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8 posts • Page 1 of 1
So, I've lived in Phoenix and central Arizona most of my life, aside from 8 years in Vegas.
Throughout my life I've had a lot of trouble connecting with people and making friends.
I've told myself, "Oh, it's like this everywhere, and sure Arizona seems culturally lacking and has an awful education system and is filled with mostly hicks and yuppies, BUT IT WON'T MATTER, YOU WILL BE UNHAPPY EVERYWHERE. PEOPLE ARE LIKE THIS EVERYWHERE."
Am I wrong to think this?
Is it really possible I could move to the RIGHT place, RIGHT part of the country or overseas, and DISCOVER that people ARE different?
I'm talking about FRIENDLY, GENUINE, OPEN, INTELLIGENT, INTELLECTUAL, CREATIVE people. DO THEY EXIST???
People in Arizona are either completely FAKE, they're bumpkins or they're just plain DULL as f***.
I've ALWAYS thought that, but I've been STUCK here so long, because my family is here and so are some friends, that I've just WHOLESALE GIVEN UP on dating and making new friends.
I DON'T CONNECT WITH ANYONE. BUT I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH EXPERIENCES OF LIVING OTHER PLACES FOR ANY KIND OF REINFORCEMENT. FOR SOMETHING TO TELL ME, "OH, YEAH, YOU'RE MISSING OUT. Arizona IS a deadzone, go here instead."
I feel like I've just been STUCK. And my goddamn friends and family WILL NEVER LEAVE.
But am I wrong to conclude it is like this everywhere? Why do I tell myself that? What is wrong with me? HOW LIMITING is that of me? Do I tell myself that so I'll just stay stuck here and never make a change?
HOW can the world all be like it is here? Am I crazy to think these things about this place?
I've met maybe ONE or TWO people who think what I think about this place!!! And they didn't seem to care all that much.
So I've had VERY LITTLE reinforcement. I just feel CRAZY inside. Bored. Not stimulated. Not engaged. No desire to connect with people who don't seem to have two brain cells to rub together.
What the f**k is wrong with me?
My God, I'll have $100,000 in the bank in a few weeks.
Where should I go?
And I am CRAZY or NOT for concluding that Arizona -- being here -- is literally having a HUGE detrimental effect on my life, my love life, social life? Is there HOPE ELSEWHERE?
Am I nuts? People here just seem STUPID. Plain f***ing STUPID. Dull. Or fake as f**k (think Scottsdale). NOT FRIENDLY AT ALL.
But then I think, "They're like that everywhere." Please, God, NO. That CAN'T be true.
Thanks for listening to my rant.
I'm mad at myself, for not making a change sooner.
But there's still that lingering doubt, because people who live in Arizona LOOOOVE IT HERE. There's no counterculture whatsoever. So you hear that over and over and you think, "Oh, this shit smells good, everyone else says it does."
Or am I just too negative? That's what they'll say.
I thought Arizona is supposed to be a place with lots of New Age holistic types. It certainly seems like it is. But the hot tall athletic girls there aren't very approachable. They are liberated and don't need men. All they care about is working on their "self-esteem" bullshit. There's no place for a horny man with strong romantic and sexual desires. You aren't supposed to need women in America. Thus your romantic and sexual desires are INVALIDATED.
Have you gone Sedona? Are there spiritual people there? Or are they all posers?
What about Flagstaff? There are some hippies and New Age holistic college student girls there. But even if they are nice, they don't need men.
Arizona attracts nature types too. Those tend to be down-to-earth. But every girl claims to have a boyfriend when you approach them. So it's a zero sum game.
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
Tucson resident here, and an old one with a long perspective.
I first came to Tucson in '77, choosing it out of all the places in the world, according to various criteria relevant to me personally. I've been in and out ever since, mostly out, and will be back to stay end of this month, after seven months traveling around. I've spent almost two years of the last 12 in Europe, searching unsuccessfully for the kinds of relationships you describe.
My perspective: Neither Tucson, nor any place else in the U.S. is nearly as attractive from a social standpoint as it was when I first moved out here. The pre-obesity epidemic women in Tucson (and Phoenix) were incredible in the late '70s, early '80s -- really hot, a little loose and into the sexual revolution of the day, but not bad as marriage material. I should have married one or two in particular. At that time there were still some regional differences among Americans, though the population has become pretty much homogenized since, with the youth culture basically turning every region into a collection of lowlifes. So no, I don't think moving anywhere in the US will yield up a population at large having the kind of characteristics you're looking for. That is strictly a matter of what circles you travel in, and how lucky you get.
Unfortunately, I can't offer Europe as an alternative, based on my experiences, though I'm not a good traveler -- i.e, one who embraces the culture, learns the language, etc. I expected to find myself on a higher plane intellectually, engaged in all manner of interesting discourse. Didn't happen. You want that, you've got to look hard for it. I've met plenty of jackasses over here -- in about the same proportion to the general population as in the U.S. -- though all males. The women are easier to strike up conversations with, and don't seem to have the paranoia about men AW do, but they don't make their interest as clear when it's there as AW do. Simply that they are talking to you isn't necessarily an indication. I've decided I'd rather deal with the devil I know, and hope I get lucky enough to find the exceptional AW.
I love most everything about Arizona, except the interpersonal dynamics you describe, which I believe are common to the entire US now, and increasingly common in the rest of the world. I know, however, that if I'm going to avoid the sort of social stagnation you describe, I'm going to have to work harder than I have at developing a social circle. The US is shot through with subcultures. Choose from among them wisely.
If I were to totally relocate back to the USA, Tucson would be high on my list. It is really underrated.
It seems still to have reasonable real estate prices- a very good investment it seems given the millions of baby boomers set to retire. The settings for a lot of homes on the east side of town is spectacular, and the weather is better than Phoenix metro. It has much to recommend it.
I agree, as does AARP magazine, which ranked it the number one retirement destination about four years ago. We're usually about five to seven degrees cooler than Phoenix. While they may be able to get through a winter without turning on the heater at night, it's harder here, but we have far more tolerable summers.
Real estate is still a pretty good buy. It's kind of flat on the east side, where I live. Most of the growth and price increase the last two or three decades has been on the northwest side, closer to Phoenix. You can find great views all over the city. Growth stalled a few years ago, and began really lagging behind the Phoenix valley. It didn't help that we lost our spring training baseball teams to Phoenix (better logistics with all the teams in the same area), as well as our minor league team. It's never been a bustling economy, with U of Az, Davis Monthan AFB and Raytheon being the only really large employers. But as you say, it should remain a good retirement draw for the baby boomers (unless the thrill I get from bright, sunny days is strictly a minority taste).
Side note to Winston, if he checks back in: Not only has the site been incredibly slow for several days, but it no longer allows you to stay automatically logged in, adding more waiting time whenever you want to post. I didn't read the thread on the subject -- am assuming some software jockey will get on it.
Winston's suggestions of an arty place like Flagstaff or Sedona were good ones.
Places are NOT all the same. And they CHANGE. Aging, new populations.
My hometown of Athens Georgia was a chaotic mix of university types professors and native Southerners in the 1970's. Bumpkins from around the state coming to college to party. Now it is a cultural feast, live music everywhere, lively interesting people, no materialism at all. A mini-Berlin. I guess the bumpkins passed through, but the real arts lovers found a way to stay. If I had grown up there 15 years later I probably never would have left.
OTOH when I was making sales calls in the Atlanta suburbs, Snellville and Fayetteville, those areas were booming, lots of Yankees moving in and building homes, locals were coining money selling land, landscaping, services.... But there was absolutely no culture. None. Just suburbs and contractor's trucks. Roswell was like that too when I lived there. Dunwoody was even worse. But a lot of that was the PHASE ATlanta was in. Growth, sprawl, etc.
Sure there are smart people or interesting people or friendly people everywhere. But without a CRITICAL MASS, they are invisible.
Don't look for a needle in a haystack. Go the where the needles are.
In Mexico one example of this is San Miguel de Allende. It became an American/Mexican arts colony from the 1930's. Sure there are artists elsewhere in Mexico, but there they shaped the culture.
There is an arty/Bohemian section in Mexico City, too. Not sure how open they are there, but Europeans settle there and enjoy it.
Bali and Chiang Mai are going to have a different vibe also. I'm referring to the expats, not the locals of course. Chiang Mai has a lot of writers, and some artists too.
I think if moving to a new place,the openness is even more imprtant than intellect and arts. Lots of EE cities and French cities will have culture, but how open thy are is another question. A place like Berlin (as EuroBrat has described) or Chiang Mai, full of single newcomers, is going to be more open for other single newcomers to make friends.
(EDIT: Edited my post here after realizing PandaMan and PandaBear are not the same guy! Anyway most still applies.)
Wonderful and insightful.
I just have no excuse but to get off my ass and travel. I have the money. I can do it. It's time.