Where's the Love?

With our Top Singles along for the ride, we search for romance in this modern age.

Edited By Jess Blumberg. Photography By David Colwell. Photography assistance by Olivia Mathis, Lauren Myers, and Andrew Shoenfeld.

John Bucher and Courtney Barry –Photo by David Colwell

These days, some people’s idea of romance is turning off their BlackBerry at dinner. But we wanted to know what ever happened to the art of letter writing, hand holding, and door opening. So we explored this idea by photographing 20 of Baltimore’s hottest singles in the most beautiful spaces in the city. (We think the glamorous locales suit them.) We also asked our singles how they’ve kept romance alive, and polled local celebrities about their favorite love stories. Finally, we dug up some old school romantic traditions we would like to see make a comeback. Ultimately, we don’t think romance is dead, just a bit under the weather.

Tom Chan

38, race car team manager, TPC Racing; single, no kids

Favorite book: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Favorite film: Die Hard. Favorite TV show: How I Met Your Mother. Favorite website: ebay.com. Favorite music: Everything from rock to R&B. Celebrity dream date: Jennifer Love Hewitt. Celebrity look-alike: Christian Bale. Turn-ons: Warm smile, sparkling eyes, high heels. Turn-offs: Arrogance, rudeness. Hidden talents: Ballroom dancing. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: Slow dancing on the Stratosphere overlooking the city lights. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: My ex waited for me outside to give me a flower after I had taken a test. Favorite love story? Jerry Maguire. What tradition should be more common? Holding hands. How did you spend the blizzard? Hiked to a pub for fish, chips, and beer. Romance is…what we make of it.

Jason Bosley-Smith

33, personal trainer, MAC; single, no kids

Favorite book: How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy. Favorite film: Step Brothers, To Kill a Mockingbird. Favorite TV show: Seinfeld. Favorite website: Mine, thefitrx.com. Favorite music: Everything from Al Green to The Gypsy Kings. Celebrity dream date: Eva Mendes. Celebrity look-alike: Noah Wyle. Turn-ons: Active, witty, generous, adventurous. Turn-offs: Negative, confrontational. Big sports fan? I like playing basketball and rooting for the O’s and Ravens. How do you stay fit? Free weights, cables, jump rope, boxing. Hidden talents? Drawing. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: One year, I made a special church offering of poinsettias in the name of my girlfriend’s grandmother who had passed away. What tradition should be more common? Handwritten notes. How did you spend the blizzard? Having an ugly sweater party. Romance is…being there for someone no matter what.

Paul Moravec

31, owner, Allied Remodeling; single, no kids

Favorite book: Private Parts. Favorite film: Swingers. Favorite TV show: Two and a Half Men. Favorite website: espn.com. Favorite music: Anything ’80s. Celebrity dream date: Alessandra Ambrosio. Celebrity look-alike: David Villa. Turn-ons: Sense of humor. Turn-offs: Snobbiness. Big sports fan? O’s, Stroh’s, and Natty Boh’s. Hidden talents? I may or may not ice skate very well. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: Blindfolded my girlfriend and went to Prague. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: Surprise birthday party in Montreal. Favorite love story? Sixteen Candles. What tradition should be more common? Picnics. How did you spend the blizzard? I intentionally stranded myself at my friend’s house in Canton so I could have fun downtown. Favorite app? TripIt. I love to travel. Romance is...a bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a bottle of rosé instead?

Suzy Prucka

30, criminal appellate attorney; divorced, no kids

Favorite book: When Character Was King. Favorite film: The Usual Suspects. Favorite website: drudgereport.com. Favorite music: Texas country. Celebrity dream date: Landon Donovan. Celebrity look-alike: Stephanie March. Turn-ons: Southern manners. Turn-offs: Vegetarianism, ego. Big sports fan? Yes, bleed Cowboys blue with a dash of Ravens purple. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: Went on a surprise sunset picnic. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: In Costa Rica, on the divide, he told he me loved me on the east coast and then took a step and told me he loved me on the west coast. Favorite love story? Love Actually. What tradition should be more common? Love letters. Lady Gaga vs. Madonna: Madge. She is the original. Romance is...patience.

Jen Royle

36, sports reporter, MASN and 105.7 The Fan; single, no kids

Favorite book: The James Frey collection. Favorite film: Fargo, Bull Durham, and Jaws. Favorite TV show: Survivor. Favorite website: zappos.com. Favorite music: Counting Crows. Celebrity dream date: Ben Affleck. Celebrity look-alike: Sarah Jessica Parker. Turn-ons: Funny. Period. Turn-offs: People who show off. Big sports fan? HUGE. Sports reporters are all fans—minus the crazy. How do you stay fit? Run and try to avoid eating entire loaves of bread. How did you meet your last boyfriend? Backstage at a concert. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: Rubbed somebody’s head until they fell asleep on my stomach. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: Kissed me on my forehead. It’s that simple. Favorite app? Tip Calculator, because a group dinner can be really confusing. Romance is…hanging out with your best friend all day that you want to kiss all night.

Ben Jordan

29, vice president of business development, Wells Fargo; single, no kids

Favorite book: Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan. Favorite film: Scent of a Woman. Favorite TV show: Californication. Favorite website: livenation.com. Favorite music: Anything but country. Celebrity dream date: Jessica Biel. Celebrity look-alike: I’ve been told George Clooney. Turn-ons: Active, independent, and motivated. Hidden talents? I can touch my nose with my tongue. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: Planned a surprise weekend in NYC. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: Surprised me with a trip to see Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. Favorite love story? Two Ninas. What tradition should be more common? Writing letters. How did you spend the blizzard? Snowboarding at Wisp. Favorite app? Words With Friends. Romance is...necessary.

Tom Wagner

55, medical sales, Boehringer Ingelheim; widowed, two kids, Maggie, 17, Lindsey, 14

Favorite book: Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff. Favorite film: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Favorite TV show: CSI. Favorite music: Rock ’n’ roll. Celebrity dream date: Jennifer Aniston. Turn-ons: Humor. Turn-offs: Smoking. How do you stay fit? Work out at the YMCA. Hidden talents? Cooking. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: Bought 100 roses. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: Taken me out for fine dining. Favorite love story? Terms of Endearment. What tradition do you wish was more common? Saying “I love you.” How did you spend the blizzard? With my two girls. Lady Gaga vs. Madonna: Madonna. Romance is…fun.

Phyllis Collins

29, associate project manager, Laureate; single, no kids

Favorite book: Dear John. Favorite film:
The Shawshank Redemption. Favorite TV show: Criminal Minds. Favorite website: Groupon! Favorite music: I listen to (almost) anything. Celebrity dream date: Eric Dane. Celebrity look-alike: I’ve been told Tyra Banks, Halle Berry, and Vanessa Williams. Turn-ons: Sense of humor, physical fitness, silliness. Turn-offs: Cockiness. How do you stay fit? I love spin class! Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: I enjoy preparing a nice meal. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: On my birthday, my boyfriend had flowers set up all over his apartment and Sade playing softly in the background. Favorite love story? The Notebook, hands down. Is chivalry dead? I think it’s making a comeback. Favorite app? Pandora. Lady Gaga vs. Madonna: Madonna is an original. Romance is...a necessity.

Gina Finelli

41, assistant dean, undergraduate studies, University of Baltimore; single, no kids

Favorite film: Something the Lord Made. Favorite TV show: Seinfeld. Celebrity look-alike: When I was studying abroad in Europe in 1989, people thought Gloria Estefan. Turn-ons: Honesty, people who know who they are. Turn-offs: Lying, manipulating, and sugar-coating. Big sports fan? I grew up playing every sport I could in a time when girls were often not allowed to play. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: One morning, I was stirring my tea and the bag broke. He told me to finish getting ready for work and proceeded to sift the individual tea leaves out so I could have my tea for work. Favorite love story? My parents. Is chivalry dead? No, I just think it should be practiced by all. Romance is...what happens when you don’t take someone for granted.

Meg Link

31, graphic designer; single, no kids

Favorite book: Gone with the Wind. Favorite film: The Royal Tenenbaums. Favorite website: My blog, thepreppylife.com. Favorite music: Classic rock. Celebrity dream date: John Cusack. Turn-ons: Good cooking skills and a sense of humor. Turn-offs: Smoking, guys who don’t like dogs. Phobias? Going to the doctor. How do you stay fit? I’m allegedly training for a marathon. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: Decorated my boyfriend’s house for Christmas when he was away. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: Adopted a dog for me. What’s your Favorite love story? Desk Set. Spencer Tracy falls for Katharine Hepburn. What tradition should be more common? Getting flowers at work. Is chivalry dead? Almost. How did you spend the blizzard? Sitting on the beach in Cancun! Lady Gaga vs. Madonna: Gaga all the way. Romance is...what everyone is looking for.

Moneé Cottman

32, travel media manager, Visit Baltimore; single, no kids

Favorite book: The Coldest Winter Ever. Favorite film: Dumb & Dumber, Love Actually. Favorite TV show: The Golden Girls. Favorite website: etsy.com. Favorite music: Everything but go-go, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber. Celebrity dream date: Allen Iverson. Turn-ons: Confidence, handsome smile, great cook. Turn-offs: Crackberry addicts, living in your mama’s basement. How do you stay fit? I eat what I want and work out. Hidden talents? I’m learning sign language. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: Surprised him with his favorite meal for no reason. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: An ex-boyfriend went above and beyond to take care of me while I was sick. Is chivalry dead? Man, I hope not! I hear he opens doors. How did you spend the blizzard? Watched Prison Break and reorganized my closets. Favorite app? Groupon. Romance is...a luxury.

Meredith Hollandsworth

24, assistant planner, Joseph A. Bank Clothiers; single, no kids

Favorite book: Into biographies and memoirs. Favorite film: Clueless. Favorite TV show: The Price Is Right. Favorite website: giltgroupe.com. Favorite music: Eclectic, but no country. Celebrity dream date: Will Ferrell. Celebrity look-alike: Ivanka Trump. Turn-ons: Ambition, humor, adventure. Turn-offs: Laziness, insecurity, jean shorts. Big sports fan? Love the athletes. How do you stay fit? Yoga, kickboxing, and spin class. Hidden talents? Fishing. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done? Took a half-day from work to hop a train to Connecticut to surprise my college boyfriend. Most romantic thing someone has done for you? Trying to keep a long-distance relationship going. Favorite love story? My grandparents. Is chivalry dead? Is the sky blue? Favorite app? Daily Horoscope. Romance is…expression of the heart through action.

Lyn Harper

51, not-for-profit consultant, Yaffe & Company; divorced, two kids, George, 20, Clarke, 18

Favorite book: Mistress of Riversdale. Favorite TV show: Jeopardy! and Parenthood. Favorite website: southwest.com. Favorite music: Live, acoustic, and I will sing. Celebrity dream date: Johnny Depp, but if he is busy, George Clooney. Celebrity look-alike: Naomi Watts unplugged. Turn-ons: Wit, humor, athleticism, kindness. Turn-offs: Ego not commensurate with accomplishments. Big sports fan? Yes! I play, coach, ref, cheer, and watch. How do you stay fit? Swim, tennis, run, scuba. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: Surprised my beau for his birthday at the Orlando Airport Hyatt. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: Taking care of me post-op. Favorite love story? When Harry Met Sally... What tradition should be more common? Holding hands. Favorite app? RedLaser. Romance is…a gift.

Roy Wilkinson IV

29, equity trade support associate, Morgan Stanley; single, no kids

Favorite book: The Great Gatsby. Favorite film: Amadeus. Favorite TV show: Project Runway. Favorite website: youtube.com. Favorite music: Pop and dance. Celebrity dream date: Ryan Reynolds. Celebrity look-alike: Ricky Martin. Turn-ons: Cleanliness, in-telligence, success, and a twisted sense of humor. Turn-offs: Arrogance, lack of compassion, laziness. Big sports fan? Penn State sports. How do you stay fit? No fast food, gym, and eight hours of sleep. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: Someone created a birthday scavenger hunt for me. Favorite love story? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. What tradition should be more common? Sometimes I love turning off the TV and playing a board game with someone. Is chivalry dead? If you think so, you’re not paying attention. Favorite app? Foursquare. Romance is…different from love.

Michael Alderman

48, IT entrepreneur/real estate developer; divorced, two kids, Callie, 17, and Michael Jr., 15

Favorite book: The Pillars of the Earth. Favorite film: Uncle Buck. Favorite TV show: Two and a Half Men. Favorite website: nfl.com. Favorite music: Reggae. Celebrity dream date: Jennifer Aniston. Celebrity look-alike: Sean Astin. Turn-ons: Honesty, willpower, and a little black dress. Big sports fan? I’m a huge fan of my children’s sporting events. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: I took an eight-hour train ride from Switzerland to Italy to give flowers to a girl I had met once. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: A girl went to church on Thanksgiving to give thanks for meeting me. Favorite love story? When Harry Met Sally... Is chivalry dead? Absolutely not! How did you spend the blizzard? Plowing out friends and family. Favorite app? Urbanspoon. Romance is…a lifestyle.

Courtney Barry

22, event planner, The Oregon Grille; single, no kids

Favorite book: The Great Gatsby. Favorite film: Cruel Intentions. Favorite TV show: Any CSI. Favorite website: sugarinc.com. Celebrity dream date: Wes Welker. Celebrity look-alike: Someone told me I look like Anna Rawson. Turn-ons: Spontaneity, honesty, adventure. Turn-offs: Pessimism, cockiness. How do you stay fit? Spinning class. Hidden talents? I went to culinary school, so I love to cook. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: In high school, I wrote my boyfriend a love letter once a month. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: Someone bought me a rose one night and said I was gorgeous. Favorite love story? Never Been Kissed. What tradition do you wish was more common? Talking on the phone. Favorite app? Shazam. Lady Gaga vs. Madonna: Lady Gaga. She’s beautifully unique. Romance is…pure excitement.

Darryl Tarver

24, transportation engineer, Brudis & Associates; single, no kids

Favorite book: Things Fall Apart. Favorite film: Training Day. Favorite TV show: The Wire. Favorite website: wikipedia.com, espn.com. Favorite music: Outkast, Kanye West, Michael Jackson, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Celebrity dream date: Salma Hayek. Celebrity look-alike: I get Pharrell a lot. Turn-ons: Frequent smile and eye contact, intelligent, fashionable. Turn-offs: Drama queens, snobs, airheads. How do you stay fit? Running and pick-up baseball. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done? Write love letters. Most romantic thing someone has done for you? Breakfast in bed. Favorite love story? (500) Days of Summer. What tradition should be more common? I wish women didn’t take chivalry the wrong way sometimes. How did you spend the blizzard? Shoveling and quality time with my roommates. Favorite app? Foursquare. Romance…is something everyone should experience at least once.

Wyatt Everhart

36, Broadcast meteorologist, ABC 2 News; single, no kids

Favorite book: It’s Not About the Bike. Favorite film: Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Favorite website: grooveshark.com. Celebrity dream date: Charlize Theron. Celebrity look-alike: Val Kilmer. Turn-ons: Fun, fitness, laughs, travel. Turn-offs: Pessimism, cynicism, elitism. Big sports fan? Love college football. How do you stay fit? Depends on the season. Swim, surf in the summer. Snowboard in the winter. Hidden talents? I’m told I take really nice photos. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: Weekend getaway to the beach. Favorite love story? Cast Away. What tradition should be more common? Massage. Is chivalry dead? No, but it is dying. There are still a few areas where I think it’s holding tough. How did you spend the blizzard? Working my butt off. Romance is...timeless.

Kathleen Pelletier

40, special education chair, Baltimore County Public Schools; divorced, one kid, Cora, 8

Favorite book: Eat, Pray, Love. Favorite film: Moonstruck. Favorite TV show: Modern Family. Favorite website: jcrew.com. Favorite music: Pretty much anything on WTMD. Celebrity dream date: Robert Downey Jr. Celebrity look-alike: Older Katie Holmes and Kristin Davis. Turn-ons: Humor, nice smile, good shoes. Turn-offs: Men with crunchy hair, arrogance. Big sports fan? I love football. I was married to a football coach for many years. Hidden talents? I play the bassoon. Most romantic thing you’ve ever done: After years of being afraid to fly, I flew to Boston to see an ex-flame. What tradition should be more common? Real dates! Is chivalry dead? It’s endangered. How did you spend the blizzard? Snowed in with my daughter and Labrador. Favorite app? GPS. Romance is...taking the time to act on your feelings.

John Bucher

34, equity investment liaison manager, T. Rowe Price; single, no kids

Favorite book: Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich. Favorite film: A Few Good Men. Favorite TV show: Glee and Boardwalk Empire. Favorite website: pandora.com. Favorite music: Country, pop, and ’80s. Celebrity dream date: Scarlett Johansson. Celebrity look-alike: Paul Rudd maybe? Turn-ons: Honesty and sings in the car. Turn-offs: Pessimism. Big sports fan? Absolutely, any local team. Hidden talents? I’m pretty handy with a hammer and a nail. Most romantic thing someone has done for you: A surprise homemade Valentine’s Day dinner. Favorite love story? Romeo and Juliet. What tradition should be more common? Courting. Is chivalry dead? Not in my mind. Favorite app? Does texting count? Lady Gaga vs. Madonna: A dress made entirely of meat is pretty hard to top! Romance is...alive and well.

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