THE quest for ardour can be arduous at times, but for Griffith lonely hearts, it’s that little bit more difficult.
A recent survey has found that 82 per cent of Riverina residents claim it is hard to find love, with more than half saying the number one reason was a lack of eligible candidates.
The statistics also showed the most affected age group was the 26 to 35 age bracket, followed by the 36 to 45 age group.
But for 24-year-old Alexandra Dunscombe, the single status is a choice rather than a branding.
Miss Dunscombe, who has been single for about six months, said there was less pressure on young people these days to find a match and settle down.
“I’m at a time in my life where I’d rather focus on my career,” Miss Dunscombe said.
“A lot of people are waiting until they’re 30 now to get married.”
Aside from the difficulties in finding a compatible mate, country singles are forced to battle geographical challenges as well.
The survey found almost 65 per cent of rural NSW love-seekers would travel up to 500km for the opposite sex while 19 per cent would journey up to 1000km for a chance with that special someone.
But for Miss Dunscombe, the problem is she simply does not have the time.
“Being single is a choice – I just don’t have time for a man, though I have plenty of time for my friends,” she said.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be a person who actually goes looking for love, if it happens, it happens.”
She does, however, have a number of friends who are keen to get coupled up and understands the pressure some face.
“I like my own space too much,” she said.
While some are loving the single life, others are at a stage where they want someone to settle down with and more locals are turning to match-making services and online websites as an aid to avoid the awkwardness of face-to-face interaction.
Sarah Schmidt runs Country Dating – a service dedicated to match-making rural romantics – and she said there were about 20 or 30 Griffith residents on her books at any one time.
She said many Griffith people were prepared to travel to Leeton and vice versa to find love, while those in the more remote towns, such as West Wyalong, were prepared to travel that little bit further.