Why You Should Go To Wawa If You Want To Fall In Love With A Stranger

Image courtesy of lsiegert

Not having luck on those swipe’em or leave’em dating apps, or striking out at the bar? While we can’t guarantee you’ll fall head over heels in love with a stranger at a convenience store, there are those out there who point to popular roadside stop Wawa as a hot spot for romantic activity.

Philly Mag takes a look at a few recent indicators that Wawa, an east coast gas station chain with locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and Florida, is a popular site for potential lovers. Specifically, those romantics haunting Craigslist’s Missed Connections.

For starters, there’s an infographic from a February 2013 issue of Psychology Today that shows the prime destinations for missed connections across the country. Pennsylvania — home of the Wawa headquarters — has “convenience stores” as the top location for seeing, yet not connecting with, potential love interests.

Right now there are more than 86 Wawa-related missed connections posts listed for Central Pennsylvania, South New Jersey and Delaware, Philly Mag notes, out of 2,367 total posts — around 4% of the Missed Connections community. Those might not all be about romance, of course, someone could’ve posted a missed connection with the sandwich they wanted but never bought.

What makes convenience stores and gas stations like Wawa such a promising breeding ground for love? Sociologists cite factors like human routine, with the idea being, the more often you go somewhere, the more likely you are to bump into people who like to do things you do, and perhaps find a romantic interest among those other frequent customers.

“Wawa is a place we often go to, it’s a part of our routine,” Amanda Czernaiski, an associate professor of sociology at Temple University, told Philly Mag.

That, and the fact that many traditional meeting areas have been disappearing, makes Wawa and other places a good spot to see and be seen. For example, Wawa has upgraded its design layout in some locations by adding indoor seating, which makes it more attractive as a spot to hang out instead of just grab a sandwich and go.

“Public places (stores, parks, bars) have been upgraded in the past few decades, so that they are more conducive as venues to meet people,” sociologist Michael Rosenfeld told Philly Mag. “I think people are finding new social uses for all sorts of public and semi-public spaces.”

Whether or not any real romances result in a Missed Connections post, however, is entirely up to the gods of love.

How Did Wawa Become One of the Top Spots for Missed Connections? [Philly Mag]