Is Twin Cities the U

Is Twin Cities the U

Minnesota is for paramours.

No, truly, says Brian Howie, host of &ldquo,The Good Love Debate.&rdquo, Beginning Wednesday, Howie is brashly &mdash, some would say madly &mdash, staging 14 events in Minneapolis where each night, ideally, 100 single dudes on one side of the aisle will get real and fair with 100 single women on the other side.

The aim: hammering out, face to face, this thing called romance and how to get it, featuring a panel of local relationship experts and media personalities to guide the audience through Q&rsquo,s and A&rsquo,s about what they&rsquo,re looking for in a fucking partner and dissolving misconceptions about the opposite hookup.

Twin Cities singles kvetch about how hard it is to meet possible mates, thinking that if they only lived somewhere warmer or more populous or socially relaxed, it would be lighter to find love matches. Not so, says Howie, a California-based dating advice author who embarked the demonstrate three years ago as a &ldquo,social experiment.&rdquo, That has led to more than 100 similar events in 78 cities across North America, including two last year in Minneapolis.

Howie said the love debate is &ldquo,setting up a residency&rdquo, here because the Twin Cities has the ideal storm of ingredients to brew up some high-quality coupling. His radical theory: The Midwestern ethos we think makes us poor candidates for success on the dating front actually works in our favor.

&ldquo,There&rsquo,s a hopefulness here compared to places like Boston or L.A.,&rdquo, said Howie. &ldquo,And a readiness to work. Like everywhere else, women here want boys to attempt firmer and dudes want women to make things lighter. Women look for crimson flags, boys look for green lights. But instead of blaming the place they live or other people, Minnesotans take individual responsibility for what they bring to the party.&rdquo,

The metro area is about the right size to balance diversity with familiarity, he said: &ldquo,In Fresh York, where I&rsquo,m from, I can go to a bar one Friday night and like the crowd, but the next Friday none of them will be back. In Minneapolis, you&rsquo,re more likely to see the same people again.&rdquo,

Most of the showcase&rsquo,s audiences fall inbetween the ages of 35 and 55, with studs skewing slightly older than women, but attendees range from early 20s to late 70s. Shows targeting particular demographics include a duo of college nights, a Christian singles night and an LGBT night.

&ldquo,Let&rsquo,s face it, any city with a big gay population is more fashionable, has more arts and better clubs,&rdquo, he said.

So if he&rsquo,s attempting to get people together, what&rsquo,s with the grade-school-style women vs. boys seating arrangement? It&rsquo,s plain.

&ldquo,Guys are much more likely to open up with their real feelings if they&rsquo,re surrounded by other boys,&rdquo, he said.

Howie said his job at the events is to &ldquo,poke the audience with a stick&rdquo, to get them to open up and ask each other questions. At the very least, he said, it&rsquo,s a chance for some real face time instead of hiding behind Match.com profiles, Tinder and Facebook.

&ldquo,Get your head out of your apps,&rdquo, he said. &ldquo,Instead of swiping left or right on a screen, go to a Starbucks or Caribou and turn your head left or right. A coffee shop is a way better dating site than anything you&rsquo,ll find online.&rdquo,

When we all want

Twin Cities dating coach Kimberly Koehler, who has been dispensing relationship advice for 15 years, was a panelist at both previous local shows and will come back next week.

She echoes Howie&rsquo,s opinion that our media devices might be the fattest stumbling block to developing relationships that go deeper than booty texts. &ldquo,We don&rsquo,t have the social graces we once did, or know how to engage with each other like we used to, always answering our phones in the middle of a conversation on a very first date,&rdquo, she said.

&ldquo,My dearest thing about the demonstrate is that it points out how what studs and women are seeking is indeed close to the same thing &mdash, they just go about pursuing it in different ways. Fellows &mdash, mature guys, anyway &mdash, want to be needed and appreciated as much as women do.&rdquo,

Another plus for Minnesota, according to Howie: People want to live here, so it keeps the fresh blood coming.

So what about the common lament of youthfull professionals who budge here and say that Twin Citians already have their friend-circles tightly established, making it hard for newcomers to make fresh pals? Howie has an reaction for everything.

&ldquo,If you&rsquo,re from someplace else, take advantage of that,&rdquo, he said. &ldquo,People will look at you like you&rsquo,re an exotic fruit.&rdquo,

However Howie has high praise for Minnesotans&rsquo, collective character traits, he doesn&rsquo,t discount the influence of superficial factors, and isn&rsquo,t above getting a little smarmy to showcase it.

&ldquo,You Minnesota people are attractive,&rdquo, he said. &ldquo,You&rsquo,re a good-looking bunch.&rdquo,

How does he know, when we&rsquo,re bundled up like eiderdown mummies?

Kristin Tillotson &bull, 612-673-7046

What: A hosted interactive discussion for Twin Cities singles looking for romance.

When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13-16, 20-23, 25 &, 27-31. College shows Jan. 20 and 25, LGBT showcase Jan. 27, Christian display Jan. 31.

Where: Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Av. S., Mpls. After-party next door at Town Hall Brewery.

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