(Video) How Many People Are Dateable?

You may have seen me write about what percentage of people are dateable…but you’ve probably never seen me ask a room full of singles before.

Notice how silent it gets when people finally realize that nobody’s good enough for a second date. I can understand why no one would want to lower his/her standards, of course, but what does it say about you if you can’t find anybody suitable to date? And what if everyone else in the world had such similarly high standards that YOU could never make the cut?

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Heather

    Sayanta – maybe you need to find yourself some European guys! I’ve often thought about travelling to Europe myself to see who’s out there. The ‘typical’ American male, or whatever stereotype he affects, is most un-cultured. Evan is right about artists – they are a pain in the you-know-what to deal with! I have a weakness for them myself. Do you work in an arts-related field? Do you go to art walks, gallery openings, or events of that type? I do these things, and though it hasn’t scored me any cute artsy guys, at least I get to see them when I’m out and it gives me a little hope. I agree with you though on the hot guys. They are in demand and since they know it figure they can be uber-jerks about it. If a guy has the slightest idea he is a rock star (and believe me, artists do) he will treat you less than special. Unless of course, you’re that one b*tch who ruined his life!

  2. 62
    Diana

    I adore performing arts, but an LTR with an artist? Hmmm … I hadn’t thought about that. I would like to meet someone who enjoys the arts, but it’s not a deal breaker.

  3. 63
    Kristyn

    @ Heather.
    I’m 39. I’m going to be 40 this month (Happy Birthday to me!!). I’ve been dating (mostly online) since my divorce 2 years ago following an 18 year marriage. No serious relationships. The things you describe – you not interested in them, or them not interested in you – well, that is just dating sweetie. After going for out on dates for 2 years thinking i was looking for a relationship – I discovered I really was happy being single! Since men my age (and older) ususally are looking for LTR’s, (and not usually interested in me) I started dating the guys who were interested in me, guys I usually wouldn’t have given a chance too. Guys way to young! I had been approached by younger guys and stayed away because what was the point with the age difference? But, they were talking to me, contacting me, flirting with me, asking me out so . . . . And it was SO MUCH FUN!!!! I seriously recommend it. Anyway, recently, I was approached by a guy on line who’s my age, we’ve been going out for about 3 weeks now and have decided not to see other people. He has alot of positive qualities that I want to see what happens. Btw – the quality that I find most attractive is his positive attitude. Ok – I know this was long but my point was NO REASON TO KILL YOUR SELF!!

    @ everyone – I think the world is full of great men. Men of character and passion, and intelligence. I see too many examples in the men I know personally to think any differently. Look at the men who post here: Karl and Steve for example. And IF Evan had a twin!! (You don’t, do you?). They make take longer to find, but the unlike unicorns, they really do exist.

    Since I’m apparently feeling chatty tonight – I love this blog. I love Evan’s wit and wisdom and think you are awesome. And i appreciate the posters comments as well. You are a group I think would love to meet.

    Love all
    Kris

  4. 64
    Helen

    A comment from one-half of what may be the longest-fogey-married couple frequenting this site…

    The two things that matter most in a LTR are kindness and compatibility of personalities.

    Not looks. (Seriously, when we met, I would rate us both 4 on a scale of 10.) Not intelligence. Not a high-paying job. Not great sex. Not even compatibility of interests, if you can believe that.

    Sayanta, I too am an arts/music/literature freak. My hubby can’t carry a tune, falls asleep when listening to classical music, and teases me for loving art museums so much. It doesn’t matter for a LTR. Not at all. Please believe me on this. If and when you have kids, you are not going to have time for that anyway.

    You want a hubby who will be on your side, who always defends you, who sympathizes with you, who tells you he loves you and reminds you of your good qualities. You want someone who appreciates you and loves you. You don’t need a brilliant, handsome, or cultured man for that.

  5. 65
    Jennifer

    Sayanta #58- I get what you are saying, but i said some guys, particularly online, may want to appear more manly to stack up against the competition. I’m guessing in european countries where machismo is the order of the day things may play out similarly, with some guys.

    But if it helps to keep hope alive, i’ve seen profiles online where guys have talked about their love of the arts and some pepper their profile with pictures they’ve drawn or taken. I’ve seen guys really into music too (not just ‘producers’) so it is possible.

  6. 66
    Heather

    Sophie #57 – I know where you are coming from with the wanting to feel SOMETHING!

    I used to be one of those people who fell in love easily. Then, after about a year of therapy, I didn’t feel that need to cling onto a man for dear life anymore. Attraction became more about actual attraction than desperation to me, and I’m still having difficulty adjusting to that. I suppose this was a step in the right direction, but the drawback to this is that I don’t ‘fall in love’ quite so easily anymore.

    I’ve perused the idea that maybe I lack the capacity to really fall in love, even the possibility that I am a commitment-phobe. Whatever the case may be, I’ve been taking time for myself and I’m determined to do it right from now on. I saw a pattern in all of my past relationships, of being the passive half of the couple. I don’t want to keep repeating that, so one thing I insist on is ‘chemistry’ borne of strong attraction. No more adjusting myself to fit his life or availability to me.

    The only thing that puts pressure on me is this perception that I lose my desirability as I get older, and my mate selections only get lessened as time goes on. But I suppose it could be far worse.

  7. 67
    Evan Marc Katz

    Amen, Helen. Your post is the one biggest thing that changed me from being a single dating coach to being a married dating coach: learning to value and prioritize what is truly most important in life. Thank you for sharing.

  8. 68
    Heather

    Kristyn – I don’t seriously want to kill myself, but my idea of what romance looks like has definitely been killed for me. I’m happy for you that you’ve been getting so much interest and are enjoying your single days. You were married for a long time, so maybe dating gives you a sense of fun and freedom you haven’t had for a while. My ‘dating’ experiences (or lack thereof) over the past 2 years have been a bit of a painful learning experience – not so fun. I hope I can do something to change that, but I am SO stubborn. (BTW – are you a Capricorn too?)

    Helen/Evan – When do I get to feel this revelation?

  9. 69
    downtowngal

    EMK #30, I think it says as much about the men as it does about the women. I don’t think it’s that womeon are pickier, it’s that men like this aren’t looking for the same things as women. The single women I know are looking for someon w LTR potential.

    I’ve heard guys complain they can’t i find a quality gal, but then ends up dating lunachicks or women who are not LTR potential because they only think of the short term. Or, once they meet a quality gal, they mess it up by playing games, mixed messages…basically doing things you’ve advised women to stay away from.

    I agree that many women have their ‘lists’ that should be expanded. And I’ve dated all kinds of guys; but I know what I’m attracted to, and if I can’t be with someone I can relate to at the end of the day then it’s likely not going to work.

  10. 70
    Diana

    Helen, though I am now sadly divorced, I was with my former husband for nearly 30 years, and your last paragraph is exactly how I feel. My goodness. If I had aimed for superior intelligence, suave good looks, career-driven money, etc., my beautiful children would not exist today and neither would the terrific years we had together. Our personalities were very much in sync, and while we did share similar interests, we had our own, too.

    I was a baby (17) when we met, but I had wisdom beyond my years in this department. I looked for humor, respect, kindness, and fun to be with. It was as simple as that. Sex was good (and sometimes out of this world), but our relationship didn’t seem to be defined by that, and the intensity fades to some extent in time. Yet the bond that is created through a good life lived together is irreplaceable.

    I know what worked for me the first go round and that is essentially still what I look for today.

  11. 71
    Sayanta

    Helen-

    Your post is very encouraging and sweet- as usual. I guess I’m just hard to please (Venus in Virgo- LOL). I see what you’re saying…maybe, it’s because I adore passionate men? And I tend to associate having passion with some arts-related thing? Don’t ask me why.

    As for the art museums, I’m definitely taking my future children to them! lol When I was a kid, my parents took me to every cultural event you could imagine- kudos to them, but it’s also made me uber-snobby, i think! :-D

  12. 72
    Ruby

    Helen #64

    I do think you are correct if a couple plans to have children. You want your partner to be a great parent. The main common interest is going to be the kids. Compatibility of personalities and kindness are always important. But if you’re not going to have children, and are looking for companionship, common interests become much more important. You don’t have to share everything, but I can’t imagine being with someone who didn’t share at least some of my interests.

  13. 73
    Joe

    #1: When women say they want an educated guy, they really mean a guy who went to college, preferably an Ivy League school, preferably with an advanced degree. One of my best friends dropped out of college, but reads voraciously on–and is interested in–all sorts of subjects, and I would say he’s better-educated in general than I am, with an advanced degree. But I’d guess that 99% of women out there would discount him based on the fact that he never finished college.

    #2: Maybe if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t need their own space and wants to do everything with their SO at all times, you’d want someone who’s into everything you’re into. But I wouldn’t want to. If she’s into a few of them, that’s great–it gives us something in common to do, or talk about. But otherwise, by dating someone who’s into different things you’ll learn more from that person than you will if you’re both into the same stuff.

  14. 74
    Sayanta

    Joe-

    Ivy League’s not necessary- I went to a state school myself, so that would be hypocritical of me.

    And I personally do tons of stuff on my own- but I like what Ruby said above about the common interests thing.

  15. 75
    Mr_Right

    Ruby #40

    Yep, I’d say that most of the people I met were compatible, as well as more serious than on other dating sites. Though like any other site, they had their share of crazies. :)

  16. 76
    Jennifer

    Joe #73 I’m an Ivy grad and I don’t need my dates to be Ivy educated. Neither do my friends from school. There are so few ivy league schools that by the time you throw other criteria in there (age, height, race, religion, values, personal interests, looks) that is a pretty small pool of people. I can’t imagine the majority of women are really making that a requirement or even a strong preference. I’d hope not anyway.

    But I wholeheartedly agree with you that when people say educated they almost always mean college educated, not just a smart or well-read person.

  17. 77
    Karl R

    Sayanta, (#32)
    Let’s look at your categories when comparing men to women:

    1) Educated – Once you narrow the focus to people with your target background (presumably middle-class), the ratio of 59% female college graduates gets a lot closer to 50%.

    2) Attractive – Unless you’re bisexual, I’m going to assume you have the same bias as I do when looking at profiles. Members of the same sex are labeled as “attractive” if they’re likely to be attractive to a reasonable number of the opposite sex. Members of the opposite sex are labeled as “attractive” ONLY if they’re attractive to me. In short, I see a higher percentage of men being attractive then women.

    3) Healthy – Differences in male health statistics are almost exclusively due to men egaging in risky behaviors in their teens and early twenties. The rest are almost exclusively due to men having higher rates of (successful) suicides. Once you subtract those differences, women live about a year longer than men.

    4) Have a broad range of interests and passions – Who determines which interests and passions count? Why is macrame more “cultured” than auto repair? (I have no interest in either.) I could make very strong arguements that you see your own interests as “more cultured” than activities that have no interest to you.

    5) Good character – This is entirely subjective. I don’t think either sex has the edge in this regard.

    Like Sayanta and Heather, I have trouble getting positive responses on dating sites. Let’s see how I match up on Sayanta’s criteria…

    5) CharacterKristyn’s compliment (#63) aside, this is subjective. Personally, I think that the same rules apply to both parties in a relationship, and I place higher expectations upon myself than others. (BTW – thanks Kristyn.)

    4) Interests and passions – I sing in a choir, know 10 styles of dance, practice yoga, enjoy live music, used to draw & paint, read voraciously (primarily SciFi), study comparitive theology, enjoy ethnic foods, play some online computer games… and this could get to be an extremely long list (even though I have little interest in watching sports).

    3) Healthy – I’m 5’11”, 160 lbs., and exercise 4-6 days per week. My blood pressure, pulse and cholesterol are good. A couple years ago I broke a finger. I set the bone and splinted it myself (I was uninsured at the time), and continued to practice yoga despite the injury (down dogs and all) while it healed.

    2) Attractiveness – If you like really masculine men, I’m not your type. But I am some women’s type, and quite strongly so.

    1) Education – Hopefully my intelligence and education are obvious from my writing. Granted, my comments on this blog are hastily written compared to my profile (which I spent a lot of time on), and my primary strength is with numbers, not words. But I’m comfortable in letting my writing tell the tale. However, I’m sure some women eliminated me for my education level without ever reading my profile. I don’t have a college degree, and most women are looking for someone who has at least a bachelors. (Financially, my income is also above the median for those with a bachelors.)

    If there’s such a dearth of men meeting these criteria, why weren’t women rushing to answer my emails? Why was the interest expressed largely nonexistant or half-hearted?

    Online dating is difficult (and unfair) for almost everyone, not just women. My results have been vastly better meeting women through my interests (particularly dancing).

    It’s easy to understand why dating offline works better for most people. A person can’t bring their 18-point shopping list onto the dance floor. A woman has already decided whether or not she wants to date me before she gets all the way through the list.

  18. 78
    JB

    I’m just curious, if all or most women want to date someone who’s equally educated or higher than they are ie:

    Degree only dates degree and higher(Masters,PHD)
    Some college only dates or wants = or higher(degree or the above)
    High School Grad only dates or wants ^^^^^^^^^

    Who exactly is Joe “Construction worker” makin 50,000-70,000K
    supposed to be with?
    “Mike,the plumber”??? ……
    (no not Mike from Desperate Houswives….lol)
    “Bob the electrician”??? “Jack the mechanic??, “Fireman” ???
    Most of these guys, if not all have no degree per se. Who are these guys female equals? Retail sales girls??

    I don’t blame a woman who’s educated for not wanting to date below themselves education wise sometimes but just because a man has a Bachelor’s degree doesn’t automatically make him a better or more intelligent man let alone more attractive than one without. I know sadly a lot of women think this way. Online these men have no value unless of course they’re a 9 or 10 looks wise including height.

    Karl is right, before a dance nightclub closed by my house 2 years ago where 35-55 year olds would meet and dance I used to meet 90% of any women I dated there and 10% on the internet. “Chemistry” the old fashioned way. 600 people from all walks of life meeting 4 times a week. Now in my life it’s reversed 90% internet,10% singles events. Also in my 40’s there are alot more variables in the equation.

  19. 79
    Heather

    I have 2 degrees, one in interior design and one in architecture. Despite the fact that I spent 8 years of my life in college, I did not have this education requirement from men. One of the last guys I dated was a 40 year old guy who was about 5′-6″ and worked in a record store. He was a responsible guy with a cute look and he was a musician, and since I gravitate toward that type, I didn’t mind the lack of college, the record store job, or the not-so-tall thing (I’m not so finicky about stature either). I was willing to forego that ‘requirement’ for equal educational status, because, frankly, it wasn’t a factor in attraction for me. I figure I got the college degrees so I could ensure my own success and income level without depending on a man, so why would I disqualify a man on this basis? I have discovered, however, that it isn’t as easy to relate to a guy who didn’t go to college. I had to break up with a boyfriend while I was in college because he was so threatened by it (also 5′-6″, BTW). And my record store man had a problem with the fact that I was making twice as much money as him. It was fun, but I should’ve known it wouldn’t last.

    I think most women prefer college educated men because they figure they make better money. I never wanted to have kids, so I don’t feel that need to have a strong breadwinner to take care of the family. I also grew up in a blue collar family, so I don’t see a need to fit into some social caste. I know that tradesmen, like the ones you mentioned, usually make pretty good money (and who doesn’t mind having a man around who can fix things!), so I don’t know if money is the motive. Also, I know at least one woman who absolutely goes gaga for firemen!

    Anyhow, some of us educated women aren’t so particular about that. I’d still date a college dropout, or a high school graduate, as long as he had his sh*t together and was in possession of an open mind. When I say I want someone ‘intelligent’ that doesn’t necessarily imply ‘book smarts’.

  20. 80
    A-L

    Just wanted to comment on the educational status thing. I have a bachelor’s degree and am a thesis away from my Master’s (which I’ll never finish). I haven’t looked at my Match profile but I’m pretty sure I said some college. But if a guy seemed intelligent and wrote well but had less education then that, then he was also considered (only happened a couple of times). I also knocked off plenty of guys with the same or greater education than me because it was apparent that they didn’t learn anything while there (at least from their poorly written profile). But the guys I dated skewed towards the educated. 99 times out of a 100 I’d rather have a game night playing Trivial Pursuit than go out to a bar or clubbing. And most guys who weren’t college educated usually didn’t care for stuff like that. And that’s a big enough part of my life that I definitely wanted to share that with a partner.

    Despite my statement about wanting to share in some intellectual stimulation, I don’t think that a couple has to have identical interests. There’s also the matter of compromise. For instance, like Sayanta, I love the arts. My boyfriend will go to plays with me, but as far as the opera or symphonies go, he’d rather keep it to a minimum. So he’ll go a couple of times a year just to make me happy, but then the rest of the time I go with friends. There is so much other stuff in our lives to discuss and do that even though we don’t share this interest, we can accommodate each other and still be quite happy. And I suspect this is what Helen, Evan, and Diana are talking about.

  21. 81
    Sayanta

    Heather-

    Right on with the threatened thing- I mentioned that earlier too.

    Honestly, women like ambitious men- and men who have a college degree/advanced degree are assumed to be ambitious. Before you all jump down my throat, I know there are exceptions to this (Bill Gates), there are intelligent men without degrees…etc. etc. But, as you can tell by the blog comments, people work by generalization: eg artists are flakes, lawyers are sharks, accountants are boring, you get where I’m going with this. So this is another generalization that tends to be true in a lot of cases and not in others. Peace.

  22. 82
    downtowngal

    Sayanta #81, actually Bill Gates did graduate from Harvard undergrad. It was the law school from where he dropped out.

    That aside, i agree w you. Women want a guy who has his act together, and a guy who has a good job, his own business (i.e. general contractor, coffee shop) or has attained a certain level of eductation assumes he does. Though I’ve found that’s not always the case – I’ve dated guys who were ‘good on paper’ (grad degree, Ivy league, cute, tall, etc.) but were a mess – arrogant or emotional basket cases, incessant mama’s boys, etc.

    So you never know…

  23. 83
    Diana

    Intelligence comes in many forms. My father was in Mensa, yet only completed the 8th grade. He had a genius IQ. I guarantee you would have been veeeery hard pressed to beat him at Scrabble or Jeopardy. My former husband is also incredibly smart, but he does not have a college degree. Both of these men were/are voracious readers.

    So while it’s totally understandable that formal education is associated with smarts, that’s not always the case. And there are some pretty smart men (and women) who have absolutely no common sense, or struggle with emotional intelligence.

  24. 84
    Karl R

    Sayanta said: (#81)
    “Honestly, women like ambitious men”

    My boss is an ambitious man. His ambition has earned him a lot of money and status. I can see why women want that.

    He also works 80-100 hours per week. His wife has read him the riot act (multiple times) about being absent from his children’s lives (he has three teenagers). This week she’s struggling to get the house ready for the office holiday party, and keep his parents entertained. My boss is spending this week in Portland and Chicago. He spent most of Thanksgiving weekend reviewing documents for a case (though he was, technically, at “home”).

    My father was a professor, and completely lacking in professional ambition. He spent a year as an associate dean and thoroughly hated it. When the university president considered him for the job of provost, he couldn’t refuse quickly enough. Not only did he manage to support four children solely on his income, he saw us off to school every morning and was also home for dinner about 28 evenings each month.

    If you want wealth, a husband with a prestigious job, and all the material perks that come along with it, I can see why you would want an ambitious man. But if you want a partner who will help you raise your children (instead of leaving that entire task to you), then I think you’re confused about how to get what you want.

  25. 85
    Sayanta

    Karl-

    Honestly, I personally would put your father into the category of ‘ambitious’ just by the fact that he was a professor.

  26. 86
    Helen

    Karl #84: It’s BECAUSE I am ambitious that I would never take a position as an associate dean or a provost. (I’m a professor like your dad.) If you take one of those positions, your research career basically dies. I’d rather be renowned for my research nationally or internationally than take an administrative position. Your dad was smart and savvy: getting out of the deanship after just 1 year so that his research track would not falter significantly.

    Sayanta and downtowngal got it right before: Though we women say we want smart men, it isn’t so much the raw brainpower that matters to us as the fact that on average, smart men tend to have it all together more. We don’t want to date or marry someone whom we have to mother. We do like caring for our special man, but we don’t want him to be dependent on us for basic life needs.

  27. 87
    Sayanta

    Helen-

    good points- and I wish I was one of your students! :-)

  28. 89
    Helen

    Thanks Sayanta. :) You have plenty to teach me, too!

    That was an interesting article: it’s not just lower education that leads to anger, but also economic hardship, time pressure, and having children. All of these are highly relevant to the topic of whom we choose to marry, and whether to have kids. Firsthand, very sadly, I have seen marriages around me tank because of anger from wives or husbands related to economic hardship and the difficulty of childrearing.

    I wonder, though, whether lower education was directly linked with greater anger, or whether the actual link is that less education is usually associated with lower salaries, leading to financial hardship. Maybe if someone who wasn’t very educated married someone who was financially very stable, then the anger wouldn’t emerge.

  29. 90
    Heather

    I agree with Helen. Statistics don’t always show the full picture.
    Economic hardship, which can result from a lower education level, is a major stressor, and stress can definitely lead to anger and resentment which in turn leads to further unhappiness, lower self esteem, frustration and less ability to cope in a demanding world. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle. I think the anger comes not from lack of education but from the situation arising from or contributing to that.

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