(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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  1. 21

    Roughly, the odds of one person being the one is about 0.0002 percent.

    At least that’s what it was for me. 🙂

    Between eHarmony, I had 1306 matches that I looked at and communicated with, and between Match and OKCupid I had about 3200 matches that I looked at and communicated with. So let’s say 4500 matches.

    I’d say I had about 200 phone calls, and out of those 200 phone calls, I had 55 first dates, and out of those 55 first dates, I had 8 second dates, and out of those 8 second dates, I had 1 third date.

    I admit though that I was fairly picky. I read the advice to aim high, so I did.

    1/4500 = .000222222

  2. 22

    I agree with many of the other posters — your videos rock! Your humor and warmth makes the harsh realities you share with singles a lot easier to stomach. Have you ever considered answering some of your letters via video? I think that would be really cool too.

    Steve (#16): If you feel that unattractive people will be turned down on their looks alone, what’s the solution for them? Should they remove themselves from the on-line dating universe all together?

  3. 23


    I’m with you on that one. Every case is different, of course, but I’ve known educated women who’ve dated/married men without a college degree, and usually those relationships have ended because of issues about this specific difference.

    I’ve got a professional degree too- and although it would be nice to date men with an advanced degree, I’m willing to date college grads who are making a decent living.

  4. 24

    EMK #20

    Women will date men not only younger but several years older. Men won’t. (I guess they can go much younger so they don’t feel they have to).

    Women will date men who are overweight or not particularly attractive. Men won’t.

    I have adapted – not “lowered” – my “standards’ over the years. I’m not old, but I’m not a spring chicken anymore either (middle-aged), and certainly have been discounted on age alone by many men my own age, even though I often look much younger/fitter than they do. I will certainly date a man less educated as long as he’s intelligent and has some interests in common with me. I’ve never been too money-focused, so that’s not a huge issue. I’ve expanded my geographic range with online dating, which makes dating considerably more complicated, but I figure, if it nets a terrific man, it’s worth it.

    I’m still tryin’. Give me some props!

    1. 24.1

      Great! You have a positive attitude, and I think that goes far in the dating world. May the odds be ever in your favor.

  5. 25

    Mr_Right #21

    My guess is that you are probably right. Where did you end up finding your S.O.?

  6. 26

    @Kenley #22

    I apologize for not making my point more clearly, which was, to put in bluntly, that a number of people in the video with (too) high standards for others didn’t look like people who would meet similarly high standards.

    I’m not saying they say should join with Heather for her ritual suicide. I’m just noting the irony.

  7. 27

    It is interesting to reread some of the comments in this thread, but substitute “men” for “women” and make the issue about looks.
    Men publicly stating a certain level of attractiveness as a must, for a starting point for datability, would likely get referred to in many unflattering terms.
    Some men would reply that it isn’t about looks, that looks are only an indicator of more politically correct qualities. Women indicated that money was a flag for intelligence and education. Men in the hypothetical thread likewise, would see looks as a flag for a woman caring about herself and being able to share an active lifestyle with them.
    As with the women some of this would be true and some of it would be a smokescreen.
    Evan’s post #20 might point out that women will date men who are less attractive than they are, but that most men will not.

  8. 28

    Posts #26 & #27 are mine, not Kenley’s. My apologies for the confusion. Low blood sugar 🙂

  9. 29

    @Ruby #24
    Women will date men who are overweight or not particularly attractive. Men won’t.
    Most men will not date other men, period :).

    The overweight and unattractive men slim and attractive women date likely have money, career success or status.

    I think if you distill out most people’s good qualities and leave just their primate brain women will go for status/money and men will go for looks. Thankfully, most people are operating on a bit more than just their primate brains.

  10. 30
    Evan Marc Katz

    Props, Ruby. And, as always, by pointing out that women discriminate against men, I wasn’t saying that men don’t necessarily do the same thing. But the many readers here are women complaining that there are “no good men”. I don’t hear the argument as much from men that there are “no good women”.

    And while men may discriminate on age and weight, they seem to never lack for quality dating options. Women’s general insistence that a man be taller, smarter and wealthier means that if she’s in the 90th percentile and wants to date “above” her, there is simply a very small pool of men.

  11. 31

    “But the many readers here are women complaining that there are no good men. I don’t hear the argument as much from men that there are no good women. And while men may discriminate on age and weight, they seem to never lack for quality dating options.”

    Well, we are the “kinder, gentler” sex, Evan 😉

    Of course, I’d agree that many of us could stand to be a bit less superficial. But I think when women complain there are no good men, it has more to do with men displaying emotional maturity, and treating us decently and with integrity, rather than not finding enough men who are wealthy, smarter or taller.

  12. 32

    #30, EMK-

    Well, women generally tend to take care of their appearance, have a broad range of interests, further their careers and intellects, and raise children on top of that. In other words, you have tons of women who are 1)Educated, AND 2) Attractive, AND 3) Healthy, AND 4) Have a broad range of interests and passions, AND 5) Good character.

    On the other hand, it’s rare to meet a man who also has ALL of those above traits. Usually, one of them will be missing. So, naturally, men won’t say ‘there are no good women’ because it’s just not true.

    I think using the word ‘good’ is a little harsh, because that passes character judgment, which is obviously unfair. Let’s use ‘desirable’ instead.

    Think about it though- say you have a woman who’s in her thirties, great personality, career, looks, good sense of morality, blah blah blah…

    But her dating choices involve 1) Flashy alpha male players
    2) Nice guys who are also 20 years older than her, paying child support and alimony for god knows how many wives and children, obese, and balding.

    These are her two pools. Well….why wouldn’t she say there aren’t any desirable men?

    It’s just that- I think- women tend to have to compromise on a LOT of traits to find someone they like. Men don’t, because women just tend to be more well-rounded.

    1. 32.1

      There are eligible men around, but many women lack the social network to find matching partners. Before I got married leaving the dating market, I was single for approximately 12 years. I was judged by lack of income and average height (5’9) and had no dating prospects. I had no belly and no kids, stayed fit, paid no alimony, did not drink heavily, and looked for women within 13 years of my age (I was early 30s at the time). Women did not know that despite my poor fashion  style, I was well educated and preparing for a doctorate in International Business. I did not want them to know, because I prefer them to judge me on who I am, not how much I make or education level. My father’s business earned over a hundred million last year. Do you think that I would have told a date that? No. In fact, I emphasized how poor I was. I brought women back to a decrepit, but clean, apartment. I filtered for gold diggers and social climbers,  and now I have a wife who loves me for who I am. She said that I was the best decision of her life. Be careful of setting your default screen too fine, or you may miss gold, as the author mentions.

  13. 33

    Sayanta, I think we were separated at birth, you and I!

    I’ve always instinctively ‘known’ everything you just mentioned, and noted to patent ‘unfairness’ of it all. I didn’t want to believe that the 2 groups of men you mention made up the dating pool for a woman in my position, but then when I got online I started to experience it. The guys who have any sex appeal are taking full advantage of it so they don’t stick around for long. The guys who want to be there for you are feeling that way out of desperation. You feel like you got stuck with all the ‘leftovers’, since any man who is worthy of or desirous of marriage is already spoken for at this point.

    Women really do have to compromise a lot and it rubs me the wrong way. Why do we always have to get the short end of the stick? To add insult to injury we are criticized for being too ‘picky’ when we complain about not being able to find decent men to date. The truth is, there aren’t that many decent men to date. It isn’t our imagination! There are WAY more hot/good women than hot/good men.

    Men go through life not worrying about this stuff and putting in the minimum effort. Why do they get to have that option? I suppose, on some level, we let them. In the animal kingdom the male puts on a display to court the female – what happened with our species? I feel like I’ve done all this great stuff with my life and maintained my attractiveness – for what? I’m not sharing me with some schmuck! I might die a lonely old spinster, but there are some things I will not compromise on, I’m just too honest and too stubborn.

  14. 34
    Evan Marc Katz


    If I weren’t steeped in this type of dialogue every day, I would be offended. Let’s recap:

    So lots of women are well-rounded and have good character, but few men are well-rounded and have good character? Hmm. Imagine I said this:

    “Lots of men are well-rounded and have good character, but few women are well-rounded and have good character?”

    How long would it take before you were typing an angry response in all caps? I assure you, 50% of the population does not have more integrity than the other 50%.

    It seems you’re exclusively focused on your good traits and on men’s bad traits. You’re exclusively focused on where you have to compromise, not where men have to compromise.

    This is exactly why I am a dating coach for women. To point out the side that you don’t seem to acknowledge on your own – that there are men JUST like you – educated, attractive, healthy, interesting and kind. To suggest otherwise is pure fiction.

  15. 35

    I think that when women complain that there are no good men, they mean there are no good men to establish LTR’s or to marry — because that’s often what women are seeking when they date. I think men on the other hand, don’t necessarily have LTR and marriage as the end goal as often as women do. If a man goes out with an attractive woman, has a good time and maybe even has sex with her, but it doesn’t evolve into anything long term, he’s still pretty satisfied. Lots of women would not be satisfied with that particular scenario.

  16. 36

    @Ruby # 25 – I found her on eHarmony. We dated 7 months, and are now engaged. 🙂

    I’d recommend eHarmony over Match, but that’s just me.

  17. 37

    Evan, Sayanta, Heather: Let’s look back at Sayanta’s 5 points in #32, because statistics DO have something to say about these:

    1. Educated. A recent statistic indicated that 59% of all Americans today who graduate from college are women.
    2. Attractive. Women put much more effort than men into grooming. The result: women usually look better than men. It’s not because one sex is naturally better-looking than the other. Indeed, as Heather points out, males of many species are more attractive, especially among birds.
    3. Healthy. Longevity is a good indication of health in general. Women live on average 7 years longer than men.
    4. Well-rounded. This I can’t speak on… maybe looking at college campuses to see who’s involved in extracurriculars would give an idea. In my mind, it comes out to about the same for men and women.
    5. Good character. It’s honestly very subjective. What counts as good character for one person may not be the same as for another. I wouldn’t put either sex above the other in this case.

  18. 38

    Kenley – I wish I could be more like a man that way! Another disadvantage we women have – that desire for LTRs. When I find something good I don’t want to let go of it … because then I’d be right back here again.
    Evan – I know there are plenty of men out there who are ‘educated, attractive, healthy, interesting and kind’ I just can’t get attracted to them for some reason. That’s my problem, I guess, but it still bums me out.

  19. 39

    #34, EMK-

    I understand why what I said might seem offensive. I’m sorry it sounds harsh, but listen to this.

    When I put in search critera on Chemistry or any other site, I type in a certain education range and age and browse through the profiles….very very few men are physically attractive in that criteria. When I browse through their profiles, I have a hard time finding one who hasn’t misspelled a simple English word (yeah, I know people make typos when they’re rushing, myself included- that’s why you’re supposed to proofread). Interests include drinking and sports. That’s it.

    Now, just for an experiment, I tried inserting the same criteria for women, just to see what my sisters were like. I saw few unattractive faces- and interests have been as broad as fencing to art. No brutal spelling errors.

    So, it seems that women really are more well-rounded and educated, at least on these sites. And I’m sure you’ve all read the Newsweek articles in the past few years stating that boys are usually ones to drop out of high school, and that more than half
    of the students attending colleges and grad schools are women. If my statistics are wrong there, anyone feel free to correct me. This is an area where I’d welcome a mistake.

    I’m on Meetup. My active groups all involve culture and spirituality. I’m defining culture very broadly here by the way.
    Meetups almost always consist of young women and old men. So, I tried browsing through different meetups to see which one attracts more guys. Yep, you guessed it. The “Let’s spend all weekend getting trashed”- the “Let’s meet models” and “Let’s go sports-bar hopping” attracted tons, I mean tons, of young men.

    As for character, you can’t distinguish that online, so I’m really just speaking from my personal experience there.

    I do want to say, though, that I’m NOT saying that most men have bad character. I’m not sure how my previous post can be construed that way. I’m just saying, that if you want a good man, you might have to put up with things like balding, obesity, and age- whereas when it comes to women, men don’t need to make such compromises.

    I’m not saying I don’t want to compromise at all- I’m open about race and height and religion, for example. I don’t care that much about income range (as long as the dude can maintain a family). But dating someone old enough to be my father, and whom I’m not physically attracted to is a HUGE compromise.

    On the other hand, how many men looking for a good woman are forced to ask out their mom’s friends? I’m just sayin

    Heather- if we weren’t different races, I’d totally agree with the birth thing! LOL

  20. 40

    Heather #38

    “I know there are plenty of men out there who are educated, attractive, healthy, interesting and kind I just can’t get attracted to them for some reason. That’s my problem, I guess, but it still bums me out.”

    Gosh, what kind of man ARE you attracted to then? When I think of the opposite, it is “ignorant, ugly, sickly/fat, boring, and mean”!

    Mr._Right #36

    “I’d recommend eHarmony over Match, but that’s just me.”

    Congratulations! Did you find people to be more serious on eHarmony?

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