Dating in Your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50's and 60s in Kansas City

Think your mother would ever get on Tinder? We take an in-depth plunge in the dating scene in Kansas City.

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   There has never been a better time to be single, and if you are single, you’re not alone. Half of Americans older than age 18 are without a mate AND most of the single folks report that they are happy with their unmarried status, thank you very much. A study by the American Psychological Association backs that up, citing that single people may have more fulfilling social lives and experience greater psychological growth than a lot of married people. 

   To find out what’s it like being single in Kansas City, we did our own deep dive — from on-line dating to the current love “language.” We also consulted romance writers and explored the history of the hookup. Our conclusion is that the KC single scene is what you make it. It’s totally attitude-driven and, spoiler alert, the 52-year-old Leawood mom on Tinder thinks it’s pretty sweet.


Dating in 20s Kansas City Mallory Heyer illustration


   I’ve long believed that I was born in the wrong era. I’ve known since I was 18 that I wanted to cut the crap and settle down. Unfortunately, guys haven’t been on the same page. My mother always reminded me that boys mature much slower than girls, but jeez, how much slower? Try a snail’s pace. She also told me that I’d most likely find someone in my 20s. That while I was out doing my own thing I’d meet someone when I least expected it. Bad move. I set my hopes high and I followed every bit of advice given to me: I checked in my church, on campus while getting my undergrad, in the nearest coffee shop or bookstore. I’ve even revisited old flames, like Anna Farris did in What’s Your Number — which reminded me why the ability to block is SO important. O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou my nerdy Romeo?

   Millennials and their courtship-killing ways have killed romance. My generation has embraced hookup culture like it’s a new summer of love, coining terms like “situationships” and glorifying side chicks/dudes, deeming them healthy for relationships. I’m old fashioned, but my trials and tribulations have left me no choice but to wade through the courtship-killing masses in hopes of finding an old-school soul like me.

   Doesn’t anyone woo with a playlist anymore?

   The Kansas City Star reported a while back that dating while black in KC is a hard feat, and I agree, but not for the reasons you think. As a blerd (a portmanteau of black and nerd), clubs and kickbacks are not my scene and they attract a certain type. Men laughing in your face when you muster up enough courage to say hi is not on my list of fun things to do on a Saturday night.

   I’m an acquired taste, like an expensive cognac. I’m into things like comic books, video games, old-school funk and curated book lists make me giddy. While online dating is more and more becoming the source for happily ever after, it doesn’t work for me. After countless creeps in my inbox I’ve discovered I’m a hopeless romantic (thanks, RomComs with quirky girls) who would rather meet someone organically than find love at first swipe. I want someone who’s sure about me and never leaves me questioning such.

   These are things you learn about yourself when dating in your 20s. While wading through the muck and misfires, you wind up fine-tuning your preferences. And, sure it has made me a little jaded, but at least I got some good stories out of it to tell over drinks.

   - Sloane, 29, Kansas City