By Rachel Thompson But, when you're a young farmer living in a rural community, it's a whole other story. One where dates get cancelled when animals go into labour, and where some people show up to their dates brandishing shotguns. For farmers, online dating is an experience.
And not always a good one. Irish farmer's glorious accent is so strong even Irish people can't understand it year-old Mark Jervis — an arable farmer in Warwickshire, UK — entered the world of online dating four years ago in an effort to broaden his horizons after a big breakup and a series of "unsuccessful" flings with women in the area. But, finding a likeminded person in the local area who he didn't already know proved challenging. His first Muddy Matches date was "a disaster".
He was exhausted after a long week and had managed to get some metal in his eye that day, so he was weeping and yawning throughout the date. He felt obliged to be nice, so he stuck it out for two and a half hours. She'd been trying to shoot a crow in the garden, to stuff," Mark says.
His foray into the realm of Tinder introduced him to a woman who was terrified of cattle, and another woman he didn't want to risk upsetting because her boss was one of his biggest customers. Unpredictable weather and seasonal work with silage and hay throw an extra spanner in the works for farmers Image: Mark says famers' lifestyles are also a major obstacle when it comes to arranging dates.
Even the weather can put a last minute damper on social plans. He says it's especially trying in the summer when there's silage and hay to be made. She didn't believe me and thought it was a ridiculous excuse," says Eli. The main problem, he says, is that many people have a preconceived idea that all farmers are "old and bald" so they don't believe that he's a beef farmer at his age.
She says moving from NYC to a place where families have been established for more than years made for an unusual dating experience, often one that left her feeling like she was occupying a space between two worlds — "too city for the country, too country for the city".
She tried out FarmersOnly. Most of her Tinder matches happened when she made her way back into the city to work or see friends. She's now living with her current boyfriend, who she met in a bar and "bewitched" into moving to her area.
Long distances also add to the list of challenges for farmers looking for love. For year-old Hannah Blackmer — a farmer in central Vermont — distance has been a major problem in her Tinder game. I live in a very rural area which makes it pretty difficult to meet people, let alone young or single or suitable," she says. Hannah also finds her schedule to be an obstacle as she works around 65 or 70 hours a week, so even if the first few dates go well, it ends up being a "catch me if you can" situation.
But, she remains hopeful that she'll meet a "dashing and single human who lives relatively nearby". The good old fashioned organic route to finding love is still proving most successful for those in the farming community. But online dating shouldn't be territory reserved exclusively for the benefit of city dwellers. For now, there are a variety of different factors that make the realm of online dating particularly challenging for farmers.
If you find yourself matching with a farmer, spare a thought for the inflexible nature of their job — it might not be that they're not into you. Sorry, you're addicted to Tinder.