey group chose Netflix. And if that doesn’t scream long-term relationship material, I don’t know what does.

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