The question of where to go to find love is one that doesn't plague me personally (the answer being, obviously, that I go out of my way to avoid finding love, but als, Greenwood Cemetery), but is one that definitely seems to be on many people's minds. In the latest issue of Psychology Today, Dorothy Gambrell put together a handy map showing where across our great nation people think they see their one true love. Gambrell did this by mapping out the most common places for Missed Connections on Craigslist, because you know that it's "love" when it's all based on how a person looks and not what they're really like. At least, that's what I think love is?
But so what's interesting about this map is how neatly each state's most common missed connections location fits into that state's stereotypes. I mean, what I'm saying is that stereotypes clearly work. It should, therefore, come as no great shock that the most common place for a missed connection in New York is the subway. Who doesn't fantasize about some mysterious stranger on the G train and then immediately go home and post something on Craigslist about him? We've all done it, I'm sure. And it makes perfect sense that Californians see their one true love at the gym, and that Hawaiians see theirs at the beach, and that people in Nevada lock eyes across a crowded casino floor. Romantic! Some states are kind of sad though, even if not surprising. Pretty much all of middle America thinks they see their soulmate at Walmart—it is the most commonly mentioned spot in the country as a whole, and that's not even including states that just list "superstore" as their one major place of finding love.
But perhaps the most puzzling place for missed connections is Indiana, where the most commonly posted site for seeing a mysteriously compelling stranger is "at home." What does this mean? Are Indianans finding themselves coming out of their bathrooms, only to spot someone across the living room, someone they've never seen before, someone they can't help but want to see again, and then rushing off to their computers to post something on Craigslist? Or is this about an average Indiana resident strolling down a quiet street at night, peering into windows, looking for that one person who can set the world on fire? I don't really know. I'm not sure I want to. What I've learned today is that Indiana is a strange, strange place.
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