Meet three Utah Valley singletons who share stories of stress, struggle and success — and what they’ve learned about dating in the valley.
Name: Jeffrey Adams
UV City: Lehi
This Utah County attorney grew up in Salt Lake City, but work isn’t the only thing that brought Jeff Adams south of the Point of the Mountain. He says any date up Provo Canyon is a favorite.
As a University of Utah and Pepperdine Law School graduate, Jeff makes time for dating between sports, fishing, skiing, traveling and working with the Haloti Ngata Family Foundation.
Best thing about being single: The freedom to do what you want, when you want to do it.
Hardest thing about being single: There are events and occasions that would be nice to share with someone, but you end up enjoying it alone. Having said that, many opportunities are a direct result of the freedom that comes from being single.
Favorite Utah County date: Anything up Provo Canyon: fly fishing, hiking, visiting Sundance.
Worst date ever: While I was in college, a girl slipped me her number as she and her family were leaving my work location — I didn’t ask for it. I called her and arranged to pick her up at her parents’ home. When I got there, her father answered the door. He knew my genealogy, who I was related to, where they had grown up, etc. The only time I had ever met this girl and her family was during the five minutes they came into my work! I was far too worried about how he learned all that information to have a good time on the date.
How do you feel about being set up?: In college, if I got set up we would probably go to dinner and an activity. But my setup dates have gotten progressively shorter. Now it might just be meeting up for dessert — and never longer than dinner. That evolution demonstrates both my feelings about being set up, and the situational changes that accompany those who are older and single.
Is it harder to be single in Utah than other places?: Only to the extent that: (1) Utah culture has an obsession with dating and marriage and (2) communities are relatively small.
Hanging out with married friends: Whenever my married friends want to go fishing or watch a game, they call me — the single guy — because I am generally available.
Most annoying phrase: “How are you single, you’re so [insert compliment here].” It’s not intended as such, but it comes across as a backhanded compliment.
Name: Michelle Cope
UV City: Provo
Michelle Cope knows what she wants in a relationship: good communication, respect for her boundaries, and someone to watch Netflix with.
As an entrepreneur and mother of three, Michelle juggles family and career — while looking for a great guy to walk with her up Provo Canyon.
She doesn’t have much time for dating, but she craves connection with others.
“I am truly passionate when it comes to knowing and loving others,” she says. “People fascinate me.”
Best thing about being single: I don’t have to share the late-night chocolate with anyone while watching Netflix in bed.
Hardest thing about being single: Getting chocolate stains out of bed sheets and watching Netflix alone.
Attractive attributes: He must be hilarious, emotionally honest, passionate, a good communicator and cute.
Deal breaker: Being disrespectful of my boundaries.
Favorite Utah County date: Walking up one of the several beautiful Utah County canyons and talking about everything and nothing — the fresh mountain air is intoxicating. Conversation and laughter come easily.
Role of social media/texting on dating: Sadly, texting plays far too big of a role in dating these days. I wish there were more real life, face-to-face conversations or at least more phone calls. The funny thing about social media and the Internet is that it seems to open up a ton of options as far as dating goes. But in reality, staying off social media and dating sites gives me far more freedom, sanity and higher quality options for dating. It’s about quality, not quantity. I only need one amazing man. And he’s probably not on Facebook.
Children’s effect on dating: My children will always come first. So if a man cannot respect how important my time is with my children, he’s not for me.
Most annoying phrase: “There is someone very special for you out there.” — Uh, define “special.”
Name: Adam Baird
UV City: Provo
Adam Baird likes taking girls out — as in outside. The BYU acting student who grew up in Provo says some of his favorite dates involve getting outdoors for a hike, canoe ride or watermelon-carving escapade.
When it comes to planning his next outdoor adventure, he doesn’t have to look far from Utah Valley to come up with something original like a hot air balloon ride.
“You’re talking to the date king here — and I’m still single, so apparently it hasn’t been working out so far,” he jokes.
Best thing about being single: I sure get a lot of time to read — I’m just kidding! I don’t have to worry about going on dates constantly.
Hardest thing about being single: When you’re dating someone, it’s like having a best friend who can hear you out. Hanging out with friends is good, but after a while you want someone you can buy gifts for. I can’t buy things for my guy friends — “It’s just because I love you, man.”
Dealbreakers: Honesty is a big one for me. And she’s got to like outdoor stuff.
Favorite Utah County date: I went hot air ballooning once. In the summer I like to hike and bring a watermelon. Then we carve it like a pumpkin and eat the inside.
Best compliment you’ve been given: Girls say they can always depend or rely on me.
On setups: Being set up adds a weird tension. You might be more than happy to date the girl if you had met her and asked her out, but with a set up people are expecting something.
Hanging out with married friends: I don’t really hang out with married friends. My cousin is my best bud, but he got married a month ago and I’ve seen him once or twice since.
Most annoying phrase: “It will happen when you least expect it!” λ