Now divorced, Jones met her husband in the grocery store checkout lane.
Perhaps as a result of the region's conservative label, others expressed the same expectation, so that by continuing to explore their options while pursuing other goals, some local singles feel they're defying traditional norms.
Hailing from the east side of Michigan, Mike Schmid, 30 and fresh off the market, notices stark differences in religious values between the west side and east side of Michigan: “Here, people are more proudly devout, whereas there, faith was quieter and more personal.” Calling himself “spiritual, but not religious,” Schmid says it’s not too difficult to find others with similar values.
Schmid suggests a shift in the area’s perceived culture of conservatism, noting the frequency of women open to polyamory, according to their online dating profiles.
(Monogamy is his style.) A general sense of commitment and trust, however, persists in Grand Rapids, perhaps rooted in those historically conservative values.
How to meet people in Grand Rapids Survey says: the best way to meet people is through friends.
But what happens when you’re new to town and the friend pool is limited?“But Grand Rapids opens up possibilities and forces you to get to know different perspectives and people for who they are versus their physical appearance.In other cities, it’s easier to stick with what’s comfortable,” says Newsome.“You have the opportunity to make an impact here.” Tellis glows as she discusses empowering others through music, environment and education. When asked to characterize Grand Rapids, a sense of pride accompanies her descriptions of community-oriented, entrepreneurial and kind West Michiganders.Tellis says, “The most sincere people I’ve ever met in my life live here.” For others, the descriptor most mentioned is "conservative." Go to college, get married, start a family—growing up, that’s how Carola Carassa, 25 and single, imagined her early 20s would pan out.C., among other places, before returning to West Michigan.