If you're single and looking for a long-lasting relationship, chances are you're likely to find "The One" right where you are — or at least the next state over. In a recent study conducted by TIME, where you live can predict who you're most likely to marry. And as weird as it may sound, some states are really just more compatible with each other.
"I think it is naturally easier to date someone that lives in close proximity," Nora DeKeyser, matchmaker and dating coach at Three Day Rule tells Bustle. "As a matchmaker in Manhattan, I had clients who weren't even open to matches in Brooklyn because it was too far. As a matchmaker in L.A., it's even harder to find matches in far distances (no one wants to get stuck in traffic!), to grow a relationship naturally, without the added pressure of 'What is she like in person, not just via text or Facetime.' So, it's just easier to date someone in close proximity."
TIME recently conducted a study of 115 million "interstate marriages," where both partners were from different states. For people living in each state, they looked at the most common "home state" of their spouse and compared it to the national average. As they found, people tend to choose spouses closer to home. In fact, many "soul states," which are paired states that have the most above-average rates of interstate marriages, tend to be right next to each other. Here are a few highlights from the study:
1California + Nevada = <3
California, which is home to some of the largest cities for singles, is most compatible with Nevada. Interstate marriages between these two soul states are nearly four times more common than the national average. California also happens to be the soul state for Hawaii. According to TIME, there are more total marriages between Californians and a lot of other more distant states like Texas, due to population alone. That's why they compared marital rates rather than totals.
2New York + New Jersey = <3
New York and New Jersey are soul states, where interstate marriages are 3.96 times more common than the national average.
3Massachusetts + New Hampshire = <3
Massachusetts is home to Boston, a city which was recently found to be one of the top three best cities for dating. So while you can definitely find someone more locally, it seems like you'll also have some luck in New Hampshire. Interstate marriages between the two are over 10 times more common than the national average.
4Illinois + Wisconsin = <3
Interstate marriages between the two are a little over three times more common than the national average.
5Texas + Louisiana = <3
Texas and Louisiana have over four times more interstate marriages than the national average. However, not all connections, in fact most of them, are not mutual. For instance, although someone from Texas may have a greater chance of marrying someone from Louisiana, Louisiana's soul state is Mississippi. So someone from Louisiana has a greater chance of marrying someone from Mississippi, where interstate marriages are over seven times more common than the national average.
According to TIME, some bonds are stronger than others. For instance, interstate marriages between Utah and Idaho are over 15 times more common than the average. That's because both states are home to large populations of Mormons.
So as the study found, most people tend to stay close to home and end up marrying someone from nearby as well. Overall it's really not too surprising. Most of the higher populated states like California and New York have soul states that are right next to them. Typically, singles like to pursue opportunities in bigger cities just because there's always more options. So if someone's home state is Louisiana, it makes sense that they'd move to somewhere like Austin.
If you want to see who you're most likely to marry based on where you live, you can check out the interactive map here.