“Downtown, there’s lots of friends with benefits,” says Paul, a 24-year-old sous chef.

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Had I not set a gigantic Tinder radius, I never would’ve met Jason, a smoking-hot 32-year-old who’d just moved to the area from England for work and had played semi-pro soccer back home.

He immediately struck me as sweet and affectionate — one of the only guys I’ve ever met online who wanted to talk on the phone first to make sure I wasn’t a bot and that we’d enjoy spending an evening together.

Brittany, a 26-year-old waitress, tells me that when she joined Tinder, all her friends called her “Tinderella” because it was so weird to be on it. People love to blame Tinder for hookup culture, but Becky joined because she was looking for the opposite.

Her dad even paid for her to try with her location set to Raleigh because he doesn’t like the guys where she lives — but no one wants to drive two hours for a date.

Now imagine that feeling multiplied times a tsunami and you’ll know what washed over me when called up to see if I would travel around the country going on dates to find out if location really matters when you’re looking for love.

And the bassist who insisted I listen to 10 minutes of his music while he watched me react to it.

Still, I both got annoyed waiting for him to come to me, and felt guilty over his two-hour commute.

Jason seemed eager for a committed relationship, but I ultimately didn’t see it going anywhere.

And then there was Peter, who I met that night in a bar set in the basement of a haunted mansion.

He was 34, worked in home restoration, and looked like a guy I’d go for in Brooklyn, with an ample beard and amazing cheekbones.

And the winner who showed up in sweatpants and couldn’t buy me a drink because he’d spent his last on a beer and wings special for himself. And there’ve been wonderful guys in the mix too, most of whom fizzled out because in this city, it’s just really hard to fit two people, and their ambitions, into one relationship. ”) Maybe a change of location — to New Bern, North Carolina; Miami, Florida; Austin, Texas; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Detroit, Michigan; and Los Angeles, California — was the answer.