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“But at 37, and with two small children, I find myself asking, ‘Would I leave this guy with my children? ’” Fitzgerald also talked about the Peter Pan syndrome and admitted, “I’m not going out with someone who hasn’t grown up yet.” It’s no big secret that Hilton Head has a unique demographic composition.
Making up a good percentage of the working population is the food and beverage industry, which is often stereotyped as Peter-Pan-ish and criticized for living by the “work hard, play harder” credo.
“When it comes to dating here, I don’t really play well with others,” joked Fiona Fitzgerald. I can’t tell you how many times I meet a guy and he says, ‘You mean you don’t eat chicken? ’ and then I just have to laugh and say, ‘No, if it has eyes or parents, I don’t eat it.’” Fitzgerald has lived on the island off and on for 15 years.
Now divorced, she’s in her 30s and once again navigating through “bachelorette-dom.” But this time she’s dating not just as a single woman, but as a single mother who works fulltime and has high standards when it comes to finding companionship.
“Of course when you’re in your early 20s, everything is higher and tighter and your criteria for dating someone is, ‘He’s super-hot and I’ve been drunk for a month,’” Fitzgerald said laughing.
Scene: I’m having drinks with a friend who is celebrating her quasi-amicable divorce. With an approximate year-round population of 39,400, the male-to-female ratio on Hilton Head Island is roughly 19,300 to 20,100.
I ask her how she’s doing and then in an effort to empower her say, “You should start dating again,” to which she first laughs/chokes on her wine and then replies, “Date on Hilton Head? It sucks dating here.” Growing up on the island and having gone the fairytale route of marrying my favorite neighbors’ son (and subsequently also my parents’ best friends’ son), I am struck by her response. Eighty-five percent of the population is married, while 15 percent are single.
As it turns out, dating on Hilton Head Island, poses many challenges for many reasons.
That means that more or less 2,895 men and 3,015 women comprise the Hilton Head dating circuit.