Being Amazing May Hurt Your Chances To Find Love

No one wants to be merely average.

And, if you ask around, few of us think we’re average. In fact, I’ll bet that you feel you are smarter than average, kinder than average and better looking than average.

But what you may not have considered is that having high self-worth can actually be detrimental to your chances to find love.

It certainly was for me, your humble dating coach.

I tell my story – and illustrate how it reflects on you – in the first chapter of my book, “Why He Disappeared – The Smart, Strong, Successful Woman’s Guide to Understanding Men and Keeping the Right One Hooked Forever.”

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have self-esteem, especially when it comes to dating. Self-esteem carries us through tough times – through loneliness, through rejection – and allows us to keep getting out there even when things are bleak.

Moreover, when confidence comes with true self-esteem, it proves to be an extremely attractive quality. According to the Harlequin Books Romance Report (for which I was a spokesman in 2006), both men and women feel that confidence is the most important attribute in a partner. Which is why it pains me to report that confidence has a serious downside as well.

The downside of confidence is that it’s only a hair’s breadth away from arrogance. And if you think you’re better than others, it will inadvertently come across.

It’s not only cute, Ivy League investment bankers that give off a whiff of arrogance.

The downside of confidence is that it’s only a hair’s breadth away from arrogance.

It’s the vegan who can’t stand meat eaters.

It’s the born-again Christian who looks down on non-believers.

It’s the Democrat who thinks all Republicans are evil.

I’m not singling out those people, per se. After all, we all do this, to some degree – mainly by putting our own beliefs up on a pedestal. Basically, most people’s worldviews are: “If you agree with me, you’re right; if you disagree with me, you’re wrong.”

Except that’s not how the world works. People don’t want to be with someone who makes them feel “wrong.”

I couldn’t be with my wife if she were always reminding me how I’m going to hell for not being Christian.

She couldn’t be with me if I were constantly harping on her to get a more lucrative job.

This confidence (which is actually narcissism) comes out of insecurity. Instead of accepting the fact that other people have different beliefs, most of which are perfectly valid, you expect your dates to be in complete lockstep with you.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had a client – a bright, kind, lovely woman – tell me that her partner had to have certain beliefs in common to be her husband.

You don’t need a clone.

You need a PARTNER.

You’ve been in relationships before. Isn’t most of your time spent talking about what you’re going to eat, where you’re going this weekend, what’s happening at work, how much money you’re saving, and all the things you’d like to do in the future? When you have kids, I’m pretty sure they’re the dominant topic of conversation.

You know how much time we spend talking about the Iraq War? Pretty much none.

So to stake your relationship – which is more dependent on kindness, consistency, values and long-term goals – on his belief about what happens after you die, or about the merits of big government – is incredibly shortsighted.

My relationship survives just fine when I go on some liberal rant to my wife. She doesn’t have to agree with everything I say in order to love me.

She loves me because I put her needs first, because I’d do anything for her, because I make her laugh, because I protect her. If she got rid of me because of politics, religion, or my inability to run a 5K, I predict she’d be making a big mistake.

I can’t stress this enough: You don’t need a clone. You need a PARTNER.

So while it’s normal to want a partner who’s on your exact wavelength, it is, by no means imperative. In fact, if you look at relationships in your past, you may just find that the man who was too similar to you did NOT make a good fit for your life.

To give you a stark portrayal of how your desires may be not only detrimental, but unrealistic, I’d like to ask you to do this simple math exercise. So, please write down your answers so you can do the multiplication…

What percentage of men is attractive enough to date?

What percentage of men is intelligent/interesting enough to date?

What percentage of men is emotionally available enough to date?

What percentage of men is financially stable enough to date?

What percentage of men do you “click” with on a date?

Finally, what percentage of men feel that YOU are attractive, intelligent, emotionally available, financially stable, and compatible?

When you go through this exercise – and multiply those numbers together – you’ll see that, by your standards, almost NOBODY qualifies for a date with you. .0001%, maybe.

But wait, there’s more!

See, amazing and unique women often aren’t content finding a mate who is in the .0001 percentile. You still need to do a little more filtering beyond being cute, smart, successful, available, and having chemistry. For example:

Frankly, I think you’re lucky if you find someone who PUTS UP with your obsession.

…it’s unfair to ask them to feel the same as you feel.

“I’m a huge dog person – I have three of them – and the man I’m with has to feel the same way about animals.”

“I’m a triathlete and wake up at 5:30am every day to train – and I want to be able to share my passion with my girlfriend.”

“I’m an indie music freak. There’s nothing worse to me than a guy with middle of the road taste in music.”

Factor in these kinds of things, and it becomes nearly impossible to find love. What percentage of men has three dogs? What percentage of women wants to wake up and run 5 miles? And why in God’s name do you have to share these interests anyway?

Frankly, I think you’re lucky if you find someone who PUTS UP with your obsession.

And that goes for anyone who does something in the extreme: work, travel, spend time with family.

It’s a lot to ask for someone to be agreeable; it’s unfair to ask them to feel the same as you feel. If you DO find the person who is an extreme dog person, then you may have to accept the fact that he’s may not be as financially stable or attractive as you’d like.

Relationships involve trade-offs.

Compromise isn’t just for “other” people who have to put up with you.

And if you make EVERYTHING a deal-breaker, you can’t be too surprised when you’re still standing alone.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Sarahrahrah!

    About that election….
    I think there is something fishy, too.  I think that someone might have figured out that if they clear their “cookies” (usually in the preferences and/or security section) from their internet browser that they probably can vote more than once a day.  This is just a theory that I had about that situation.
    Still, it’s not something to not get wound up about, so I will continue to vote and be appreciate of this excellent blog!

  2. 62
    Goldie

    @ Annie & mc, of course there are obnoxious atheist, heck a lot of people are just obnoxious by nature. My post was in response to Karl’s, where he asked me to prove my point that a person’s worldview, beliefs etc. will determine their values, goals and lifestyle. I still maintain that for most people, they will. And I don’t even have to have my religious views (or lack thereof) dictate how everyone should be. As long as, to me, they dictate how I should live and how my children should be raised (which IMO is only natural, otherwise why bother holding this worldview at all if you’re not living it out), this may already create problems in my relationship, if my partner believes otherwise. If I think I absolutely have to tithe, and he thinks we absolutely have to save as much as we can… we’ve got a problem.

  3. 63
    Goldie

    @ Helen #67, I actually find parenting teenagers a lot of fun! It’s not as bad as they say. Apologize for the double post.

  4. 64
    Karl R

    Goldie said: (#72)
    “My post was in response to Karl’s, where he asked me to prove my point that a person’s worldview, beliefs etc. will determine their values, goals and lifestyle.”

    Actually, I stated that I could find someone with a different worldview, belief, etc. who could still end up with the same values, goals and lifestyles. I asked you to find an example where that wasn’t the case.

    If a person values generosity, they may do so because they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Baha’i … or they may do it because they were raised by philanthropic parents.

    If a person doesn’t set aside money for tomorrow, that’s their lifestyle … regardless of whether they think God will take care of it, their family will take care of it, a government safety net has them covered, or they just don’t plan in advance.

    If a person has a goal of lots of children, it doesn’t matter whether they’re rationalizing it through a Catholic belief that birth control is wrong, whether they just love having lots of kids, or whether they’re agnostics who think that their superior genes should be more heavily represented in future generations. (I dated a girl whose grandparents held this belief.) Do you really think those “quiverfull” women would have knowingly married a man who was sterile?

    Goldie said: (#72)
    “I don’t even have to have my religious views (or lack thereof) dictate how everyone should be. As long as, to me, they dictate how I should live and how my children should be raised […], this may already create problems in my relationship, if my partner believes otherwise.”

    Are you trying to raise little clones of you, or self-deterministic human beings who intelligently choose what they believe?

    If it’s the latter, then you teach them that different people have different beliefs (like you and your spouse). You teach them the values that the two of you share (since a good marriage will share the same values, even if they derive from different beliefs). And you face the reality that your children will eventually decide what they believe … regardless of whether you try to mold them into clones of you or not.

    Goldie said: (#72)
    “If I think I absolutely have to tithe, and he thinks we absolutely have to save as much as we can… we’ve got a problem.”

    If you can’t reach a mutual agreement on money differences, you have trouble … even if you share religious beliefs. If you can reach a compromise, religious beliefs aren’t going to be an insurmountable issue.

    My girlfriend and I both believe in living within our means. We both believe in saving for the future. I tithe out of my income. The amount she gives out of her income is more modest (and she gives to different things than I do). On the other hand, she spends money on other things that I don’t: taking care of her pets, trips with her girlfriends, clothes, etc.

    It’s not that hard to reach a reasonable compromise.

  5. 65
    Goldie

    @ Sarahrahrah! #70,
     
    At the risk of being thrown into commenters hell for three comments in a row, I have to say I totally agree with this:
     
    It occurred to me that I really don’t want to have a long term relationship with someone who doesn’t have a sense of humor.
     
    I think you may actually be on to something big here, because, from my observations, a humorous outlook on life trumps all other differences – religious, political, you name it – because the person with a sense of humor will be able to work through these differences together. Sadly, I find that the opposite is also true. No matter how your views match the guy’s, if he cannot laugh at his life events and himself, it will affect his outlook on life like no religion ever will. It’s really tough being with someone who sees his life as this long stretch of doom and gloom where everyone is out to get him. Life is tough. You’ve got to laugh at it, or else you’ll end up constantly depressed or angry. As mother of two teenagers, I’d say I am more than qualified to make this statement ;)
     
    So, yeah, humor is definitely number one on my short list, along with, I guess, integrity, being trustworthy and caring (borrowing from your list here), and being open to new things/ideas.
     
    PS. I’ve met guys with a sense of humor similar to mine. They do exist. Keep looking, and you’ll find one that jibes with yours, too :)
     

  6. 66
    Goldie

    @ Karl #74,
     
    If a person doesn’t set aside money for tomorrow, that’s their lifestyle … regardless of whether they think God will take care of it, their family will take care of it, a government safety net has them covered, or they just don’t plan in advance.
     
    Out of the four cases you have listed, the person believes it is their obligation not to care about material needs (Matt. 6:25-34, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5-7&version=NIV). In the other three, the person just hasn’t given their  finances a lot of thought, and can be persuaded to change their attitude. I see a fundamental difference here.
     
    Same thing with having lots of kids. It’s one thing if having a large family is your personal preference, and a whole other thing if you think you have a responsibility to a higher power to have a large family. Nice-to-have in the first case, must-have in the second.
     
    Liked your example about financial compromises, though.

  7. 67
    Karl R

    Goldie said: (#76)
    “Out of the four cases you have listed, the person believes it is their obligation not to care about material needs”

    Theologians seem to disagree with that interpretation.
    http://preceptaustin.org/matthew_625-26.htm

    They claim that the sermon cautions against “disquieting, worrying thought” and a “distrustful, unbelieving thought,” which could perhaps be better described as “anxiety” or “insecurity.”

    In particular, one theologian states, “[Jesus] does not hint for a single moment that we are to be careless or improvident.”

    Goldie said: (#76)
    “In the other three, the person just hasn’t given their  finances a lot of thought, and can be persuaded to change their attitude.”

    You can educate Christians so they better understand passages they previously misinterpreted. I would say that it’s no more difficult than persuading a thoughtless person to start planning for their financial future (which is, admittedly, not a simple thing).

    But you’re completely overlooking my point.

    I initially asked you to give values/goals that were determined by your beliefs. Since you gave some values/goals that were determined by other people’s beliefs, you’ll have to put yourself into their shoes.

    Imagine that you’re still a devout Christian who believes in giving generously, believes that God will care for your future needs, and who believes birth control is wrong. You’ll have as many kids as God wants you to have (like that woman you knew).

    You’re not looking for someone to persuade you to change your mind.

    You meet a Jewish man who believes that he’s obligated to tithe. He doesn’t think birth control is wrong, but he grew up as an only child, envious of his cousins who had lots of brothers and sisters, and wants to have as large of a family as possible. Since he’s an only child, he’s certain that his parents will help financially support their son and grandchildren if times get tough.

    He has different beliefs from you (as our hypothetical devout, generous, quiverfull Christian). But he thinks tithing is mandatory, giving beyond that is optional. He isn’t concerned about finances. And he’ll keep wanting more kids up until you reach menopause (or possibly beyond).

    Whether or not he could be persuaded to change his mind is irrelevant. He doesn’t want to change his mind any more than you do. Since he shares the same (hypothetical) goals/values/lifestyle, you won’t be trying to convince him to change his mind.

    This applies to any values/goals/lifestyles. I don’t want kids. I’ll only marry a woman who agrees with that. I don’t care why she agrees. If she had kids (who are now grown and gone), or if she gave up on the idea at menopause, or if she had her tubes tied at 30 because the idea of being a mother terrifies her, it’s all good enough for me.

    Goldie said: (#76)
    “humor is definitely number one on my short list, along with, I guess, integrity, being trustworthy and caring […] and being open to new things/ideas.”

    None of those qualities is dependent upon a particular religion or political affiliation. I know Christians, Jews, Muslims, pagans, Hindus, Buddhists, atheits, agnostics and humanists who have those traits. I also know people of varied political affiliations who share those traits.

    In general, it’s not a couple’s beliefs that will make or break a relationship … unless one of them feels they need to share the same beliefs.

  8. 68
    mc

    Goldie 75 and Sarahrahrah 70…I sooooo agree! So well said Goldie!! Having a sense of humor is actually numero uno on my list. ITs an absolute must must must in my eyes and it has been since I can remember. I always knew I had to have that in a partner. That is the one thing I always look for and make sure we both vibe together on otherwise forget it it won’t work for me! My best relationship was with a guy who was a complete riot!! He made everyone laugh and we would laugh together all the time and we had a blast together!! Its my most memorable and mu most missed relationship. 

     A sense of humor is definitely one of the biggest turn ons for me! It makes a man soooooo much more attractive. A sense of humor is more than just  being funny..its about not taking life too seriously, its about letting go and having a good time regardless of the situation, its about enjoying life and laughing about whatever it may be even the small things…its about making a bad situation into a good one, making things less stressful then they need to be. A guy who can laugh and be silly and goofy and just be comfortable to be himself around you is the best.  Usually they are just so much more positive and social and friendly with everyone no matter what, so that is another quality I want in a man too!!! To me a guy without a sense of humor just takes life way too seriously. So no way is that too picky! Don’t drop your standards or settle for anything less. There are a ton of guys with a great sense of humor and who knows how to enjoy life to the max!! We will find it! So keep the faith! : )

  9. 69
    Honey

    @mc, the dog thing is actually a good example of where Jake and I have compromised.  I have cats, and for me their presence in my life is non-negotiable.  I will ALWAYS have cats, and probably more than one.  When I met Jake, he had no pets, loved cats, hates dogs.  Perfect!

    Then after we had been dating for a year he found a dog in a parking lot.  She is 10 lbs, a poodle so hyperallergenic, almost never barks, very well housetrained, loves everyone – in short, she is basically the perfect dog.  I HATE her.  I hated her from the BEGINNING.

    Fast forward 4 years and she is still around, and will be until she dies.  The compromise?  She sleeps in a crate (NOT the bed, though the cats do sleep in the bed!) and we will NEVER replace her with another dog after she is gone.  Is Jake worth it?  Of course!  Living with an animal you can’t stand is a pretty significant compromise, but one that is possible for the right partner.

    (FWIW, I find Jake’s stance on immigration APPALLING, and somehow we’ve worked it out for 5 years.)

  10. 70
    Karl R

    mc said: (#78)
    “So no way is that too picky! Don’t drop your standards or settle for anything less. There are a ton of guys with a great sense of humor and who knows how to enjoy life to the max!! We will find it! So keep the faith!”

    You go girl!

    Don’t let reality get in the way of your fantasy.

    Let me review what you’ve said in this thread:
    “I just can’t date anyone who is too closed minded.” (#56)
    “I just can’t own or live with a dog and that seems to rule out a ton of guys!! Especially the nice warm hearted giving guys!” (#57)
    “Being a mommy just isn’t for me” (#62)
    “I am almost 5’11 and it is sooooo tough finding a taller man! […] it feels sooooo awkward!” (#68)
    “Having a sense of humor is actually numero uno on my list.” (#78)

    I’m going to make some guesses about the men you meet. Since I don’t know the men who are around you, take note of when my guess is off. I can certainly redo this with more accurate numbers.

    I’ll assume that 80% of all men (4 out of 5) are sufficiently open-minded for you.

    Since you complained about the difficulty of finding warm-hearted, giving men who don’t own or want dogs, I’ll assume that no more than 20% (1 in 5) meet those  combined criteria.

    25% of men are taller than you.

    18.9% of men are volutarily childless. While there are some men who already have children, but have no involvement in the children’s lives, I’m assuming those men aren’t warm-hearted and giving. Therefore, I have not tried to include them.

    I’ll assume that you find about 25% of men (1 in 4) to have a good sense of humor.

    If my assumptions were correct, you’ve ruled out 99.81% of all men, just on the criteria listed.

    There are men who meet those criteria. I’m 1/2″ taller than you. I’m not interested in having kids or dogs. My girlfriend chooses boyfriends based on intelligence and humor, so I’ll assume that I make the grade there. But I’m fairly certain that you’d rule me out for additional reasons. (I’m kind of messy. You might not find me attractive. Etc.)

    So (at best) 1 man in every 500 meets your criteria. However, there’s no guarantee that those men are interested in you. Let’s assume that 10% of those men are mutually interested (which requires men to be 50 times less picky than you … something which I find unlikey). That would mean only 1 in 5,000 have mutual interest.

    How many men do you know? How often do you meet new men?

    There is hope. Since you don’t want children, you have decades to search for a man who meets your criteria. And as the men get older, their children start moving out of the house. (For women that becomes a noticeable shift in their mid-40s. For men it might be a few years later.) That makes it easier to find (effectively) childless men.

    Since I don’t want kids, I’ve assumed that I have about 40 years to find a wife. However, I would prefer to find one sooner instead of later. Therefore, I decided that it was in my interest to find areas where I could compromise.

    mc said: (#78)
    “Don’t drop your standards or settle for anything less.”

    You don’t have to. Maintaining those standards will cost you time, but that is certainly your choice.

  11. 71
    Stacy

    Karl #80

    Math is a funny thing. As any fixed income speculator or arbitrageur knows, tiny percentages applied to huge notional amounts can result into good profits. So..

    Suppose you’re right and mc rules out 99.8% of all men. That leaves 0.2%, which in a NJ-NY metropolitan area with total population circa 21m and assumed male population at 50% of total with suitable age group of 30% of male population, means that she’d be looking at a dating pool of 6,300 men. It would take her 60 years to meet all of them assuming 2 dates per week eery week with no breaks. How’s that? I’d argue she is not picky enough. Just sayin.

  12. 72
    Hadley Paige

    RE: Karl @ 80  “you’ve ruled out 99.81% of all men, just on the criteria listed.”
     
    This simple reality should be shouted from the rooftops. Women who complain about being unable to find suitable men (and believe that their criterion are reasonable) should do this simple math.
     
    Ladies, you can rationalize all you want as to why you need (the non-negotiables) what you need in a man. But write the list down and do the math (don’t forget to multiply your result by the percentage of men who make your cut who find you reciprocally attractive. What you have in front of you is your likelihood of success. A sobering number, no? As President John Adams famously said “Facts are stubborn things”. Maybe its time to get more flexible.
     
    My suggestion to women. Don’t look to find a man for everything you need & want. Look to him for what unique qualities he can offer & you value that you can’t get from yourself. Get the rest from your girlfriends. This will help keep your list as short as possible.

  13. 73
    Karl R

    Stacy said: (#82)
    “assuming 2 dates per week eery week with no breaks.”

    You’re assuming a lot more than that.

    You’re assuming that all of the men in NY/NJ metroplex are single.
    You’re assuming that she has some way to meet all of them.
    You’re assuming that she can arrange it so every man she dates meets all of her criteria … and she meets all of theirs.

    Heck. If MC could arrange the last one for just one date, she’d be in a long-term relationship already.

    Stacy said: (#82)
    “Math is a funny thing.”

    Math is a funny thing. You can’t just ignore the inconvenient variables.

    It doesn’t matter how many single men are in the city MC lives in. It matters how many she’s sufficiently acquainted with to where they might go on a date.

    I checked Match.com to get a feel for how many men were in the NY/NJ metroplex. If she’s looking for men aged 30-39, that would be around 8000 to 8500 men. (I think Match assumes a search radius of 25 or 50 miles.)

    Even if we assume twice that many men (16,000 to 17,000), there are about three or four men on Match.com who are actual matches for her.

    Evan would have passed up his wife if he saw her profile online. I would have passed up my girlfriend if I saw her profile online. You have to consider the possibility that those three men would do the same thing if they saw MC’s profile … or she would do the same thing if she saw theirs.

    And what if they don’t feel that magical spark on the first date?

    Stacy said: (#82)
    “I’d argue she is not picky enough.”

    Could you rephrase that arguement more persuasively?

  14. 74
    Karl R

    Let me clarify one thing in my previous post.

    I checked Match.com to see how many men were using online dating in the NYC area … since that’s the only way she’d have access to those outside her circle of acquaintances.

  15. 75
    Stacy

    Karl #84

    I make no such assumptions. 1) a man doesn’t have to be single to be interested in her 2) This assumption is not necessary as I am merely estimating the size of the dating pool (i.e. all men that are available for meeting) and 3) this assumption is already baked into your 0.2% – no double counting please.

    regarding 1) – even if you insist that divorces and breakups rate is zero, FYI 40% of men in NY metro are single, so applying it fully to my previous calculation would leave her with “just” 24 years to meet all of them!

    The rest of your post, basically, deals with the fact why online dating is so limited – as you can clearly see only a small % of eligible men use it.

    So. my argument here is that it is actually o.k. to exclude 99.8% of all men, for as long as your dating pool is large enough to assure sufficient supply of potential dates. Which in big metro areas it is absolutely is. It’s a very simple math, really.  

    And regarding #85? One sure way to access those outside your circle of acquaintances is to expand your circle of acquaintances.  

  16. 76
    Karl R

    Stacy said: (#86)
    “One sure way to access those outside your circle of acquaintances is to expand your circle of acquaintances.

    How many people are in your circle of acquaintances? For me, that number is probably around 1,000. That includes those whom are male, age inappropriate, and married. Perhaps 200 are potential dates. Let’s assume MC is twice as sociable (400 potential dates), she has to expand her circle of acquaintances by 12 times to stand a reasonable chance of having a partner in that circle.

    Stacy said: (#82)
    “she’d be looking at a dating pool of 6,300 men. It would take her 60 years to meet all of them assuming 2 dates per week eery week with no breaks.”
    Stacy said: (#86)
    “this assumption is already baked into your 0.2% – no double counting please.”

    You’re assuming that she can meet 2 of the 6,300 men per week. Given that those men are 1 in 5,000, I’d assume that most of her dates aren’t going to be with those 6,300 men. They’ll be with the other men.

    By the way, your number is based on there being 210 million people in the NY/NJ metroplex.
    50% male = 105 million
    30% age appropriate = 31,500,000
    1 in 5,000 dateable = 6,300

    There’s only 19 million people who live in that area. Assuming 50% male, 30% age-appropriate, 40% single, 95% heterosexual … that’s down to 217 men in all of NYC who might be a potential match … if she can find them amongst the 19 million people.

    And as I keep saying, finding them is the part that takes time. If she already knew where they were, she’d already be in a long-term relationship.

    Stacy said: (#86)
    “my argument here is that it is actually o.k. to exclude 99.8% of all men, for as long as your dating pool is large enough to assure sufficient supply of potential dates. Which in big metro areas it is absolutely is.”

    Your hypothetical “dating pool” has 1,083,000 single, heterosexual, age appropriate men in it. If MC spends 60 seconds meeting each man, for 8 hours per day, every day, it will still take her six years to get through all of them.

    Maybe she should try speed dating. If she speed dates (taking 5 minutes per man), for 8 hours a day, every day, it should only take her 52 days to meet one of the 217 men.

    Of course, if she slacks off and only speed dates on 2 evenings per week for three hours at a time, it will take her an average of 16 years. Provided the first Mr. Right doesn’t make a bad first impression. If he does, she’ll be at it for approximately 16 more years.

    Does this sound practical?

  17. 77
    Stacy

    Karl … this is getting tiresome. You should check your math as my numbers are correct. I actually built a small excel model to de-stress from work stuff :) 

    Secondly, you constantly confusing opportunity/”market” size, which is what I am referring to, with the actual number of guys she can realistically meet. The former is pure math, the latter is a function of her apperance, social skills, family connections and many other factors. Lets not mix it up.

    The bottomline is that the “0.2% argument”, while entertaining, is flawed from the analytical standpoint for any large/densly populated area… and this conversation is a good example of how NOT to communicate with men :) it is, evidently, impossible to get Karl to admit that a small percent of a huge number is still a pretty big number :)

  18. 78
    A-L

    If you take issue with Karl’s math (and I don’t), then think of it this way.  Think of all the people you’ve dated.  How many of them had all the characteristics you want?  And of course, those people were already pre-filtered, either from conversations, profiles, e-mails, etc.  So how many of the people did you ever communicate with meet those criteria?  And then how long have you been dating?  If you’ve been dating for X amount of time and have dated X number of people and haven’t found a single person who met your basic requirements, how likely are you to find one who has more than those?

  19. 79
    Karl R

    Stacy said: (#88)
    “You should check your math as my numbers are correct. I actually built a small excel model”

    Recheck your model. My Excel model says yours is wrong. I suspect you typed in an extra zero into your starting population.

    Stacy said: (#88)
    “Secondly, you constantly confusing opportunity/”market” size, which is what I am referring to, with the actual number of guys she can realistically meet.”

    I’m not confusing it. I’m saying market size irrelevant. You could call the entire world the market of available partners, but MC has no way to meet the vast majority of them.

    Explain to me how “the actual number of guys she can realistically meet” is not the relevant number when it comes to her finding a partner.

    Stacy said: (#88)
    “the latter is a function of her apperance, social skills, family connections and many other factors.”

    I was factoring her appearance and social skills into my estimate of 10% of the men being interested in her. If she’s ugly and socially awkward, that number will be much lower.

    How useful are family connections? My parents’ acquaintances are primarily their generation, not mine. If your mother has a friend who has a son “who would be just perfect for you,” how interested are you in meeting him?

    I’d start finding excuses before my mother finished the sentence.

    Stacy said: (#86)
    “1) a man doesn’t have to be single to be interested in her”
    “regarding 1) – even if you insist that divorces and breakups rate is zero”

    There’s a woman in my dance class who is single, attractive, fun to chat with and dance with. By your standard, you could say I’m interested in her.

    But I’m not sufficiently interested in her to break up with my girlfriend. She can wait until I’m a divorcee or widower, but I think she’ll be in for a very long wait.

    Of course, MC could meet a married man who will happily ditch his wife in order to start a relationship with her. Of course, she’ll be kicking herself if/when he ditches her for another woman. Unfaithful people don’t make the best partners.

    Stacy said: (#88)
    “it is, evidently, impossible to get Karl to admit that a small percent of a huge number is still a pretty big number”

    A small percent of a huge number is a significantly large number.

    A correct analysis, but an irrelevant one.

    Let’s work this in reverse. MC needs to end up with 1 man.
    We’re assuming 0.189% of the available men are suitable to her.
    We’re assuming she’s suitable to about 10% of the suitable men.
    We’re assuming about 11.4% of men are single, age appropriate, and heterosexual.
    We’re assuming about 50% of the population is male.

    That implies a minimum nuumber of 92,800 for her circle of acquaintances. She could take your suggestion and expand her circle of acquaintances.

    And you also said that she’s being “not picky enough.” So she’ll probably need more acquaintances than that.

  20. 80
    Stacy

    Karl #90

    Unless they invented some sort of alternative math while I was sleeping,

    21,000,000 x 50% x 30% x 0.2% still equals 6,300 – sorry. Reality bites.
    I am not sure how old you are, but i my age group (27-32) lots of people get introduced through their family connections, country clubs, etc. Obviously, not to their parents’ friends but to their parents’ friends’ kids. Why wouldn’t you want to meet them?

    Now, allow me to explain why the market size is relevant and the rest is not. It is because for as long as the market is there, you can always figure out a way to get a lion’s share of it. You do not control how big your market is. This is something that you’re presented with. But you do control the amount of effort and thought you put into maximizing it for yourself. So for as long as you know that there’s years of supply of eligible singles in your market, it is up to you to find ways to meet them. And there’re always ways. So if you’re not lazy, you’ll be just fine.

  21. 81
    starthrower68

    Are you kidding me? Dueling Excel models? Really?

  22. 82
    Karl R

    Stacy, (#91)
    It’s 0.02%, not 0.2%. Well, technically it’s 0.0189% … asssuming that 10% of the men are interested in MC (not 100%). And you’re still assuming that every man in NYC metroplex is straight, and you’re assuming that MC is comfortable dating married men. I find both assumptions highly unlikely.

    Redo your math.

    I can see how it’s possible to narrow down the market to mostly singles, mostly age appropriate, and mostly straight. Where do you go to find mostly tall men? Mostly funny men? Men who don’t have dogs? Men who don’t want (or have) kids? Open-minded men? Caring men?

    If you could narrow down your target demographic that well, then you’d be the top-paid marketing exec in the world.

    I don’t believe that you know how to winnow that one man out of 5,000. Explain to me how you’d do it.

  23. 83
    mc

    Okay I get it…I’ll move to NY and increase my pool of acquaintances…; ) Kidding of course!  Wow I was definitely in a fog reading all of those numbers!! I’ve never really thought about the stats so that is definitely a different way of looking at things. Although I don’t live life based on stats, it was still a good eye opener. 

    Karl #80 thanks a lot for your thorough response. Really only 1 out of 4 men have a good sense of humor? I’m shocked! Where did you get all those numbers. Well in any event, numbers aside, I may have to disagree with “most childless and dogless men aren’t warm hearted or giving. Although I worry about that sometimes, I do know some guys(taken) who are great guys who don’t want kids or dogs either… And I am a very very giving generous warm hearted and genuine person so there has to be some men out there like that too!

    And by the way, I do look at personality more than looks too. He does have to be attractive obviously but to me, a good personality makes them more attractive. And don’t get me wrong, I am not a perfectionist, and I am not perfect myself, so I don’t expect to be with a guy who is clean all the time as long as he’s not a complete lazy slob. haha. I figure if KArl you are a dogless childess guy with a good sense of humor there is more out there like that too right?; ).

    I honestly don’t think that is a lot to ask especially being 34. And that was funny..I am actually not ugly or socially awkward. I’m a social butterfuly and get along with everyone.

    Karl you asked how many new men I meet. Not many at all!! I have only been on a few dates on match but no real connections just yet. I could definitely make more of an effort to go out and meet the single people and increase my pool of acquaintances. Good point that I will work on! I might be able to think twice about guys with kids already if they are old enough, but it will be tough. I won’t make it a requirement for him to be 5’11 or taller. It would just be a bonus. : )  If dogs are a must have for some guys sorry I won’t change my mind on that one.

    Honey #79, that was too funny. Thanks a lot for your tips! And wow that is quite a compromise. Cats I can do, but dogs sorry I just can’t do it!

    And a sense of humor I gotta have it! And I know they are out there! 

    Thanks a lot Cat #81. I’ll check out that article! I hope I am dateable!!

    Thank you Hadley #83. I love what you said, “Don’t look to a man for everything you need and want!” So well put and so true! I will expand my horizons and give men more of a chance, I will get out more, and try not to be so selective. Thanks everyone for changing my outlook!!! : ) I really really appreciate it!!

  24. 84
    mc

    http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/video-how-many-people-are-dateable/

    Wow Hadley great video!! Thanks a lot for that! So helpul. That is sooooo me to a T!! I will scroll down a list of at least 100 guys every week on Match and I will not find 1 guy that I like that is “dateable” to my standards. Okay thanks to all of you I am changing my ways now! Time to start shortening up that list… Thanks again : )

  25. 85
    mc

    And thanks to you too EVan for posting such great articles and videos.  I love that video, great points always!. It was nice to see you live in action too : )

  26. 86
    Annie

    @88

    This is why it’s impossible to argue with men? You’ve been arguing for several responses, I don’t see you finding it impossible.

    @MC, I don’t think Karl is really trying to judge you here, just trying to point out how restrictive we can be without realizing it. And more importantly, some of the things you may percieve to be deal-breakers really aren’t. You just can’t expect some-one to like everything you like and agree to everything. It really DOESN”T matter. An emotional connection, is not..some-one alway’s feeling the way you do.

  27. 87
    Goldie

    Stacy,
     
    21,000,000 x 50% x 30% x 0.2% still equals 6,300 – sorry. Reality bites.
     
    Okay. Like Karl pointed out, how many out of these 6,300 are married or in an LTR? (and if there’s any woman on this blog that actually plans on pursuing a man who’s married or in a relationship, on the off chance that he may one day be single, that’s a delusional approach at best).
     
    How many of these men are not into women? as in, gay? I’ve heard it’s one out of every ten guys, on average, but the percentage might be higher in large metro areas. How do you expect mc to date those guys? there’s no way.
     
    How many are not looking for whatever reason, and you cannot persuade them to start until they feel they’re good and ready?
     
    I’ll throw a few more questions into the mix, how many of these guys have no income? how many live on the street or in homeless shelters? How many have a serious criminal record? serious addictions? are registered sex offenders? mentally ill with a history of violence? Heck, how many are doing jail time as I type this? You cannot just apply your simple math to every single male in the area in a certain age group. You’ve got to first limit the group to the ones that are available and meet minimal acceptance standards. And that’s limiting it by a large percentage.
     
    And that’s before we get into dogs and kids and all that stuff.
     
    @mc,
     
    Karl you asked how many new men I meet. Not many at all!! I have only been on a few dates on match but no real connections just yet. I could definitely make more of an effort to go out and meet the single people and increase my pool of acquaintances.
     
    I found that many guys in meetup groups, are actually looking, and come to meetups in the hopes of finding someone. You may want to try that. At least this way you’ll know he has at least one hobby that’s the same as yours. And if you don’t like him, you’re under no obligations to continue interacting with him, since it is a meetup and not a date.

  28. 88
    DancingFaun

    Much as we would love to believe that amazing, accomplished people are “punished” for being “superior” by having awful relationships, I don’t see this to be true in the world at large.

    I see banking professionals and good-looking people and elite, educated people with stellar relationships. I also see these same kinds of people with awful relationships. What I don’t see is a correlation between level of amazingness/accomplishment/attractiveness and terrible relationships.

    People don’t have to be accomplished to be arrogant. People don’t have to be nice to have a relationship. You don’t have to be any one thing to have a relationship. Just look around you.

  29. 89
    Stacy

    Karl #93

    Are you kidding me? Look, I seriously hope you don’t do anything analytical for a living. 100% – 99.81% = 0.19%, approximated to 0.2%

    And, personally, i think it is a bad idea to be “narrowing down” your pool, you need to be expanding it while targeting those in it with attractive characteristics.

  30. 90
    Karl R

    mc asked: (#94)
    “Really only 1 out of 4 men have a good sense of humor? I’m shocked! Where did you get all those numbers.”

    Every person will tell you that they have a sense of humor. But you will probably disagree with some of them. The appropriate question is, what percentage of the men in your dating pool do you find funny. I can’t answer that question. I don’t know the men in your dating pool, and I don’t know what you find funny.

    On the other hand, with regards to humor, you were talking about the importance of a man being able to use humor to deal with stress, discomfort and tension. In my experience, that’s a less common skill. But if it’s highly common in your dating pool, your estimate would be the relevant number.

    What percentage of the men that you meet have a good sense of humor (by whatever measure you find meaningful in a relationship)?

    mc said: (#94)
    “I may have to disagree with ‘most childless and dogless men aren’t warm hearted or giving.’ Although I worry about that sometimes,”
    mc said: (#57)
    “I just can’t own or live with a dog and that seems to rule out a ton of guys!! Especially the nice warm hearted giving guys!”

    It seemed to be your belief regarding warm hearted men owning dogs. I disagree with it, but I’m not the one deciding whether your potential boyfriend is warm hearted or giving. If you limit the assumption to dog ownership, 39% of households own at least one dog. I could find no demographics to determine whether single men were more/less likely to own dogs than the average population.

    Regarding children, I only extended it to the men who have children, but aren’t involved in their lives. 18.9% of men don’t have kids and don’t want them. I made no assumptions whether they were caring people.

    mc said: (#94)
    “I honestly don’t think that is a lot to ask especially being 34.”

    Let’s rework the statistics. You’re willing to be flexible on height, so we’ll count all men as being tall enough. We’ll assume 61% of single men don’t own dogs (the same as the national average). We’ll assume you find 75% of all men attractive, and we’ll assume you find half of all men to be warm hearted. We’ll also assume that you consider 90% of all men to have a good sense of humor.

    As before, feel free to tell me how many men you think are attractive, funny, or warm hearted. Since the outcome is heavily influenced by the assumptions, and you can make better assumptions about what you find attractive/funny/etc. than I can, your input is more valid than mine.

    Calculating those (assumed) numbers up, you’ll be interested in 3.9% of all single, heterosexual, age-appropriate men you encounter.

    And we’ll still assume that 10% of the men you’re interested in are likewise interested in a long-term relationship with you. (Feel free to tell me if that’s incorrect.)

    That means that 0.39% of the single, age-appropriate men (or 1 in 257) will be a mutual match for you.

    mc said: (#94)
    “Karl you asked how many new men I meet. Not many at all!!”

    This heavily affects whether you’re your criteria are “a lot to ask” for or not.

    Based on our current assumptions, if you’re meeting 2 new single men every week, it will take approximately 2 1/2 years for you to meet a mutual match (unless he’s already in your current circle of acquaintances). If you’re meeting 2 new single men every month, it will take approximately 10 3/4 years to meet a mutual match.

    And those numbers are only as accurate as the assumptions they’re based on.

    mc said: (#94)
    “I will expand my horizons and give men more of a chance, I will get out more, and try not to be so selective.”

    All of those actions will make your search easier.

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