I Didn't See A Single Horse

I Didn't See A Single Horse

Hannah Calcino Is Searching For Love In The Bush.

‘How were the races?’, my father asks as I pull into the driveway of my parents’ suburban home on the Gold Coast. I’d just done a 13-hour round trip to spend less than 17 hours in a country town that was hosting a picnic race meet. ‘It was so good!’ I reply, although not too loudly, because, you know, it was so good - I’m hungover. ‘Place any bets? Win any money?’ he asks, just slightly louder than necessary because he knows I’m suffering. ‘Dad.’ I deadpan, ‘I didn’t even see a single horse.’. He chuckles, claps me on the shoulder and says, ‘Good to know you were there for the right reasons. Meet any eligible bachelors?’. I roll my eyes and grumble, ‘I wish.’.

Despite having raised his kids on the Gold Coast, my dad’s a country boy to his roots and would love nothing more than for his daughters to settle down with nice country boys who have good handshakes, strong work ethics and don’t wear skinny jeans. And if I’m being honest, that’s what I want too…

If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me ‘You should go on Farmer Wants A Wife’ I’d be rich enough to buy my own property, fill it with livestock and be the darn farmer.

In 2019 I spent 12-months living on a cattle station in North-West Queensland. It was the greatest decision I ever made and red dust is well and truly in my veins. I miss that lifestyle every day and since moving back to the Gold Coast, it’s been reaffirmed that the city is not the place for me. Yet, despite the fact that I’m a teacher and could find work in any country town, that I have a strong desire to live on the land and I relish tight-knit communities, my one hesitation to making the move back west is that I’m worried that if I do, I’ll be stuck in my singleness for even longer. It’s fact: due to a decreased population and living in a community where fathers and mothers have been setting up their offspring with the children of family friends for generations - trying to find a life partner in a small country town is difficult.

I’m sure there’s some respectable single men out there in rural Australia, but where are they? And how do I find them? There’s no point of having tinder or bumble, their kilometre radius doesn’t go wide enough; meeting someone new at the pub isn’t viable - it’s the same people there every week; and traveling 100s of kilometers regularly in an attempt to meet your future husband at a country race meet is an expensive hobby.

I’m not the only one who’s experienced the woes of dating in the outback. I did a bit of research and asked some rural ladies for their worst bush dating stories, here’s some of the best: • A friend drove 3.5 hours to the next closest town to go on a date who turned out to be a dud. • Another started dating a guy, only to find out he spent 3 weeks in a month working on a property with no mobile service. • One bachelor approached a table of girls in the pub and tried his luck at picking up all of them at the same time. • A lovely lady went on a date with a guy who spent most of the meal downloading Netflix movies on his phone because he was returning to the station and wouldn’t have any internet connection. • And finally, one poor girl had Tinder suggest her brother’s profile as an appropriate match – now that’s when you know available men are limited.

How do we solve this problem? I’m not sure. I don’t have any solutions (if I did, I probably wouldn’t find myself in this predicament). But what I will say is; for all the single ladies out there; whether you’re already living in rural Australia or want to and are hesitant about your dating prospects, I’m with you sister – trust me, you’re not alone and your worries are real.

But seriously, if there’s any eligible country bachelors out there, with manners that’ll impress my father – you know where to find me.

Hannah, a freelance writer, wrote to BFTB via social media when we were discussing barriers to moving to the bush. We asked Hannah if she might pen a piece on her experience et voila! Any opinions expressed by hannah are her own and do not represent the opinions of Buy From The Bush. To see more from Hannah check out @the.urban.farmhouse

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