(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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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?

  11. 41

    Sayanta – I’m on Meetup too. It’s true that when I go to the events that interest me on a more deep level than ‘getting drunk’ there tend to be mostly women in attendance, with a smattering of male significant others and older men. I actually used to go to the drinking meetups, I learned a lot about bars in LA that way (since I hadn’t bothered to acquire that knowledge earlier in life). I had fun meeting people, but it was the same group of guys who tended to go to these meetups all the time, and it was sort of getting old drinking with strangers so I haven’t been to one in a while.

    It seems that when you take the dating books’ advice and get out and do things that interest you, which more than likely will be something on the more ‘effeminate’ end of the spectrum, like spiritual or cultural events, it is generally other women, older folks, or gay men you run into. For instance, I take a painting class, because I enjoy art. Everyone in the class is over 60, except me and one other woman. There’s only one man in the class, and he’s a neat person, but he’s got to be around 75. On the other side of the coin, I have no interest in things that typically draw men, like sports, so I’m not going to meet anyone at a sports bar or a game. I guess we all need to find more gender-neutral activities to get involved in!

  12. 42

    Ruby – what I mean by that is that a guy can have all the great qualities in the world, but if that certain ‘something’ (chemistry?) isn’t there, I have a lot of trouble being truly attracted. For some reason I have a lot of trouble with feeling that. Believe me, if I have an opportunity to date a great guy I will give it a shot, but the chemistry can’t be controlled.

  13. 43


    Oh my lord- I had that painting class experience too!! In April last year. That’s just uncanny (or maybe not, since we seem to be leading double lives).

    I’m curious- you said you’ve met men who are attractive, healthy, interesting, etc. but you can’t get interested in them. Is it, by any chance, because they tend to be conservative (whitebread Repub types)? Because that’s been an occurrence with me.

  14. 44
    Evan Marc Katz

    Thank you for pointing out what often gets lost, Heather:

    You can go to salsa lessons, or book club, or scrapbooking, or French class, but there are very few age-appropriate, single, eligible, tall, cute, successful, available, interested men who attend these groups of 5-15 people.

    This is why I am a big online dating advocate. Not because it’s perfect – not by a long shot – but because it gives you access to thousands of single people instantaneously. And if you haven’t connected on there, it’s mostly because you’re not doing it right. Sorry, but that’s what I believe.

  15. 45

    EMK #44

    I’ve connected with a several men both online and off over the last few years, but they tend to have major baggage issues and/or aren’t interested in LTRs. Not much I can do about that.

  16. 46

    ok- we’re going around in circles here, but I’ll say it again. Online dating doesn’t make a difference, because- as I said above- those men don’t have interests other than drinking/sports (and sex)either. I mean, the same guys who live in sports bars are the same ones who are online. Like I said, I can’t date someone who doesn’t have any interests other than those three things.

    I’m not saying I want a guy who does macrame or shops at Anthropologie with me. But it would be nice if he appreciated the higher things in life.

  17. 47
    Evan Marc Katz

    More generalizations. Men are cretins. Sex, drinking, sports. Just imagine a parallel blog where men vent about women being interested in nothing but shopping, celebrity gossip and makeup. Seriously. Enough. We’re all in this together. Demonizing the opposite sex gets you nowhere. As you can probably tell.

  18. 48

    On a side note- I was just thinking-

    Heather, you correctly stated that culture/spiritual, etc. groups attract mostly gay/old men. So, it seems that these men are the ones who are interested in bettering themselves, broadening their knowledge, etc.

    Now, say I did compromise. And I go out with a man who has no interest in self-growth, appreciating great art, literature, or a sense of spirituality, etc. How would we possibly connect?

    Our life would look like this:

    1) We come home from work
    2) Make love if we feel like it
    3) He watches TV
    4) I go read a book, write, or do whatever thing I like to do
    5) We try to converse, but since his only interests are television and beer, guess what? There’s nothing to talk about!

    6) Divorce

    I seriously think this is what happened to American marriages. I don’t think a lot of men realize that there’s life outside of Jon Stewart and Heineken. And, I’m with Heather on that one- it’s EXTREMELY difficult, if not impossible, to compromise on that one.

    BTW- why ARE gay men so much more productive and involved in the world around them than straight men? this would make an interesting research topic….

  19. 49

    Ok, fine- I’ll stop.

  20. 50

    Sayanta – Actually I had the experience of meeting someone last year who was great, loved me to pieces, made me feel good about myself, and totally understood me from my ‘cultural’ standpoint. I dated him, and I tried to like him more, I just couldn’t. Despite all the wonderful things about him the chemistry wasn’t there for me. It made me worry. If I can’t fall for a great guy, who can I fall for? And no, whitebread Republican types know better than to try to date me. I’m too Bettie Page looking. My ex-boyfriend, however did join the darkside when he turned Republican on me – I should have known it was over at that point!

    Evan – I’m pretty sure I am doing it wrong when it comes to online dating. Unless you can give me the magic formula to attract my target group of men, I will continue to do it wrong. I just joined a website called Geek2Geek on a lark. So far I got one message and a few winks, and I’ve decided not to take it so seriously. At this point I’m just looking to ‘practice date’. Though I don’t see any ‘sexy’ guys on the website, admittedly, I do find those who identify as ‘geeks’ easier to get along with and less intimidating.

  21. 51

    Imagine my surprise and curious delight when I read in a man’s profile that he kept a butterfly garden. But he was living too far away. I still remember his photo. You could see his face, but not as a direct close-up. He was sitting on a bench in front of his place (I presume), leaning casually backwards against the wall wearing a cowboy hat with his head tipped down slightly. His legs were crossed at the ankles. There was something humble and ordinary about the photo that pulled me in and sort of said, “I’m at peace with myself.” It was refreshingly different.

  22. 52

    So Heather-

    Not to downplay your bad experiences, but if you had such a great boyfriend, your love life hasn’t sucked totally- I’ve never been in anything serious at all! And I haven’t met wonderful guys, period.

  23. 53

    Sayanta #46- Regarding online dating, I think part of the issue may be the way some men communicate. They may put sports and things like that as interests in their profiles and not mention their love for modern art. Why? Well they may think that’s not what women will want to hear, they want to appear ‘manly’ to stand up against the competition, or they just don’t feel compelled to share it. Of course there is a chance his life begins and ends with Monday night football, but i believe there is room to be pleasantly surprised there.

    Regarding groups- I also belong to several meetup groups but they are more along the lines of singles groups and sports meetups (I like sports). I think part of the lack of eligible males in ‘culture’ centered meetup groups may be explained by the fact that lots of men aren’t group joining guys. They won’t join a group to go to an gallery opening or see a new photography exhibit- they’ll just go alone.

    So what’s a girl to do? If she is so inclined, she can give an online guy a chance (by chance i mean exchanging a few emails or a phone call) even if their interests don’t immediately seem to mesh with hers and go to cultural events (maybe alone) and look outside of the official group for guys to talk to.

  24. 54

    OMG Sayanta – what kind of man are you looking for?!?! They can’t all be knuckle-dragging dimwits!

  25. 55
    Evan Marc Katz

    I’m also seeing a theme – ‘my boyfriend should be/think the same as me”. That’s only true if you make it true.

    My wife prefers TV to literature. She’s never done self-help. We have a CHRISTMAS tree in our home, for Chrissakes.

    But we laugh at the same stuff, we have the same family values, we’re always thinking of each other, and we love to try new things together.

    If I were looking for another liberal, Jewish, atheist, MENSA, small-business owner who could get along with me on all the same levels as my wife, I’d be waiting a long, long time…

  26. 56

    I have noticed how a lot of the Meetups attract the kind of people others have referred to. I have so many interests, and I have a passion for things that are new to me that a man might want to share.

    My issue is that I receive loads of scam emails (maybe my niceties give off the impression that I’m an easy target), and contacts from those who live hundreds, thousands of miles away. I sometimes read profiles to see if there’s anyone I would like to write to, but I usually do not fit with what they’re searching for. This could be age (men within a few years of my age typically want younger), religion (I’m spiritual), child issues (single mom, aka no weekend trips away or hanging at my place), hobbies (adore ALL performing arts and the arts in general, cooking, nature walking, etc.; not so manly I guess). If I read a really good profile, which is rare, I will let them know regardless. I can tell when someone has put thought and time into theirs.

  27. 57

    Hmm, the whole “keep meeting great guys that I just don’t seem to fall for” strikes a chord. I have been wondering if some people just lack the ability to fall in love. Some people fall in love very easily and far more frequently than other people, it wouldn’t be completely out of the question for there to be a very small percentage of the population who just lack the ability to fall in love at all.
    And I read somewhere that some doctors have a theory that certain types of medication can block the chemicals that lead people to fall in love. I think it’s just a theory at the moment, there’s not been enough done study-wise to really come to any conclusions but it might be throwing a big spanner in the works for some people out there.
    I meet a lot of guys who are interested in me but I just feel nothing. Although I do have quite a large dating pool. I’m not particularly fussy in many areas at all. I just want to meet someone who makes me feel SOMETHING!

  28. 58


    You’re in Mensa? I didn’t know that….impressive…:-)
    You make good points- the thing is, the arts are super super important to me. This is going to sound dramatic, but sometimes I think the arts are my only reason for living. See? Toldja that would be dramatic. So when something’s THAT big of a part of your life, it’s hard to not ever meet guys who would be able to appreciate that.

    Heather- OK, not everyone I’ve met have been boring dimwits, but the ones who weren’t were also in high demand with the ladies- you catch my drift. And they were really really REALLy big assholes. Seriously, I only attract old dudes. The first guy who ever asked me out was 25- when I was 15!!! I still get carded, so it can’t be that I look old. But to this day- if a dude’s got wrinkles and white hair, you can bet he’s going to try to chat me up. The young ones who do chat me up (and that’s very rare, by the way), are the pudgy awkward Trekkie types. Not that the conversation goes very far, because if I do get friendly with them in return (which I usually do), they get all red and the ‘conversation’ goes all awkward.

    Jennifer- Wow…guys think it’s ‘unmanly’ to be cultured? Only in America- I doubt European guys would be like that.

  29. 59
    Evan Marc Katz

    a) I probably shouldn’t have mentioned MENSA. It was many years ago, and a mistake. I should have just left it as “pseudo-intellectual”.

    b) What percent of men are PASSIONATE about the arts? 5%? Great. Now what percent of them make a LIVING? What percent are emotionally STABLE? (you know artists…) In other words, if you want an artist, then put up with the fact that most are flighty, arrogant, narcissistic and penniless. In the meantime, you might want to trade off for a banker who plays in a garage band from time to time.

    But make no mistake, you have to make a tradeoff.

  30. 60

    Evan, Evan-

    now you’re generalizing- about artists! 😀
    Seriously though I’m not looking for an artist, necessarily. Banker in a garage band would be cool though. I don’t know if they exist, but that would be cool.

    Your last sentence sounds more like a warning, like “beware of dog” LOL

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