Where are all the men? For time immemorial women in cities around the world have asked friends this question, only to be met with a blank look and apologetic shrug. Logically, if we’re failing in our current locations, there’s only one thing to do: think global.
So here are the spots where women have the best quality of life, as well as chances to get that marital ball rolling.
1. Shanghai, China
If you want to get statistical in finding a man (and let’s face it, if you’ve tried online dating, you already have), consider this: in 2020 there are predicted to be 24 million single men in China. Given Shanghai’s cosmopolitan nature and increasing number of multinational corporations, guys are flocking here. And there’s little not to love: ballroom dancing on the street, champagne brunches, even 24hr street teddy bear vendors for low-cost cuddling. And if the dating game grows tiresome, head to People’s Square Marriage Market on a Saturday to meet a mate.
2. Stockholm, Sweden
Sweden is the first ranked egalitarian country in the world
Alternated paid maternity leave, unisex bathrooms (minimizing excruciating ladies lines), equal TV airtime for male and female sport, and the creation of the first female friendly car, which includes a dent in the headrest for ponytails. Plus, according to one study Swedish men do more housework than anywhere else. So if you dream of settling down with a Scando who can simultaneously serve a Smorgasbord and give a Swedish massage: Stockholm’s got them in stock.
3. Melbourne, Australia
Named the world’s most livable city by the Economist, Melbourne is distinguished by its cultural and artistic scene. But what makes it a secret woman’s paradise is the inexplicable discrepancy between the attractiveness of the sexes. It’s not uncommon to see a bronzed column of man wander by with an somewhat average woman on his arm. One who decided to ditch the beach and eat meatpies instead. We’re not claiming that this is the case across the board, but looking around the impeccably groomed ladies of Manhattan, we’ll take our chances in Melbourne.
4. Milan, Italy
Fine wines, fashion and unabashedly persistent men: Milan seems to have it all. Nicknamed the New York of Europe, it has the liveliest job market in the country, energy-efficient and government-funded urban regeneration programs and a welcoming social scene, primarily made up of well-tailored men with slick haircuts. Talk about having your pannacotta and eating it too.
5. Austin, Texas
This offbeat Texan town has been described as the capital for creative singles. It boasts high quality, low cost accommodation, and for those with entrepreneurial aspirations, was ranked best city to begin your career, due to a supportive venture capital environment. And on top of year-round sunshine, according to a Marie Claire survey, the single man to single woman ratio is 12:10. We’ll take those odds.
6. Paris, France
Take an art course, go to the opera, cycle around with a baguette and brie in your basket – the cliché activities for a lady in Paris are endless and easily achievable. As for the men: they’re frequently perfectly groomed and be-cufflinked, plus they value their women as much as their quality of life. The laughable 35-hour workweek is glorious enough in itself, but the increasingly neglected art of chivalry is very much alive as well.
7. New York, New York
Nail spas on every corner, brunch being very much a thing and generous pay packets (it’s home to 40 Fortune 500 HQs), the city is a haven for the single woman. The men are international, ambitious and reliably forward, and the social scene is easier to navigate than many other big cities as the transient locals are always looking for new friends.
But be warned: while the NY dating scene is thriving and you’ll never have the same night – or man for that matter – twice if you don’t want to, the male:female ratio is unfairly skewed in the men’s favour. And you’re competing with a whole country’s worth of women wanting to make it big in fashion. What we mean is: prepare to feel inadequate on the regular.
8. Zurich, Switzerland
A fast-paced financial centre in a quaint package. You’ll find pristine streets, pathologically punctual public transport, urban sailing on Lake Zurich, and close proximity to the Alps and some of the world’s best ski resorts. If you’re looking for a trendy hipster with tattoos and skinny jeans, look elsewhere, but if the suited and slick upwardly mobile are your (Gucci) bag, try the city where everything runs like clockwork.
9. San Francisco, California
The most number of cupcake shops per capita in the US and the second lowest obesity rate. Clearly climbing all those hills transforms you into ’that girl with the glutes’ even with a devil’s food addiction. And the city is bursting with single men. Granted 15% of those can be struck from the list of potentials immediately – given the flourishing gay community – but that party-hard posse make perfect wingmen in the meantime. Plus Mount Tamalpais State Park, with 6300 acres of wild grasslands, is just 20 miles away and provides a speedy escape from the ding of the trolley bell.
10. Tokyo, Japan
Better educated, wider travelled and higher earning than ever before, ladies here aren’t rushing into marriage or children any time soon. Nicknamed theparasite singles by the older guard and blamed for the shrinking population, they’re advancing their careers and letting men know that the kimonos are off. Just not literally. Moving here means avoiding the crush of Spring weddings, an abundance of single men looking for a lady to say yes, and all the trappings of a group of friends with disposable income. If that sounds like your cup of miso, Tokyo’s where to go.