Defining the Chicago Single by Bela Gandhi’s recent study on the Windy City dating scene revealed Chicago singles to have Midwestern values mixed with romantic city lives, searching for love, success and adventure in America’s heartland. From who and where Chicago singles are looking to date, to where they like to dine, explores just who these thriving city singles are with Smart Dating Academy expert Bela Gandhi.

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As Chicago’s own Smart Dating Academy founder, I personally know that our Windy City singles are unique: We are smart, urbane, educated, and earn higher incomes than most singles in other US cities – AND have our priorities in order. 54% of Chicago singles believe that having a happy relationship is even more important than their jobs/careers, and 56% of us believe in love at first sight. We are looking for true partners in life, with nearly all men and women citing mutual respect, trust, and confiding in one another as the top two “must-haves” in their relationships.

In seeking relationships, our local singles are looking to have it all; 86% of Chicago singles believe you can have a successful relationship while balancing your rewarding career. Chicago men want to date high-powered, strong women – especially in advertising, doctors, and teachers/professors. Women also look for a strong and professional man to partner with; an overwhelming majority wants entrepreneurs, a doctor or a lawyer as a date. Furthermore, 50% of us have had a one-night stand, 42% of us have had a “friends with benefits” relationship, and the vast majority of us are open to kissing or holding hands on the first date.

When we’re out on dates, we most prefer heading to River North, and our favorite date night is Thursday. Most of us met our “last first date” online or through friends. Our favorite romantic season is summer, and we love heading to the Lake or neighborhood street festivals on dates. When we want a quick getaway, we love heading to Lake Geneva, or a staycation on Michigan Avenue.

Chicago singles love humor. We are a cheeky, sophisticated bunch, much more likely to engage in stimulating and sarcastic banter – we can dish it out and are turned on when you return the favor. Given a choice of local celebs, funny also wins! Chicago women would most like to date comedic actor Vince Vaughn (even over Barack Obama and Michael Jordan), and men favored funny girl Tina Fey (over Jenny McCarthy and Cindy Crawford).

To all you singles here in Chicago, the summer of love has officially arrived! Get outdoors, head to the lake or festival during the day to meet that special someone, or turn your computer on and check your Match Inbox. Chi-town is filled with thousands of fun, hardworking, and successful singles everywhere, just waiting to meet you!

Find out more about singles in Chicago here!

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