What makes dating in Orlando so damn hard? Where are all the eligible bachelors and bachelorettes?
We reached out to Jazmin Diaz, a 25-year-old Orlando native who is leading some of those conversations in her organization, Queens for Queens.
Diaz, who moved to the West Coast after high school and moved back to Orlando a few years ago, identifies as bisexual and is passionate about promoting female empowerment through thoughtful conversations.
Q: Why do you think finding love in Orlando is so difficult?
A: For starters, because people aren’t as active. When I was on the West Coast, I would meet men and women constantly at outdoor activities. On the East Coast, I’ve found those offerings to be slim pickings. Maybe it’s because it’s so dang hot here and Florida is flat, but people seem less inspired to get active outside of the occasional run around Lake Eola. Also, I have a love-hate relationship with Orlando’s localized connection. It’s great that you have direct access to someone you know or your friends know, but it lends to finding safety in our own friend circles.
Q: What other differences stand out from your experiences in and out of Florida?
A: Orlando is such a transient city. Because there are 1,000 people moving here a week, I think there exists a natural lack of initiation to start up a conversation with someone. Plus, people don’t smile at strangers in the grocery store aisle, at a bar or at a coffee shop as much here. People seem to operate in their silos.
Q: Where do you land on dating apps?
A: They’re a no for me. They feel like a hoax … they’re a time waster, and (they) negatively impact your dating skills. Plus, dating apps and social media take the fun out of dating. They demystify the mystery and take the magic and excitement out of a first date.
Q: How did you and your significant other get together?
A: We met through work. We were friends for a few years but always had great chemistry. When I launched Queens for Queens, she was someone I knew I wanted to work with. From there, it was history.
Q: What’s your advice for someone looking to find love in Orlando?
A: Go to places that take you out of your comfort zone. Stop doing the same ol’ shit. The Guesthouse is beautiful, I love it — but I don’t anticipate you finding Mr./Mrs. Right there. Most of them are already taken. For variety, I advise The Milk District. And attend events — go to places where people are intentionally communal.