Guide to Dating in California

No matter what part of California you live in, one thing is true—experience the glitz, glamour, and majestic-ness of the state is always better with a partner in crime. With the largest population in the country, it’s also safe to assume that California also has the most single people ready to mingle.

Today, we want to take you on a tour of what it’s like to date in California. We’ll share helpful resources, talk about the dating scene and what you can expect, and share some data and statistics that just might help you find that special someone.

How much time do you have? Kidding. The joke we’re making is that California is such a massive state with such wildly different cities that trying to cover everything you might see on the dating scene would take us a lifetime.

But! That doesn’t mean we’re not going to try. Our goal is to give you at least a little idea of what you might expect to see throughout the state’s diverse dating scene.

Seriously, each city is going to have a different vibe.

Call us a broken record if you want to, but we want to get this point across. The dating scene in LA is going to be wildly different than the dating scene in Stockton, and so on and so forth. If you’re new to an area or it’s your first time dating there, be prepared for things to be a bit different.

Not everyone is trying to be a movie star.

This one is more for our new out-of-town transplants. While the media may lead you to believe everyone here is trying to make it as an actor or actress, that’s simply not the case. There are plenty of people to date who do “normal” jobs like accountants, baristas, farmers, receptionists, etc.

The singles population is quite transient in nature.

Speaking of transplants, California tends to see a large influx and outflow of people year round. It’s not uncommon to start dating someone who is new to town only to find out a few weeks or months later that they are “moving back home” or something like that. Cali isn’t for everyone; nor is the cost of living.

Some people do care about status.

While this is only a small sect of the population you may run into while dating in California, it’s at least worth mentioning. Some people may be interested or not interested in you based on what you do for a living, the kind of car you drive, and who you know. Don’t assume everyone you go on a date with is, but at least have it in the back of your mind.

Dating in California is seriously expensive.

If you live here already, you already know how much everything costs. It’s better in the smaller cities, but still not great compared with the rest of the country. This means that if you let it, dating can get expensive. We recommend opting for things like coffee dates over meals or even drinks if the budget is tight.

Diversity is big.

California is known for its acceptance and support of all walks of life. What this means is that you get a lot of people searching for societal freedom moving there. For dating, this means you can expect to see a lot of people who are open to a lot of different things. This is also the case with demographics. Unlike a lot of states (dare I say most), the ethnic breakdown is actually pretty dang diverse (Hispanic 40%, White 34%, Asian 15%, Black 5%, Mixed 4%, etc.)

The government wants to protect you more.

In late 2022, a Republican congressman from California proposed the Online Dating Safety Act where apps and sites would be forced to notify you if someone was removed from their platform for violating their rules. The idea is that if the person might be a fake or scammer, you should have the right to know. The bill has yet to pass, but has been introduced in the House in September 2022.

Since we’re already talking demographics and dating, let’s go a step further. Here are a few stats from the most recent Census that may give you more of an idea of what you should be expecting.

Total Population

  • 39,237,836

Population in California by Gender

  • 50.0% women in CA
  • 50.0% men in CA

Overall Singles by Gender

  • 52.9% of women in California are single
  • 50.5% of men in California are single

Population in California by Age

  • 13.7% aged from 20-29 years old
  • 14.8% aged from 30-39 years old
  • 12.9% aged from 40-49 years old
  • 12.6% aged from 50-59 years old
  • 21.2% aged 60+ years old

% Households With Internet in CA

  • 84.7% of households in California have internet access

Want to know more about what dating in California is like? Well, that starts with looking at where in the state is best for singles. Recently, the team at Healthy Framework took a look at the top 100 cities for singles in America. The study looked at 36 different data points to try and get to the bottom of the age-old question—what’s the best city for singles? Well, California certainly made its mark on the list. An impressive 12 cities made the list! Here’s how each city ranked:

  • 20th – Riverside
  • 44th – Long Beach
  • 61st – Sacramento
  • 74th – San Diego
  • 75th – Los Angeles
  • 76th – Anaheim
  • 77th – Fresno
  • 78th – San Francisco
  • 80th – Oakland
  • 81st – Bakersfield
  • 84th – Stockton
  • 90th – San Jose

Singles and Dating Guides for Specific California Cities

If you’re from one of these cities, you may be interested in some more specific information (and dating app recommendations) for your area. While the lists may be similar (or the same for some cities), there are instances where there are better options and more detailed information. If you’re from one of these cities, take a minute and check out our even more specific and dedicated guides on dating in California below.

To take our study of dating in California further, our data team took a look at which cities in California showed the most interest in online dating over the past 12 months. How did they get these conclusions? The team looked at search volume data and trends over the past 12 months for topics relating to online dating. The winner? The Monterey-Salinas area. This was a surprising win over the second place city—Los Angeles. Los Angeles had about 86% of the traffic volume that we saw in the Monterey-Salinas area. Here are the full results.

California Dating Data Trends
  1. Monterey-Salinas CA – (100)
  2. Los Angeles CA – (81)
  3. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto CA – (78)
  4. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose CA – (77)
  5. San Diego CA – (76)
  6. Fresno-Visalia CA – (75)
  7. Yuma AZ-El Centro CA – (63)
  8. Palm Springs CA – (48)
  9. Chico-Redding CA – (45)
  10. Bakersfield CA – (43)