Dating in Hawaii
Dating in Hawaii: the unique opposing intersection between local island culture and rampant tourism, surf culture and drug trafficking, spiritual culture and toxic sexual behavior in paradise.
The Short Version
Hawaii is famous for breathtaking beaches, sunset weddings, honeymoons and it is known worldwide as the dream romantic getaway. But what's it like to be single here? The dating experience here is as unique as the islands themselves. When you mix together surf culture (read: bikinis and six packs), frat party culture (read: boats, playboys, drugs and mostly irresponsible sex), one of the lowest ratio of women to men in the United States (read: men can be aggressive here), a bunch of tourists (all with different expectations), a bunch of locals (all trying not to create minefields) and an extreme diversity of wealth (people living in cars versus people who own boats and land)... well your Hawaii experience might be unforgettable amazing or unforgettably disappointing. That will also depend on how long you are here for and how realistic your starting expectations were.
If you're just a tourist visiting for a week, you're more like to hang out with other tourist and experience the "playground" side. The lesser populated islands have very small dating pools (you can swipe through all of Hinge/Bumble/Tinder pretty quickly on Kauai), but the most popular and populated island of Oahu is full of party guys and small groups of party girls looking for their hot summer fling or sexy fleeting romance. The lucky few will find their dream Hawaii date, but for most, the dream of an organic vacation romance stays a dream. If you are spending hundreds to thousands on a vacation, most of your time is likely to be sightseeing and not dating, and with restaurants and clubs shut down due to covid, you are not that likely to find a person organically. Most attractive people you see out and about are already in couples, especially at your honeymoon destinations like Maui. If you do find someone organically, then there's only a small chance they are not staying with friends or family, or not leaving the next day. In other word you want to chance upon someone with the same timeline and availability as you. For women: your better bet is to set Tinder to Hawaii ahead of travel and try to line up some non-creepy leads before leaving. Hawaii is so beautiful here you really shouldn't spend all your time swiping on a phone, because you can do that at home.
If you stay here months or years you'll start to experience the real dating reality of Hawaii. The locals are laid back, culturally diverse and unfortunately, very tight-knit. You'll run into the same people you've dated, or your friends dated again and again. Date more than three people on the island and chances are two of them know each other. This starts as amusing, but gets old quickly. Eventually you'll understand why the first question you hear on Hawaii is "How long are you here for" (translation: are you worth me investing time in) and the safest person to date is one that isn't already intertwined with your friend group. You'll slowly figure out why local girls here tend to move slowly (not all, but most). You'll realize why locals are much more private than their mainland counterparts. You'll realize that if you don't have a great beach body your chances of any dates are very low and you'll realize that a huge fraction of the islands and surfers or military, and dating either of those comes with some serious implications. And finally men, you'll learn that the men far outnumber the women on most islands, and that dating here can be flaky, but in a completely different kind of flaky than the mainland.
Many single people come to Hawaii seeking love. I did. It's in the back of your mind but the reality is very different from the dream. I really don't want to completely disenchant you - I will focus on a few of the sweet stories I've heard also.... but I imagine most people come to Hawaii hoping to find their forever love and leave very disappointed because their expectations were set too high.
So that was the short version... if you want to read in detail, try Dating in Oahu. It covers topics such as: