Courting Disaster

Peoria Named One of the Best Places for Newlyweds -- Wait, What?

Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

Remember when Phoenix made NerdWallet's list of best places to meet singles? Yeah, we all had a good laugh about that one.

Comical as it was, that study was nowhere near as ridiculous as a recent one produced by Last month, the lifestyle blog released a list of the top 10 U.S. cities for newlyweds, and contrary to everything that is good and right with the world, it ranked Peoria, Arizona, as its number-10 town.


See also: 3 Things to Never Talk About on a First Date

To compile its list, looked at the criteria it considered most important for newlywed couples. These categories included average home price, average annual salary, the number of married couples per capita, public school rankings, and the overall cost of living.

In other words, the study favored practicality over, well, you name it: entertainment and dining venues (Pei Wei and the movie theater doesn't count), population density, the feeling of waking up in your cookie cutter home and regretting every life decision that brought you to living in suburban isolation at 30. applied this formula to 200 of the most populous cities in America. The ranking went as follows: McKinney, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; Olathe, Kansas; Plano, Texas; Overland Park, Kansas; McAllen, Texas; Lincoln, Nebraska; Pasadena, California; Frisco, Texas; and Peoria, Arizona.

First off, it's hard to have faith in any top 10 list associated with marital bliss that features Texas five times. Secondly, have you heard of any of these towns? Have you visited them? Chances are high that outside of Pasadena, Peoria, and Lincoln, you have not. And that makes us wonder if perhaps this list should have been named "Top 10 Cities Where Love Goes to Die and Friends Stop Visiting You."

Last, but certainly not least, there's the matter of Peoria. The northwest Valley city made the number 10 spot for a few reasons: the number of married couples (it received a ranking of 15 out of 200), the quality of public schools (it ranked 25th out of 200 in that category), and, of course, the presence of baseball.

According to, "There's no sport more romantic than baseball, and Peoria is the spring training home of a couple of major league teams."

Sorry,, but that's three strikes on this bogus list. Don't get us wrong, Peoria is a fine city. But unless you're looking to test the bonds of your newly betrothed spouse, you might want to stick the areas of town where nightlife has, well, life.

For a closer look at the list, visit

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Katie Johnson
Contact: Katie Johnson