Singles Dating in Honolulu
We step into the often thrilling, sometimes taxing world of dating in Honolulu. Here are tales from the frontlines of the singles world—whether you’re 26 or 88, straight or gay, looking for love, or just looking—in Honolulu now.
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Honolulu is world famous for destination weddings and honeymoons. But, what’s it like to be single here? Our Island community is unique; our dating scene is no different. Oahu singles take a casual approach to dating compared to our Mainland counterparts. We’re laidback, culturally diverse and tight-knit; go out often enough and you’re bound to run into someone you graduated from high school with or your cousin dated. Not only is the dating scene more intimate than, say, New York or Los Angeles, it's friendlier, too. To find out the ins and outs of dating in Honolulu, we met up for coffee with a 26-year-old who doesn’t want anything serious, had lunch with a 42-year-old virgin who’s waiting for the right woman, chatted with a single mother of two who doesn’t want to date a single dad, talked on the phone with a gold-digger-wary lawyer, gay men who find the dating scene small and more. Each has a unique story about what it’s like to live, date and romp through the bars, beaches—and apartments—of the city.
Once Was Enough
Some divorcees don’t want to walk down the aisle again, yet they don’t want to be alone. But Honolulu lacks a scene for those over 30.
It’s not uncommon for Joseph Flores* to work 12-hour days, six days a week. The 45-year-old is a corporate attorney and has been practicing law for 19 years.
“I want someone to be independent,” he says. Meaning, his partner would have to be OK with his hectic days, that he’ll probably bring his work home, and maybe miss a dinner or two.
Flores, with a few streaks of gray hair and a youthful face, is up front: “I have no interest in getting remarried,” he says. He got divorced seven years ago, after being married for six. Still, he has no desire—or the time, frankly—to date multiple women. “I want everything a marriage looks like without the piece of paper,” he says. He’s currently dating, but adds, “it’s complicated.”
Flores, who has divorced friends and colleagues in high-paying careers, also worries about the “gold-digger aspect,” when younger women—or men—are only interested in someone for their money. He gives the example of a beautiful, 20-something pursuing a middle-age man, knowing only that he’s a lawyer, or a doctor, and drives a nice car. “It does happen [here],” he says. “People are more discreet in Hawaii, though, because we’re a smaller community.”
Neko Kim* had 10 years of marriage on Flores. Born and raised in Hawaii, the vivacious 43-year-old is a flight attendant, and frequently flies to Japan, Thailand and Korea. She isn’t looking to remarry either but is giving dating another go, although she feels the city could offer more. “I wish there were more singles’ events for older people. The singles scene here sucks,” she says bluntly.
*All names in this story—unless they lack an asterisk—have been changed to protect the shy, the vulnerable, the promiscuous, or those who just may have gossipy friends or work in a small office. Their ages and, more importantly, their stories, are real.
49.5%: Percent of Honoluluans age 15 and up who are single, widowed or divorced.
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