Thanks Rachel. I don't know if you can fix this or not. It may not be considered "broken." When I put in my zip code 02852 I get partner listings for people in RI and MA. I get listings for people who live 75 miles away in Boston but I don't get partner listings for people who live 10 miles away in CT. I'm more likely to climb with people in nearby CT than farther away in MA. Most local climbing (not bouldering) takes place in CT anyway.
Yeah... that is a bummer. The way partner finder works now is based on zip code, so when you enter '02852' it's just looking for partners whose zip codes start with '02*'. That's a really easy way to approximate 'nearby', but as you point out it all falls apart when you live near a state line.
We can certainly make this better by mapping zip codes to a lat/lon, and then searching for nearby lat/lon points. I'll add that to our list, but no promises on timing. It'd be an easy thing to add when we re-do the user settings page, anyways.