Author Topic: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.  (Read 11664 times)

MustachiansWitness

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Hi all,

I've been a long time reader and absolute fan of MMM and recently joined the forums. I'm posting because I'm really at a point where I don't know what to do with my life. Financially, things couldn't get much better, but my location depresses the hell out of me! I'm not really sure if moving will make things any better for me, but I think it might. I really think I'd prefer a big city.

I live in a small town in Oklahoma of about 30,000 people. I moved here after college at the age of 21 to work in IT for an oil company starting at an 85k salary. That has gone up to 92k at the moment and I am about to get another raise in a month. The job is alright although there's definitely lots of corporate politics. I live right next to work and bike everywhere. I've lived here for three years and went from basically nothing to about 90k in investments and 30k in home equity. I've picked up more and more Mustachian habits over the three years and my savings rate is now about 66%. I do splurge on international travel and road trips to see friends in other cities.

Now the depressing part is really where I'm living. I can't stand living here. There's not a lot of young people here and most of the ones that are here get married in their early 20s. It's part of the bible belt so religion is a huge deal to people and I'm not religious. Obesity is the norm. People usually seem nice but it's not easy to make friends when everyone thinks you're a wierdo and an outsider. It doesn't help that I'm somewhat introverted. No other cyclists here aside from Mormon missionaries and I am constantly told things like "the good Lord put hydrocarbons in the ground for a reason". Being single also sucks, since I feel the dating pool is very limited. Very few attractive women, largely due to the rampant McDonald's addiction that plagues the city. Most women my age who aren't married are single moms. The few attractive (or rather just not fat) women I've met here tend to have very stuck up attitudes as they are such a commodity. I can't seem to find anyone that would be on board with anything slightly resembling a Mustachian lifestyle other than one close friend I've made who is also my neighbor.

A part of me thinks I could find somewhere much better, but a part of me thinks I should just suck it up and travel several times a year until I'm retired within the next decade. Some things holding me back from moving include:
-Unsure if I could find the same salary somewhere else, and cost of living here is extremely low
-Unsure if anywhere else in the US is really that much better or if this whole country just sucks
-Not the greatest housing market where I'm at. I think selling my house could be difficult. Not sure if I should try to sell before or after I moved.
-Lots of opportunities for promotion and gaining a wide variety of experience in my current job

So what do y'all fellow Mustachians think? Is it time to move, or should I just stick to the grind for a few more years and then leave retired?

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2017, 12:02:02 AM »
Wow, sounds like me, except a "small town" of 30K? That's much bigger than where I live. How far is it to the nearest big city? A lot of people where I live resorted to dating in a big city a few hours drive away, with mixed success and some inconvenience. It took me more than 3 years to really understand this place and once I did it was a lot less awful (try mixing with the locals even if they are troglodytes).

Dee18

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2017, 03:48:58 AM »
Move.  After three years you can tell whether a place is right for you.  It sounds like you haven't applied for other jobs, so you don't know what is available.  Look now while overall employment is strong.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2017, 04:59:45 AM »
If you look hard enough, you may find a mini-community in the place that's more to your liking. For example, you kept talking about people being overweight - but surely there's a gym? And if not there, some nearby town is bound to have a Crossfit.

But it does sound dismal. I'd probably rent out my house through an agent and move somewhere nicer.

ejacobson

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2017, 05:13:56 AM »
It sounds like you have no reasons to stay there. You really should move to get out of the funk that you are in and to improve your long-term prospects for happiness. Being in IT in oil should allow you to get a high enough salary in TX, CA, and likely any large metropolitan area. Assuming you want a partner or a family someday, moving will expand your romantic prospects. Even if you end up with a salary dip, it will likely be temporary. Not to sound preachy but youth runs away quickly. Have some fun and enjoy your younger years where you can be happy.

YoungInvestor

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2017, 06:11:52 AM »
Find a job and move.

Postponing your retirement by a few years is not such a huge sacrifice if you enjoy yourself on your way. Finding a partner to share costs with may even make the move advantageous, even if that should not be your primary motivation.

slappy

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2017, 06:19:48 AM »
-Unsure if anywhere else in the US is really that much better or if this whole country just sucks

This statement is a bit concerning.  It seems like a pretty negative attitude.

I would do two things.

1) Make a more concentrated effort to make friends or get to know people.  There was a great thread around here at some point about making friends. Write down a plan and stick to it.  For example, talk to x number of people per day about what they are interested in. Invite people over x times per month. Basically put yourself out there with an open mind. Maybe you are already doing this, but from your post it seems you are basically looking down on the whole time.

2) Think about the cities where you currently have friends. Would you consider moving to one of those cities? Make a pro/con list. Start doing research, looking for jobs/housing etc. Take the time during your road trip visits to really explore the city.

Doing number one will hopefully keep you in better spirits while you move towards a plan to move elsewhere.

lizzzi

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2017, 06:34:34 AM »
Sometimes is really isn't you--if you've done all the right things to try to hook in and be part of the community--really tried to bloom where you're planted--and it just isn't jelling--it may be that it just isn't the right place for you. It isn't you--it's the location. I've had a similar experience moving to a very nice and very LCOL area in the Midwest. Moved there for family reasons, which have now pretty much become irrelevant. So eight months ago I packed up the dog and my vehicle, and moved back to upstate NY. What a difference! I was "home" the minute I crossed the state line--and when a rainbow appeared over Rt. 84 I knew it had to be a sign! The Midwest isn't bad,  but it just doesn't "click" for me. New York is home. So I think if you've done your best but if you're still feeling like a square peg in a round hole--three years is enough time--I would pack it in and move it out.

zinnie

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 06:42:27 AM »
All the things you've said are excellent reasons to leave. No amount of money is worth being miserable. And yes, there are many better places. Start looking now!

marty998

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2017, 06:45:18 AM »
-Unsure if anywhere else in the US is really that much better or if this whole country just sucks

This statement is a bit concerning.  It seems like a pretty negative attitude.

Yeah this is a bad sign.... you gotta change your attitude.

Take it from my experience, you can still feel isolated in a city of millions if you have the wrong attitude.

You need to be open to letting people in before they will want to walk through that door.

purple monkey

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2017, 06:50:22 AM »
Have you considered connecting to folks here?

There might be a few people near you since the MMM community is so large.

Have you already tried:

https://www.meetup.com/

https://ffrf.org/

Good luck deciding...


chasesfish

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2017, 06:56:46 AM »
Why not move to Dallas? 

You don't live far away and from what I can tell based on observations of co-workers, if you check the boxes of employed and "not a jerk", you'll do very well with the ladies.   I'm still amazed how long it takes very successful women I work with to find someone, especially since I too came from a small town and most people were not single after the age of 23.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 06:58:41 AM by chasesfish »

caracarn

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2017, 06:59:34 AM »
Small town living is not for everyone.  After three years, it seems that you've determined it's not for you.

I would agree with others, that once you do find a new job and move, you need to focus on your attitude to avoid shutting people out because of cynicism or other forms of negativity.  Also, not sure if that negativity contributes to your finding everyone unattractive.  I get people can be heavy, but in a town that size it seems like you'd still be able to connect with folks more to your liking, but maybe your lenses have been clouded by your distaste for the area in general. 

A community is what you make of it, but having struggled to fit in even in a "big city" (Nashville) because I was not from there, it can be a challenge anywhere.  I do get that sometimes everything you try fails, and you need to decide, but even in a big city, your circle of acquaintances is still only a few hundred people at most for most folks, especially if you are introverted.  Having a million or 5 million people versus 30K turns out to not be that big a difference, because you're not going to come in contact with a million people regardless of where you are at.  But you will have more things to do and more opportunity for nearby connections, but it revolves around how you handle the situation.

GizmoTX

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2017, 07:03:25 AM »
Place & people contribute to your quality of life. If you do find a life partner in your current place, chances are you'd be staying there. You do need to expand the pool of likely people in a place that makes your heart sing. You have a good stash of FU money, so you can make this happen. Update your resume & start interviewing at places & companies you think you might like; you might be surprised at the response. (Check Glassdoor.com) As you've discovered, lots of factors matter: scenery, climate, activities, economic environment, political makeup.

marielle

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2017, 07:13:48 AM »
Have you tried joining any groups or teams? For example, I play on a billiards league (American Pool Players--check for a local division). It's actually easier to join if you're NOT good at pool because of the handicap system and it's a great way to meet people. I also live in a pretty rural area but still made friends through pool even if we don't 100% agree politically. If you're not into pool, there are other leagues for bowling, darts, etc. Is there a university nearby? You're not too old to be friends with college students, so you could try hanging out in areas close to the school.

As far as being unsure of finding the same salary somewhere else, there is no harm in applying to jobs now. You don't have to accept the job. Worst case scenario you get some interviewing experience in the process.

Aggie1999

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2017, 07:21:09 AM »
Move to a large city and start doing the 1 hour drive to work each way because work is either in a ghetto or the surrounding neighborhoods cost way to much. Then you might start liking the small town, low cost of living lifestyle. :)

MustachiansWitness

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2017, 07:30:53 AM »
Thanks everyone for the advice and I am sorry for that negative comment earlier. I was in a bad mood and didn't mean what I said there. As someone suggested, Dallas may be a good option. I have a friend who moved there and it is a place I visit and like very much.

Someone suggested meetup and a similar website. The problem is all the meetups are in the nearest city which is 40 miles away and still less than 1 million people. I do have some friends in this city and go about once a month. Many people have advised me to spend more time there, but as I'm sure many here can relate to, I'm a Mustachian and I hate driving so I don't like to do it.

It seems like the overwhelming advice is to move. As far as getting a new job goes, one thing I fear is my lack of experience may make it difficult. My current employer was the first place out of college I've worked and I am about to start my 4th job at the company since starting 3 years ago. It seems like if I search for jobs online in Dallas for example that I'd be interested in, all of the jobs with pay anywhere close to what I'm getting now want someone with 5+ years experience in a specific area of IT. The few jobs that don't have a strong experience requirement have lousy pay. Admittedly I've only really looked a handful of times but I've found this to be the case every time. Should I just ignore these requirements and apply anyways?

MustachiansWitness

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2017, 07:37:04 AM »
Move to a large city and start doing the 1 hour drive to work each way because work is either in a ghetto or the surrounding neighborhoods cost way to much. Then you might start liking the small town, low cost of living lifestyle. :)

Uh yeah, no. As a Mustachian you should know there are always better options than that.

I understand where you're coming from with the higher cost of living elsewhere though. That is one reason I think it might be better to stay as I mentioned earlier.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 07:45:31 AM by MustachiansWitness »

Cwadda

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2017, 07:58:27 AM »
Another +1 for moving.

And as for the negatives/cons in your post, blame the miserable conditions not on your area, but on yourself. Once you realize that your emotions and well-being are dependent on YOUR choices, and not your environment, life becomes a heck of a lot more liberating.

MustachiansWitness

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2017, 08:05:08 AM »

And as for the negatives/cons in your post, blame the miserable conditions not on your area, but on yourself. Once you realize that your emotions and well-being are dependent on YOUR choices, and not your environment, life becomes a heck of a lot more liberating.

I get what you're saying here, I do. But if that's true then why move? Or are you saying that in this case I should blame it on myself for not moving?

bobechs

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2017, 08:09:49 AM »
Remember the unofficial Oklahoma motto, posted on warning signs on roads all over the place:

"Hitchhikers may be escaping inmates"

'Nuff sed.

chasesfish

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2017, 08:25:38 AM »
A few other comments reinforcing Dallas and how to move:

- Uptown is where almost everyone single, under 40, and with resources move to.  Very walkable.  The city also had the youngest median age in the country because everyone moved there from somewhere else for employment.

- Are you on LinkedIn?  If not, get on there and consider a professional headshot and build out the resume.  Do that before you start applying anywhere.  Reconnect with anyone you might know.

There's a number of technology organizations in Dallas, try pulling Tech Titans and look at the companies.  I would recommend sending a cover letter and resume to any companies that match.  If you want to send me a direct message once you've done the LinkedIn thing, I'll suggest a few companies to connect with that do IT recruiting/staffing.  The last presentation I went to said DFW is adding more IT Jobs annually than what they loose in Oil and Gas, I think once you put yourself out there, you'll be hiding from recruiters even after you take a job

chasesfish

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2017, 08:26:44 AM »
Oh, and you'll be in for sticker shock on rent, but remember that's essentially replacing the state income tax you pay in Oklahoma since the state is funded on property taxes they charge landlords.

lizzzi

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2017, 08:29:34 AM »
Not every location is right for every person. With the best attitude in the world, and making every effort to reach out in a positive way and make the most of what an area has to offer, sometimes it just isn't a good fit. Only the OP can figure this out, and it does sound like he is giving it a lot of thought--paying attention to the practical reasons for staying or going, but also listening to his "gut" and his emotional feelings.

One thing that might help to clear his head would be to get clean, clear away for a week or so on vacation. Get away from the situation and the area, and it's possible that he might have a "Eureka" moment, with the path ahead becoming very obvious.

That has worked for me, anyway.

MVal

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2017, 08:36:03 AM »
This made me LOL. I've never lived in OK, but I've traveled there plenty with an old friend and it is exactly like you say! Yes, folks are nice enough, but strike me as some of the fattest, dumbest people. Most people there become grandparents before the age of 40, it seems.

You should come to Kansas City! It's a great town and there's always tons of stuff to do and fun people to meet. OK probably has more the hookup on your type of jobs, but I'm sure you could find something with your skillset here. We have lots of big, IT related companies here.


Kl285528

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2017, 08:46:14 AM »
I grew up in a small town with a population of 10,000 people. Could not wait to go to college and be with large numbers of more intelligent and attractive people. I feel your pain.

Now that I'm married, middle aged, and with a kid in junior high, I sometimes think about my old hometown and how it would be more tolerable today. But that is because I'm not out and about trying to go and meet other single people. Note though I said tolerable. I still prefer the metropolitan area I live in. I live around people who value education more, are more accomplished in their fields, are more physically fit, and are interested in being more achievement oriented. My kinda crowd!

Reminds me of my 10 year high school reunion. Saw this guy Brad, super nice guy I hadn't seen in the intervening 10 years. He asked me what I had been up to, and I talked about going to college, law school, working big hours, moving a number of times and how I enjoyed living in a big city as a single guy. Then I asked Brad about what he had been up to.... "Well, graduated high school, stayed in (said small town) went to work at the local manufacturing plant , got married, have two kids with one on the way. Things are great!"

Not for me!!! But he was happy, so different strokes for different folks.

You definitely need to make a move. But in the interim, you may want to explore local singles groups that are sponsored by churches. Not everyone that goes to church is super religious, but many recognize it for what it is, a community gathering place with other people of similar moral values. I'll bet there are a few single ladies that would be worth at least a first date.

Best of success. Another example of having a 'stache which puts you in a position to explore other options.

SweetTPi

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2017, 08:49:45 AM »
I'm somewhat saddened but not surprised by your frustrations.  I used to live in Enid, and the saving grace on the dating front was that I wasn't very interested in doing so, thus negating the very real availability issue.  Socially, things were great (community theater, group bike rides, etc), I just moved b/c of job issues.

You seem to be focused on Dallas.  Other than having been there and knowing someone there, is there a reason?  Wanting to stay in the region b/c family?  You might be able to find better opportunities in other cities if you don't limit yourself.  The upside of being single in a situation like this is that you don't need to make sure that the trailing spouse can also find a job in the new location, or wants to be near their family.  For me, it's not the size of the city, it's being able to find 'my tribe' and make the community I need.

(Then again, I lived in Dallas for a year and was ready to leave for OK, so I'm a bit biased!) 

lindy_zag

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2017, 08:55:34 AM »
Last fall I was in the same boat as you - living in a city that just wasn't right. Like it sounds like you're considering, a big part of why I moved away from Spokane was to improve my dating prospects. Before moving, I was 25 and had gone on 3 dates in 2.5 years. I was never meeting new people, and especially never meeting new single men with their lives together. I knew I wanted to eventually find a long term partner, and I knew that the chances of that happening where I lived were slim.

So I quit my job and sad goodbye to my friends and moved to Minneapolis.

Of course there were other reasons I had for doing this (I love the city in general, it offered opportunities to pursue hobbies Spokane didn't offer, etc.) but a big part of it was the social benefits.

WORTH IT.

I was unemployed for my first four months here, so sure, my net worth would be a bit higher if I had stayed. But seven months down the road, I'm in a better job, I'm obsessed with my neighborhood, I'm in better shape because I can walk to work, I'm part of a few awesome communities, my monthly expenses are lower - and I had a nice relationship for a few months and have been on more dates since that ended than in my entire life up to that point.

I know it can feel crazy to move to a new city just because you want to. Not for a job, or family, or a relationship but just because it feels right. Not very many people have done it. But the people I know who have, including myself, are happy with and grateful for their daily lives in a way not many people are. I think it's one of the best reasons there are to move.

Spokane is a cool city. It's a nice size (200k) and offers great access to nature and a cool arts community and it's cheap. But it wasn't right for me at that point in my life. This place isn't right for you. Move. You won't regret it.

MustachiansWitness

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2017, 08:57:01 AM »
A few other comments reinforcing Dallas and how to move:

- Uptown is where almost everyone single, under 40, and with resources move to.  Very walkable.  The city also had the youngest median age in the country because everyone moved there from somewhere else for employment.

- Are you on LinkedIn?  If not, get on there and consider a professional headshot and build out the resume.  Do that before you start applying anywhere.  Reconnect with anyone you might know.

There's a number of technology organizations in Dallas, try pulling Tech Titans and look at the companies.  I would recommend sending a cover letter and resume to any companies that match.  If you want to send me a direct message once you've done the LinkedIn thing, I'll suggest a few companies to connect with that do IT recruiting/staffing.  The last presentation I went to said DFW is adding more IT Jobs annually than what they loose in Oil and Gas, I think once you put yourself out there, you'll be hiding from recruiters even after you take a job

I am on LinkedIn but haven't updated in a while. I will do that. I'd be very curious to hear about those companies and I'll get back with you ASAP.

MustachiansWitness

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2017, 09:00:53 AM »
I'm somewhat saddened but not surprised by your frustrations.  I used to live in Enid, and the saving grace on the dating front was that I wasn't very interested in doing so, thus negating the very real availability issue.  Socially, things were great (community theater, group bike rides, etc), I just moved b/c of job issues.

You seem to be focused on Dallas.  Other than having been there and knowing someone there, is there a reason?  Wanting to stay in the region b/c family?  You might be able to find better opportunities in other cities if you don't limit yourself.  The upside of being single in a situation like this is that you don't need to make sure that the trailing spouse can also find a job in the new location, or wants to be near their family.  For me, it's not the size of the city, it's being able to find 'my tribe' and make the community I need.

(Then again, I lived in Dallas for a year and was ready to leave for OK, so I'm a bit biased!)

I'd definitely be willing to give thought to other locations. I think the only thing is I don't want to go somewhere with an extremely high cost of living. Dallas just seems like a good fit because of existing friends (more than one actually), lots of young people, good cycling community, and not extremely far away from where I'm living now which may be important if I'm unable to sell my house right away.

honeybbq

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2017, 09:03:37 AM »
Move! You're young and unattached. Have fun, pick a place on the map, and go!!

MustachiansWitness

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #31 on: July 07, 2017, 09:13:47 AM »
Thanks for the awesome advice everyone! It has definitely been good motivation to look into moving! The only thing I'm somewhat worried about is my house. It's a mid price range house in this town at 98k. I bought it with 20% down and a 15 year mortgage kind of trying to think long term as buying is cheaper than renting here. I've heard stories of people having difficulty selling their houses here. I probably should have rented in hindsight. Has anyone been in a similar situation where they moved after buying a house? Should I just get a realtor and leave it up to them? Try to rent it out for a while? I don't think I'd want to do anything before securing a job somewhere else.

Fishindude

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #32 on: July 07, 2017, 09:36:47 AM »
A town of 30,000 people isn't a metro area, but it sure isn't BFE either.  Should be plenty of things to do and plenty of good people around, they aren't all lard ass, single mom, chain smoking, MacDonalds addicts.  My little midwest podunk town of 18,000 has a lot of what you talk about, but it also has about five fitness clubs and gyms.

Almost every small town has clubs like Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Optimists, etc. that meet weekly, do charitable functions, etc.  Chamber of commerce functions are also good.  These are great places to meet people who are involved and care about the community. 

You need to find happiness where you are at, or it won't get any better in a big city.

acroy

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #33 on: July 07, 2017, 10:28:33 AM »
Some things holding me back from moving include:
-Unsure if I could find the same salary somewhere else, and cost of living here is extremely low
-Unsure if anywhere else in the US is really that much better or if this whole country just sucks
-Not the greatest housing market where I'm at. I think selling my house could be difficult. Not sure if I should try to sell before or after I moved.
-Lots of opportunities for promotion and gaining a wide variety of experience in my current job



3 of the 4 are lack of surety - figure those out first! Do the research!
Hey, this country doesn't suck. OK sucks some.... which may be why COL is low ;)
I'd say don't worry about difficulty selling the house. Maybe it will be easy, maybe not, but the overall housing market is pretty hot. Also it's a bit of moot point anyway: in a downturn, your house will be hard to sell, but easy to buy a new one. Hot market, easy to sell yours, harder to buy a new one. Don't let this be a determining factor unless you really have a special circumstance.

good luck!!!

405programmer

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2017, 10:36:42 AM »
Hey fellow Oklahoman! If you are good at what you do and can interview confidently I 100% believe you will have no trouble finding a job in IT in either Tulsa or OKC.

One idea I haven't heard mentioned is can you start doing any contract work on the side? This is super easy as a programmer but I don't know your IT skill space. If you could get at least enough side income to cover expenses for food / basic transportation you could just move to Dallas and find a job there with a more flexible timeline. Then again doing contract side work tends to eat up all of your free time.

The way I heard of my current employer was through tech meetups in the OKC area at lunch. I know you're an hour away from a major city but maybe you could make it to some of those 1-2 times a month and network with some other IT people in either OKC or Tulsa?

Also shameless plug that my current employer is looking for a mid to senior level front end developer in OKC that will pay somewhere between $80-100K depending on applicant. You would need to be in OKC for a few weeks to get comfortable with the people and tech but then you can work remote full time! Feel free to direct message me if you're interested.

Ultimately you need to be happy and whether you find that where you are or somewhere else, happiness is the only logical pursuit. Don't try to get too caught up in the dollars and cents of working life and miss that part.

chasesfish

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2017, 10:53:10 AM »
Thanks for the awesome advice everyone! It has definitely been good motivation to look into moving! The only thing I'm somewhat worried about is my house. It's a mid price range house in this town at 98k. I bought it with 20% down and a 15 year mortgage kind of trying to think long term as buying is cheaper than renting here. I've heard stories of people having difficulty selling their houses here. I probably should have rented in hindsight. Has anyone been in a similar situation where they moved after buying a house? Should I just get a realtor and leave it up to them? Try to rent it out for a while? I don't think I'd want to do anything before securing a job somewhere else.

At your salary and a 70,000 or so mortgage, it'd be easy to list the house for rent and turn it over to a property management company if you don't want to sell it.  That's not a lot of money ina mortgage payment relative to your income.

Lady SA

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2017, 10:57:22 AM »
I'd prepare your house to go on the market and in the meantime before it sells, do your research regarding possible cities to move to and brush up your resume and interview skills, and even set up a few interviews.
If your house sells before you're ready to move, rent for a bit.

mcneally

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2017, 11:13:01 AM »
Another vote for move to a city. I'd also say, obviously try to get as much as you can in terms of salary, but if even if you end up having to take a $20k+ salary cut, you'll probably still be happier.

MVal

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2017, 11:19:40 AM »
The funny thing is I have often though of moving to some piece of crap town in OK as a form of geographic arbitrage. If I could find some kind of work I could do at home, I thought I could buy a super cheap little house to live in and grown my 'stache by leaps and bounds even though it would be a desolate existence for a while.

wenchsenior

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #39 on: July 07, 2017, 11:28:25 AM »
Another vote for move to a city. I'd also say, obviously try to get as much as you can in terms of salary, but if even if you end up having to take a $20k+ salary cut, you'll probably still be happier.

I agree with mcneally.

If you are financially able, and could afford to live elsewhere while not compromising your long term financial goals, I would move ASAP.  The reason is that you are single and flexible. You are not limited by family/kids/health issues, etc.  If you really think you'd be happier elsewhere, GO.  I speak from personal experience of getting stuck in a place we really dislike and are unsuited to.

We had found a lot to love in every place we'd lived and worked (3 major cities in three different states, 2 mid size cities in 2 other states, and numerous long term field locations in the boondocks).  But then we ended up in a career track position in a location we have disliked since the day we moved here. That was 17 years ago: it is now the longest place we've ever lived and although we appreciate the LCOL and a few things about it, we still dislike it more than any place we lived.  The first 10 years we were quite flexible and  expected to have an opportunity for a much more desirable move.  But the opportunities that came up were only marginally more attractive locations with much higher COLs.  So we stayed. And about 10 years in, life intervened with a bunch of responsibilities that made any future moves much more difficult to make.  As a result, we have since passed on even trying for several jobs in locations that we wanted.  It would just be too logistically and financially challenging, given our situation.

So...we are still here, and still unhappy about it. Still hoping for a reasonable opportunity to get out before retirement, but we no longer expect one. 

If you are very unhappy in a particular location, get out while life allows you the flexibility to do so.  Because that flexibility might not always be there.


nouveauRiche

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #40 on: July 07, 2017, 11:31:04 AM »
Thanks for the awesome advice everyone! It has definitely been good motivation to look into moving! The only thing I'm somewhat worried about is my house. It's a mid price range house in this town at 98k. I bought it with 20% down and a 15 year mortgage kind of trying to think long term as buying is cheaper than renting here. I've heard stories of people having difficulty selling their houses here. I probably should have rented in hindsight. Has anyone been in a similar situation where they moved after buying a house? Should I just get a realtor and leave it up to them? Try to rent it out for a while? I don't think I'd want to do anything before securing a job somewhere else.

At your salary and a 70,000 or so mortgage, it'd be easy to list the house for rent and turn it over to a property management company if you don't want to sell it.  That's not a lot of money ina mortgage payment relative to your income.

I was going to suggest the same.  Just make sure you screen the tenants carefully.  We got burned taking a chance on someone with no credit history (very young person).  Get references from more than one previous landlord.  Background check.  Etc.  Property manager should be able to do this for you.

Best of luck!

mm1970

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2017, 11:32:29 AM »
For sure move.  Move now.  Apply for jobs.  Don't worry if you don't have the experience.  Worst case you don't get a call back.

I grew up in a rural area (the "big town" nearby was all of 6000 people), so you have my sympathy.

Noodle

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2017, 12:08:43 PM »
Not every place is right for every person. Three years is a fair chance to give a place. You're young and single, so why not try something else now? (And maybe just rent next time.) In terms of salaries, experience, etc.--just start applying and see what happens. The worst thing that happens is that you're right, and nobody puts your resume into the "interview" pile right now. In another year or so, when you do have enough experience to move on, you also have more experience with the application process. And by your own accounting, you have plenty of free time right now :).

If there is rental housing available in your area (I know often more rural areas are short on rentals), why not go ahead and put your house on the market now...if it sells before you are ready to move, move into a rental. Even if you had to walk away from part of a lease, it would probably be less financial damage than having a house sit empty while waiting to sell or rent. (Unless rental property is a long-term part of your FI plan, of course.)

Cowardly Toaster

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #43 on: July 07, 2017, 12:12:56 PM »
I wouldn't give up so easily. I met my wonderful wife in Williston North Dakota at the height of the Bakken oil boom. I never expected that in a million years.

Have you tried match.com? It's worth a try.

MustachiansWitness

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #44 on: July 07, 2017, 12:48:46 PM »
I wouldn't give up so easily. I met my wonderful wife in Williston North Dakota at the height of the Bakken oil boom. I never expected that in a million years.

Have you tried match.com? It's worth a try.

Wow, Williston of all places! Working in the oil industry I have heard stories about that place, none of them good unless they were talking about how much money they were making.

As for online dating, I have not tried match.com specifically. I actually have met some girls online but the options are pretty scarce. There would be a lot more options if I was willing to date in the nearest city 40 miles away like some people do, but that just seems anti-mustachian to me and I really do hate driving. I just ended a horrible on again off again relationship that I only put up with for so long because of my lack of options. Ending that I think will give me some motivation to move.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:50:51 PM by MustachiansWitness »

Cowardly Toaster

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #45 on: July 07, 2017, 12:54:18 PM »
I wouldn't give up so easily. I met my wonderful wife in Williston North Dakota at the height of the Bakken oil boom. I never expected that in a million years.

Have you tried match.com? It's worth a try.

Wow, Williston of all places! Working in the oil industry I have heard stories about that place, none of them good unless they were talking about how much money they were making.

As for online dating, I have not tried match.com specifically. I actually have met some girls online but the options are pretty scarce. I just ended a horrible on again off again relationship that I only put up with for so long because of my lack of options. Ending that I think will give me some motivation to move.

If you have the means, and a versatile job, I can think of a million good places for you to move that would be more your style.

Missoula or Bozeman MT, Lincoln NE, Duluth MN. Or if you like bigger cities, Minneapolis or one of the Texan cities.

All of those smaller cities combine outdoors options and plenty of young people. Job market may be a little iffy but you would probably be fine.

MustachiansWitness

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #46 on: July 07, 2017, 01:21:51 PM »
Another vote for move to a city. I'd also say, obviously try to get as much as you can in terms of salary, but if even if you end up having to take a $20k+ salary cut, you'll probably still be happier.

I agree with mcneally.

If you are financially able, and could afford to live elsewhere while not compromising your long term financial goals, I would move ASAP.  The reason is that you are single and flexible. You are not limited by family/kids/health issues, etc.  If you really think you'd be happier elsewhere, GO.  I speak from personal experience of getting stuck in a place we really dislike and are unsuited to.

We had found a lot to love in every place we'd lived and worked (3 major cities in three different states, 2 mid size cities in 2 other states, and numerous long term field locations in the boondocks).  But then we ended up in a career track position in a location we have disliked since the day we moved here. That was 17 years ago: it is now the longest place we've ever lived and although we appreciate the LCOL and a few things about it, we still dislike it more than any place we lived.  The first 10 years we were quite flexible and  expected to have an opportunity for a much more desirable move.  But the opportunities that came up were only marginally more attractive locations with much higher COLs.  So we stayed. And about 10 years in, life intervened with a bunch of responsibilities that made any future moves much more difficult to make.  As a result, we have since passed on even trying for several jobs in locations that we wanted.  It would just be too logistically and financially challenging, given our situation.

So...we are still here, and still unhappy about it. Still hoping for a reasonable opportunity to get out before retirement, but we no longer expect one. 

If you are very unhappy in a particular location, get out while life allows you the flexibility to do so.  Because that flexibility might not always be there.

I'm sorry to hear that, that sounds horrible. What is keeping you from leaving now if I may ask? Family?

This weekend I'm hitting the resume and am going to try to start coming up with a realistic plan to get outta here. Life is too short, and my stache will grow back from whatever I may lose moving.

wenchsenior

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #47 on: July 07, 2017, 01:53:48 PM »
Another vote for move to a city. I'd also say, obviously try to get as much as you can in terms of salary, but if even if you end up having to take a $20k+ salary cut, you'll probably still be happier.

I agree with mcneally.

If you are financially able, and could afford to live elsewhere while not compromising your long term financial goals, I would move ASAP.  The reason is that you are single and flexible. You are not limited by family/kids/health issues, etc.  If you really think you'd be happier elsewhere, GO.  I speak from personal experience of getting stuck in a place we really dislike and are unsuited to.

We had found a lot to love in every place we'd lived and worked (3 major cities in three different states, 2 mid size cities in 2 other states, and numerous long term field locations in the boondocks).  But then we ended up in a career track position in a location we have disliked since the day we moved here. That was 17 years ago: it is now the longest place we've ever lived and although we appreciate the LCOL and a few things about it, we still dislike it more than any place we lived.  The first 10 years we were quite flexible and  expected to have an opportunity for a much more desirable move.  But the opportunities that came up were only marginally more attractive locations with much higher COLs.  So we stayed. And about 10 years in, life intervened with a bunch of responsibilities that made any future moves much more difficult to make.  As a result, we have since passed on even trying for several jobs in locations that we wanted.  It would just be too logistically and financially challenging, given our situation.

So...we are still here, and still unhappy about it. Still hoping for a reasonable opportunity to get out before retirement, but we no longer expect one. 

If you are very unhappy in a particular location, get out while life allows you the flexibility to do so.  Because that flexibility might not always be there.

I'm sorry to hear that, that sounds horrible. What is keeping you from leaving now if I may ask? Family?

This weekend I'm hitting the resume and am going to try to start coming up with a realistic plan to get outta here. Life is too short, and my stache will grow back from whatever I may lose moving.

Thanks. Yes, it is financial and logistical obligations to family that make moving very difficult.  Not impossible, but just statistically unlikely in terms of job openings in locations where we could manage things.

There are upsides to living here, certainly; we have a couple good friends and workaday life is ok.  It's more that it is super conservative, super religious, and that it utterly lacks the qualities that sustain us spiritually for at least 4 hours in every direction: aesthetic beauty, swimmable water, trees, topography, public land, etc.  So essential parts of our personalities have existed mostly dormant for our lives here.  We're sort of numb at this point.  Try not to fall into this trap, that's my advice.

attackgnome

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #48 on: July 07, 2017, 02:32:54 PM »
I wouldn't give up so easily. I met my wonderful wife in Williston North Dakota at the height of the Bakken oil boom. I never expected that in a million years.

Have you tried match.com? It's worth a try.

You got to be kidding me. I did over two years up there before getting transferred, I remember it as a time in my life to focus on my work with very few distractions from the opposite sex.

There is a beautiful woman behind every tree in western NoDak.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Single guy feeling disheartened in a small town. Need advice.
« Reply #49 on: July 07, 2017, 03:25:03 PM »
Ok, my 2 cents and I'm going to be blunt and, um, indiscreet:
-- don't move yet, give it 3 more years so you can save tons
-- focus on friends, not dating. Anything you can do with a date, you can't do with friends, except sex
--keep masturbating, you've been doing it this long, it does the trick and you get it right each time
-- keep traveling, meet the hot sexy people you want to on your trips, maybe you'll strike gold and someone will move to you?
--keep yourself focused on hobbies and things that will make you interesting: learn languages, learn to cook like a chef, learn to build or fix things, take massage lessons
-- get your company to send you to conferences, trade shows and pay for more education-maybe an MBA or something that will make you more employable when you do move
-- be careful of the grass is greener thinking. Work on yourself, the right person will be attracted to you when the time is right. Right now, build your nest eggs, you're still young. You're really not messing out on anything you can't give yourself.

Again, just some thoughts, apologies in advance for any offense ;-)

Best of luck