Now divorced, Jones met her husband in the grocery store checkout lane.
Stocking up on many bottles of liquor and cigarettes, the holiday office party supplies sparked conversation that revealed similarities, mutual friends and led to 17 years of marriage.
“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.
When it comes to finding a significant other, newcomers and boomerangs agree: it’s easier to meet people in bigger cities, but it’s harder to keep them, because there’s always the next best thing. and a former Baltimore and Seattle resident, Henian Newsome, 29 and in a relationship, knew Grand Rapids was going to be different when he moved here more than a year ago.
Here, they said, it may be harder to meet people, but it’s easier to keep them. “There were no hip-hop stations, no professional sports teams.
Read on for an honest peek into the ups and downs of the local dating scene in part two of a series. This week, several locals explore how Grand Rapids’ identity impacts the dating scene and share advice on how to meet others in the area.
The minority young professional community is small,” he says.
He acknowledges that dating would have been hard, had he focused solely on that.
“I’m more comfortable having a friend with me to enter most social settings, like a bar.
But with online dating sites, I can essentially meet people without relying on other people,” says Carassa.
Tellis, an African American and lesbian, says she’s experienced discrimination in other parts of the country, but has never felt uncomfortable in Grand Rapids.