3 Statistics That Will Change the Way You Look at Dating

3 Statistics that will change the way you look at dating

1 blog post. 3 valuable ideas. You do want to keep reading.

Andrew Sullivan posted this piece last month and I thought it was worth sharing.

In no particular order:

1. Mixed-race singles are viewed as more attractive by other ethnic singles, giving them a comparative advantage in online dating. Asian-white women, who were viewed more favorably than all other groups by white and Asian men, and Asian-white and Hispanic-white men were given “bonus” status by Asian and Hispanic women. … This “bonus effect,” which the researchers said was “truly unheard of in the existing sociological literature,” goes against the long established “one drop rule” amongst American sociologists. Usually applied to people with partial African descent, the rule essentially states that multiracial people even who are even a small part non-white are viewed simply as part of the lower-status (non-white) group.”

I’ve had many ethnic clients who felt that they were being discriminated against and I find it heartening to know that they are appealing to broader groups, instead of being dropped lower in the social caste system because of the color of their skin. America is changing – in a good way.

2. I’m very big on getting the order right on relationships. When to meet from online dating (about a week), when to become boyfriend-girlfriend (4-8 weeks), when to  have sex (after you’re boyfriend-girlfriend), when to move in (1 1/2 to 2 years), when to get engaged (2-3 years) and so on. These aren’t just my personal feelings; they are mere reflections of what big data tells us about relationships en masse. Well, sure enough, a new study shows that people who don’t consider normal relationship milestones are more likely to break up.

As always, just because you fucked a stranger on the first date, moved in two weeks later and are happy together twenty years later doesn’t mean that this is a prototypical healthy relationship paradigm.

“Think of the college couple whose relationship began as a random hookup, the couple who moved in together so that they could pay less rent, or the couple who chose to elope on a whim rather than have a formal wedding. These are couples who, often without realizing it, slid through relationship transitions that could have been planned out, discussed, and debated. The data show that couples who slid through their relationship transitions ultimately had poorer marital quality than those who made intentional decisions about major milestones. How couples make choices matters.”

As always, just because you fucked a stranger on the first date, moved in two weeks later and are happy together twenty years later doesn’t mean that this is a prototypical healthy relationship paradigm. Instead, it’s like the proverbial clock that is right twice a day.

3. Finally, another study points out what should be obvious: people who break up other couples (called “poaching”) are less likely to have stable relationships themselves. Really? You mean that if I convince another woman to cheat on her boyfriend with me, that may be an indicator that I have no moral compass and that she exhibits a lack of integrity and poor-decision making abilities? Sure enough, that’s what the numbers show.

“Being poached by your current partner, the researchers conclude, is both fairly common (10 to 30 percent of study participants reported their relationship began that way), and “a reliable predictor of poor relationship functioning.”

Man, I love it when actual studies verify the same thing I’ve been observing anecdotally for a decade. :)

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.




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  1. 1

    I’d be curious to know if the same “bonus” applies to other mixes: black-white, black-Asian, white-Latino, black-Latino, etc.

  2. 2
    Karmic Equation


    Great points, as always, Evan :)
    The article states that “researchers found that three multiracial groups were favored more than anyone else” and the three listed were white, Asian, and Hispanic. Asians and Hispanics (e.g., Latinas) have always been prized as “more exotic” than other races, so this is not really news. It would make sense that any progeny of those two exotic races mixed with white would be highly prized. But I think this is more due to the fact that children of those mixed races tend to be better looking than mixes of other races. YMMV
    The article implies (or maybe it’s you who implies?) the causation that following a dating milestone timeline will lead to greater marital quality. I’m not sure I buy this. I believe people who make decisions with their heads, even highly emotional decisions — as strange as that may sound, will naturally date/marry following these milestone timelines without knowing that they exist. They take things slowly and don’t make decisions based on feelings alone. They take into account outcomes of those decisions.
    In other words, people who are “feelers” (not thinkers) — could follow these timelines deliberately, but still fail to find high marital quality, because they’ll make OTHER relationship decisions based on their feelings rather than thinking them through to their outcomes. In contrast, thinkers will make almost all their relationship decisions by thinking them through. “Thinking things through” creates higher quality in all aspects of life, not just dating. In other words thinkers will intentionally find ways to compromise on difficult decisions (relationship-oriented or otherwise), while the “feelers” would make decisions based on feelings and then feel they settled (a feeling) if they don’t get what they want (another feeling) — leading to higher relationship dissatisfaction (a feeling), which in turn creates more relationship strife, which ultimately lowers relationship quality. The worst possible combination of couples are two feelers. Even though we don’t often think of men as “feelers” — who is it that says that men stay in (or leave) relationships because of the way you make them feel? ;) I think that it’s fair to say that while men often can’t ARTICULATE their feelings, they do make a lot of decisions because of their feelings. So a man who’s caught up in his feelings will propose too soon and the woman caught up in her feelings would accept too fast. The best combination is a feeler with a thinker. Two thinkers in a relationship might create a very boring relationship, unless one of them has a wild side.
    And the 3rd point is a character issue. Someone who believes and would actively poach someone else’s significant other or be in a committed relationship and be receptive to a poacher, those people have questionable values, poor decision-making skills, and are poor judges of character. Why would anyone be surprised that these folks would have poor functioning relationships? They can’t even make good quality decisions for their own sake. How can they possibly know how to make good quality decisions for someone else’s sake?


  3. 3

    As an Asian woman, I can definitely attest to Asian-white mixed women beating me out. I’m guessing the same goes for black-white mixed women as well.

  4. 4

    Now, I really feel relieved because of the first study. I am of mixed-race and always wondered if that´s a bad thing or not. this one boosts my confidence. I worry about the second thing though, what if the one we date actually lives in a different town or country. how does one handle that situation sexually? by slowing things down the first weekends would go  without sex, which might be really difficult.

    1. 4.1

      I wish Evan would answer this one.. Yes, say it is an online long distance dating situation where you only see each other every 2 weeks.. How long should you see each other before you “give in”? And does this dating a certain length of time before you have sex matter whether you are in your 20’s,30’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s?

  5. 5

    Re: being poached by your current partner – “If they’ll do it with you, they’ll do it to you” …

  6. 6

    “I’ve had many ethnic clients who felt that they were being discriminated against and I find it heartening to know that they are appealing to broader groups, instead of being dropped lower in the social caste system because of the color of their skin. America is changing – in a good way.”
    I have to respectfully disagree in that I don’t believe the quoted results from this study indicate that America is changing in a good way.  It does indicate that America is changing, but one cannot really say whether it is good or bad.  I would argue that racial/ethnic preferences in general, regardless of what group benefits and what group suffers, indicates that people’s biases are influencing their choices.  It doesn’t really matter that white women aren’t the most preferred race for men out there – that isn’t necessarily a positive thing.

  7. 7

    Good Points.

    I am of ethnic (Caribbean/black) descent and white men loveeeeee me. I have never had a problem getting a date nor have I ever felt discriminated against in the dating world.  But, I will say that I am typically attracted to black men.  However, I am working on myself to be more open minded. For instance, I have a date coming up with a white older man and 2 years ago, I would have never considered it.  So yeah, America is changing.  And, I think we are all better for it. 

    I don’t agree that living together is necessary before marriage and while I get the whole ‘see if you are compatible’ idea, I would rather either be a wife or a girlfriend and if I live with you, I am still just the girlfriend but giving you all the wifely benefits. But hey, that’s just me. If you are dating me for 2 or 3  years and STILL you are not sure if you want to marry me, I just think that we need to reevaluate the entire relationship and you should have seen if I had sufficient dealbreakers to deal with by then.

    And yeah, I dont get how other people trust people that left their current to be with you. This happened to my ex husband. I divorced him and he is living with the woman he cheated on me with. From the looks of it, she is terribly insecure. Hey, that is what she signed up for but I wish them the best.:)


  8. 8

    I highly disagree about the mixed race thing. If you are good looking/hot/attractive, you will get approprate attention regardless of your race. Are we talking about the likes/dislikes of predominantly white men here? Gotta be.

    Totally Random,

    I just saw your ‘first’ halloween costume with your significant other.

    Evan, your wife is hot!  

    Now carry on. 

  9. 9

    As a triracial chick, point #1 made my day. I think it was OK Cupid that put out some stats that stated that multiracial folk didn’t have a chance. Certainly taking ones time to build a rship is the best. Of the 4 ltrs I’ve had, including my marriage, we knew one another for months before deciding to be a couple, didn’t jump into bed right away, but my husband did move in with me within months and we got married right away but we had been friends for 8 years prior. There is a fine line sometimes with giving a rship time to develop and keeping someone in your life that you shouldn’t. Since my divorce, this is where I seem to get into trouble often because the other party is withholding info about themselves. The version of”poachers” that have really been heartbreaking are those who pursue me while being involved with another. This has happened three times since moving west, don’t know if this considered acceptable here, but truly, these folks deserve a really bad case of karma.

  10. 10

    What Stacy said*

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