05/22/2012 03:29 pm ET Updated Jul 22, 2012

Do We Really Need to Leave Miami to Find a Romantic Partner? Or Is That Just an Urban Legend?

I admit it: Like many other Miamians, for a long time I was under the impression
that in order to find a suitable mate I'd have to get out of town. Anyone who has
been single in this magic city long enough can sympathize with our pond's slim

Naturally, I considered New York. You know, to up my odds. And, of course,
California. People seemed so zen and happy there. Colorado was an option, too. A
state with that much cannabis must be welcoming to newcomers.

The idea that I was above Miami men was amusing, to say the least. After all,
I consider myself to be typical Miami girl: born to two Cuban immigrants, a
product of the Catholic schools system, and a graduate of Florida International
University. I even grew up in Kendall.

So why was I turning away from my own tribe? For starters, the lifestyle in Miami
doesn't exactly breed or attract "datable" material. Between our nightlife scene
and warm weather, the city can be a magnet for barely dressed lost souls in
search of a good time rather than a committed relationship.

OK, so we have bad rep. But there are people out there who find each other, get
married, buy a house in Coral Gables or Belle Meade, and create 2.5 children. I know because I see them on Facebook.

Could it be that I was the problem?

The truth is: No matter how far we travel, our baggage will, inevitably, be right
behind us, holding us down like a weight. The answer to our bad luck in love is
never outside. It's always an inside job.

As soon as I began to realize that the immature, shady (badly dressed) guys I was
attracting was only a reflection of what I was feeling on the inside, the solution to
my problem seemed very near -- even somewhere within the 305 zip code. As it
turned out, my beliefs about being unworthy of true, spiritual love and my fear of
getting hurt were way more powerful them my superficial theory of Miami men.

Eventually, I met my husband at my best friend's engagement party -- an event
where I was certain I'd know everyone. Funny enough, he, too, is a "Miami kid."

Love is within all of us. Contrary to Miami's urban legend, we don't actually have
to go out looking for it. All we have to do is check our baggage at the door.

Nikki Novo is a fashion and beauty writer and the author of The Art of You &
, an inspirational blog for the whimsical type.