Orlando usually winds up in the middle tier of such lists, as it did in a recent story measuring life in general and love in particular for solo souls in 40 American cities.

The rankings were based on job availability, cost of living, nightlife, coolness, culture, online dating activity and the number of singles in the area. Cooler than Miami, cooler than Chicago, cooler than Los Angeles.

But these stories are generally cobbled together out of statistics and polls compiled and analyzed by journalists who never set foot in the towns theyre writing about.

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Lock and Key events, described as a fun, interactive way to meet potential love interests, have been held at venues in nearly 100 cities around the country.

Fridays gathering at the Red Ox Tavern in Utica will be the second Lock and Key event thats been held in the metro Detroit area.

We hope that in the future this can happen in Detroit too. Until they met by chance at a birthday party in an Orlando bar, Aaron Bean and Katie Merrigan counted themselves among the thousands of singles in Orlando. If we hadnt met just then, it wouldnt have worked out, says Aaron. The Internet bristles with an arsenal of dating apps and surefire matchmaking algorithms.

Magazines and websites produce periodic Best Cities for Singles stories that judge communities mainly on how easily their unattached residents can become attached.

So says a Harris public opinion poll that cited in awarding us sixth place in that category.

We dropped the ball elsewhere, however, and wound up sneaking into the roster at a modest 27th overall.

Upon arrival, women attendees get padlocks and men get keys.

Each time their hardware matches, its turned in for a new set of hardware and each person gets another raffle ticket for great prizes donated by local businessesor maybe even a date?

Judging from the popularity of the events (attendance has doubled at each new gathreing) this formula for love seems to be working.