(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. 121

    So much anger here, and understandable. Bottom line is that what we want in the other sex is unattainable.
    Evan seems to have said said everything I stated in this blog over a year ago in the Does dating even work post. This is what I said:
    “The statistics I have shown above indicate that the key problem is that women are only interested in the very top of the scale. They do not realise just how selective they are. To them men of 6ft are plentiful in reality only 15% of the population at best.
    Most women online wouldn’t give a guy with the national average salary a second look. 50% of men will earn less than this average.
    If only 5% have the right income, and 5% have the right looks, and 15% have the right height, and 10% have the right intelligence then it follows that women will be perfectly happy with one man in 30,000 and half of them will suffer from substantial hair loss !”
    However the point I was making was that women cannot help being this picky as it is hard wired in their brain. Indeed the above posts seem to show that they cannot come to terms with how their biology is reducing their dating options.
    The big question is whether knowing this really helps, because we cannot change what we find attractive

  2. 122

    I agree with you. What irks me sometime is how women as a group are so blind to their own hypocrisy. They will go on forever how men only want sex and how men will have unrealistic expectations for looks. All while the stats you mentioned you exist.

    Oh well, all is fair in love and war. Almost everyone is irrational, contradictory and often hypocritical in the dating arena. The only people they hurt are themselves. They will end up alone while other people move on.

  3. 123

    Qazarly, technically average income is higher than the median income. The latter is the value which breaks 50/50.

  4. 124

    Technology has killed all romance and mystery.

  5. 125

    Joe , this came up last time. My memory of stats was that average could be mean, mode or median so it really depends on what the statisticians are measuring. You are correct in that the mean would be above the median.
    Of course this would MEAN even fewer males acceptable lol.
    I think younger educated women have real problems because they will not date down. Fifty percent of male graduates will marry non graduates. Sixty percent of graduates are female. Therefore there is only one ‘educationally acceptable’ male available for every three female graduates – and thats before they apply the other criteria.

  6. 126

    Level of education as a criteria is mostly an analog for level of income.

  7. 127

    If you haven’t had a serious relationship yet and you’re in your thirties – GET A DATING COACH! Something’s not right. And that something is probably you, since, well, you’re the common denominator here.

    Also, how is the fictional dream man’s tennis criteria any more superficial than Sayatna’s art criteria?

  8. 128

    Last thing, I have to agree with one of Steve’s early posts. When the camera panned to the crowd, I was so surprised! How do these people think that keeping such high standards will serve them well??

    Lesson: We all overestimate our appeal to the opposite sex, and should perhaps take that into account when examining our dating criteria.

  9. 129

    I have been having a discussion with a male friend of mine (more like a big brother) who just sent me an article that asks the question “are you too picky?” 

    I maintain that I am not.  I am pragmatic.  I have made no secret on my posts that I’m a woman that most men would consider too “fat” to date.   The women considered “curvy” are probably size 16 tops, and that may be pushing it.  But I digress.

    I recognize that at my current weight, I am going to be considered undatable by the vast majority of men.  I can lose weight, I get that, but it doesn’t happen over night.  Anyway, this has been my honest to goodness experience that as a “fat” woman, if a man does show interest in me, its generally the sort of person who thinks because I’m fat I will settle for anything.  They’re married; they’re desperate; they have anger issues; they do not have a similar level of intelligence or ability to converse.  I could go on.   The ones I’ve dated, I gave ample opportunity to pan into something.  I dated one guy for 4 months and it felt like a chore, not dating.  I gave another one a couple of months but after dealing with his misogyny one too many times, enough was enough.

    I’m sure that there are many who would say, “well if you’re fat, you have no reason to have any standards, you should just be happy if you get asked out”.  I don’t buy that.  But, by the same token, I understand that I am not datable.  So life goes on.

  10. 130

    Liz, 128, second paragraph-

    ouch. you may be right though. At this point, I really have no idea what appeals to the opposite sex. I’m on one site, get so many e-mails that I’ve lost count.

    Just joined Match (only a few days, though), same pic and profile as the other one, and get a bazillion winks and no e-mails. Ok, maybe two. Funny thing is, I’ve got enthusiastic responses from men who ‘viewed’ me and whom I decided to e-mail first.

    My point in saying this? I think it’s practically impossible to know what people want (both men and women) hell, I don’t even know what I want sometimes!

    PS- These women on Match who get bombarded with 100s of e-mails a day…who the heck are they? I want to look at their profiles, but can’t since they’d think it’s weird that another woman’s “viewing” them. lol

  11. 131

    Starthrower wrote, “as a “fat” woman, if a man does show interest in me, its generally the sort of person who thinks because I’m fat I will settle for anything.  They’re married; they’re desperate; they have anger issues; they do not have a similar level of intelligence or ability to converse.”
    I can sympathize, Starthrower.  But I don’t think this is because of your size.  I think it’s because you’re dating.  I’m sure there are plenty of size 4 women who can talk about being hit on by married, desperate, stupid, and socially awkward men who have anger issues.  It’s just one of the dangers of putting yourself out on the dating market.

  12. 132


    I’m sure that there are just as many man who could make the same comment about women.  I think that the “hot” women get more attention, but really, if we take a closer look, “hot” women, and those of use who are not probably struggle with most of the same dating issues.   I’m not going to say that “all men are this” or “all men do that” but it does seem we have more experience with the troubles than the positives.  But then again, if all we heard on here were positives, Evan would have no questions to address.

  13. 133

    The fact that you have dated not one but several men indicates that you are not in fact “undatable.”  Moreover, many thin and attractive women have received the same type of treatment you describe.  So, I’m not certain why you think the treatment you received only happened because you were fat.  It appears you are telling yourself stories that facts don’t support.
    I think I mentioned this once before but a dated when I was ” plus sized”  and dated when I was “average sized” and there was no difference in the way men treated me.   And, I specifically lost weight so that I could attract a higher quality of men.   When losing weight didn’t help me attract better quality men, I had to accept the fact that “fat” wasn’t the sole reason for my dating woes.  I think because women disassociate themselves from their bodies when we blame things on the “fat,”  there is a certain comfort, because we kind of feel as if the fat isn’t really who we are.  Once you lose the fat and things still aren’t working out, then you have to face the fact that maybe what’s wrong is something else….it’s something else that really IS you.   What I think it all boils down to is at the end of the day, if YOU don’t love yourself totally and completely and unconditionally, nobody else will — and if by some miracle they do, you won’t believe them.
    To be sure, there are men who will not want to date you because you are fat.  But, there are men who won’t want to date you for many other reasons too.  I think, however, whatever we  most  dislike about ourselves is the thing we just know beyond a doubt is the reason all men don’t like us or all men will mistreat us.
    Starthrower, not all men think fat women are undatable, and the ones that want to date them aren’t all jerks or bottom feeders either.   But, if that’s what you believe, that is how it will be for you.

  14. 134


    I’m not getting into the psychology here; I’m speaking strictly from the standpoint of someone who is going on a personals site, knowing nothing about and having never met any of the women on the profiles.  EMK says in another blog “hot women can write ‘I hate you; I hate you; I hate you'” and still get all kinds of attention, even if the profile is subpar or mediocre.

    We can argue all the live long day whether or not my attitude, issues, etc scare off a man after I’m dating him.  I’m not saying it is or isn’t.  What I am saying is that because I’m honest – not self insulting – about my body type in profile, the intial contacts are not happening for me.  I’m not putting on my profile, “oh you’re not going to be interested in my because I’m not skinny”.  I made the best attempt I knew how to write and interesting and unique profile that would set me apart and hopefully express that I’m an interesting person.  I made positive, albeit showing my dry wit, not negative. 

    Hope that clears things up for you.

  15. 135

    Oh, and to Evan and Sayanta above, along with misquotes, there also seems to be some taking out of context, too….

  16. 136

    I don’t see anywhere that Evan misquoted you. Perhaps you’re referring to his comment that it sucks to be misquoted?

    This is an interesting discussion! Some of you might want to check out Ok Cupid’s blog post about how your looks (photos) affect how often you’re contacted. “Site-wide, two-thirds of male messages go to the best-looking third of women. So basically, guys are fighting each other 2-for-1 for the absolute best-rated females, while plenty of potentially charming, even cute, girls go unwritten.”

  17. 137

    Cat, thanks for the link.  A very interesting article.  So should we posit that one’s reply rate (percentage of people who reply to your initial e-mails) is a decent way to figure out how attractive people think you are?  If so, everyone’s egos are about to take a hit (as most here report rates of 10-35%).
    According to the article if you’ve got a reply rate of less than 22% (if you’re male) or 26% (if you’re female) then you’re in the least attractive category.  Medium attractiveness is at 38% for males and 50% for females.  And to score most attractive then men need a rate of around 53% and women 66%.  (These numbers are my best estimate at reading the line graph “Message Reply Rates Earned vs. Sender’s Attractiveness.”)
    By this reasoning, I’m medium-low in attractiveness.  So apparently my self-scoring of 5-6 was quite off (from the Do You Overestimate Yourself thread.  Apparently I’m closer to a 3.
    Bringing this back to this thread (and the comments by Steve & Liz), how many people are way overshooting for what they consider dateable?  How many 3s are expecting to date 8s, because they think they’re a 7 or an 8?

  18. 138

    Oh, sorry, another question for A-L-

    I don’t know if you’ve read some of the posts from the past month or so, but some people said not to discount the men who write 2-liner profiles of the “work hard/play hard” variety, or with millions of typos, in that, they could be a great guy who just doesn’t know how to write.

    You sound just like me, in that writing style and a deep, thoughtful profile seems to be important to you. Did you ever consider men like the above for dating purposes? Do you recommend it, if you did?

    I don’t know- I hate to keep harping on this, but I think age is the crucial factor- I mean, there’s no other reason that I would get bombarded at age 28-29 with e-mails, and only 2 years later get none (no, I haven’t gained weight, gotten a new unattractive, hairstyle, etc.) For an experiment, I put up the pics I had at 28 (when I was getting bombarded), but kept my age as 31 (which it now is). Still no hits. I shouldn’t say no hits- about 700 men have ‘viewed’ me in the past 3 days. So, apparently my pic is prompting them to take a look.

    Unless it’s because I’m starting my profile with a literature quote. I mean- I was looking at the men who’ve viewed me over the past week, and it’s not as though I felt like I was missing out on anything by not getting e-mails from them. Most were two-line profiles that said “I like sports. I work hard and play hard.” Others barely were able to write the English language.

    I, on the other hand, spent hours really perfecting my profile, to make it deep, humorous, etc.

    So, it can’t be the pic (considering my experiment)- it must be my actual profile. I don’t know what to think of this- I guess this means guys really do care about what your profile says, instead of going just for the pic? LOL

    Sorry- you guys must think I’m the most impatient person in the world, considering I’ve been on Match all of  7 days. 😀

  19. 139

    Please see EMK’s post above (#115) where he responds to Santaya that it’s tiresom to be misquoted.

  20. 140

    I am a size 3 – I TOTALLY have the same types of men sending me flirts.  I always think I get these guys because I’m 40.   But they probably send them out to everyone.
    I think of myself as a 5 or 6 also; and I always wonder if I think I’m better looking than I actually am.  I’m not one of the women writing “I hate you.  I hate you.  I hate you” in my profile and getting 100 emails a day.  It is so hard to be objective about ourselves.  But I’m happy with the way I look so maybe that is all that matters.
    PS to Starthrower – I do wonder what the people who post here look like at times.  Once, when you outed yourself on here, I looked at your picture on Evan’s Facebook page.  I thought you looked really cute!  Sorry – not normally a stalker.

  21. 141


    Well- I would show you my FB page, but I feel weird about outing myself (lol…full name and all).

  22. 142

    Thank you for the compliment A-L.  That is very sweet of you :o)

  23. 143

    Sorry, I mean thank you Been There Done That…duuuuuhhhhh….

  24. 144

    I know what you mean.  I feel the same way.  It’d be different it were more private although – how private is face book?

  25. 145

    Yoohoo, Evan! Can I just say that I would totally love to see what everyone looks like too?  Some blogs have commenters register at gravitar.com and you can upload a picture.  That way when you post there’s a miniature picture that pops up too.  Perhaps that way we can see what each other looks like while maintaining our private identities.
    RE: Sayanta’s #138
    I did see the blog entry where Evan was promoting being understanding of guys’ whose profiles talked about working/playing hard and/or had some grammatical errors.   If a guy wrote a 3 line profile and had errors & zero creativity, then I would generally blow those off.  But if it was obvious that the guy put some thought into his profile, and it was generally well-written but had an error or two, I would overlook it.
    In fact, my fiance had two errors in his profile.  But I could tell that he had put thought into it and he sounded like someone I’d like to know more about.  And our e-mails were not filled with scintillating repartee.  But they were genuine and it was obvious that he read my profile and he always referenced things from previous e-mails or phone conversations.  In fact, he really wowed me on our first date by remembering so many small details which I had mentioned in passing.  So are there great guys with errors in their profiles? Absolutely.
    I guess my advice would be to look at the overall picture.  Is there effort there?  Was the mistake a rarity, or did it look like it was a mistake when they actually wrote something correctly?  How do you feel after reading their profile?  If you have a positive feeling (or perhaps, just not a negative feeling) then I’d give them a shot.

  26. 146

    I have to comment on Helen’s #64:
    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.
    I only agree to a point. From my experience, to a certain point, closeness of interests does matter. True, it doesn’t need to be all or nothing, but it does matter.
    If and when you have kids, you are not going to have time for that anyway.” is only correct until the youngest kid hits their teens and doesn’t want to hang out with Mom and Dad anymore. Then Mom and Dad are free to do whatever they want as a couple. Except Mom wants to go to an art exhibit, and Dad wants to go fishing. Every. single. time.
    But wait, it gets better. When Mom’s artsy friends and Dad’s fishing friends get together, things get awkward very fast! Well not for Dad’s friends, because they get plastered quickly enough and they feel comfortable enough after that. But, bottom line, it pretty much comes down to the fact that Mom and Dad have each their own set of friends that are unable to mingle.
    Meantime, Mom sees her artsy friends go to concerts, exhibits, theater plays, vacations that she’d actually find interesting… with their husbands, and the husbands seem to actually enjoy every minute of it. She sees couples that do things together — things that interest them both — and that brings them closer together as couples. At concerts, plays, etc. she’s the only single person in the group and she’s sick of sticking out like a sore thumb, but there’s no way her husband can be persuaded to come to any of these events, just like she cannot be persuaded to go fishing.
    She feels like a single woman who, for some reason, has a grown man living in her house.
    I have just described my marriage, thank you for listening. And we didn’t even get to the point where both kids moved out of the house. Frankly, I was so terrified of what would happen after that, I decided not to wait.
    I would also add that, in my opinion, a man who has nothing in common with you and is adamant that he wants to keep things that way, does not understand you, does not understand your interests, refuses to make an effort to do so, refuses to try any new things or use his brain in any way outside of work, — is not “on your side” already by definition. He wouldn’t know your side if it walked up to him and smacked him in the face! How on earth can he be “on” it? How can he say he appreciates you, if he has no interest in anything that makes you tick? He’s just hanging around for hot meals and regular sex. I am not, of course, referring to Helen’s family here AT ALL. (Her marriage sounds pretty cool, so I am sure she’s omitted quite a few positive details of their life together in the above post) Rather, to mine and other families like it.
    I’ll admit that I do not yet have an answer. From my dating experience, I am already finding out that for a man to be interested in the exact same things you are, is not nearly enough. My guess would be that an interest in you as a person, combined with some degree of intellectual curiosity that would make it fun for him to try new things, and some degree of brain capacity that would make it possible for him to understand those new things, will probably make for a happy couple. But that’s just a guess that I’ll have to verify on my own 🙂

  27. 147

    Hi Goldie – this definitely is a dimension of marriage that I hadn’t even considered when writing my earlier response. Having different interests isn’t unusual.  What sounds unusual in this case is that he seemed completely unwilling to participate in these activities with you and to be cordial with your friends (and possibly the other way too?).  Part of the fun of marriage is going to these new activities with your spouse and making new sets of friends and acquaintances.  What you described above sounds like complete incompatibility and unwillingness to try new things.
    I’m confused by what you said about being terrified of what would happen after the kids go to college.  “Terrified” is a pretty strong term when it comes to describing two people with divergent interests.  Were these differences really so intolerable?
    What I had meant by spouses being on each others’ sides has nothing to do with compatibility of interests.  It means being loyal to each other in the face of everything life throws at us, and believing the best of the other person.  It means sticking up for the other person both in professional and familial contexts.
    I really wish you all the best in your dating experiences now!

  28. 148

    It all depends. I met my bf of 3 years RIGHT after he was gtnietg a divorce ( yes paperwork wasn’t even done). I don’t consider myself a rebound girl and we are both very happy. His ex waited until 6 months after. If you meet the right person for you it just works. I actually find it is better after a break up because you know the mistakes you made with the first and what you don’t want in your next relationship.

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