(Video) How Many People Are Dateable?

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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. 101
    Karl R

    Evan and Selena, thanks for the compliment. Evan, go ahead and use that example whenever you like.

    And I think Selena (#100) and I (#98) are making the same point in different ways.

  2. 102
    Helen

    Thanks Evan and Selena.

    I personally tend not to worry too much about lists: my own or anyone else’s. Hasn’t everyone had the experience in which they thought they required A, B, and C in a man or a woman; and then they meet someone who doesn’t have all or any of those, but they adore that person anyway and realize s/he’s the right one? I know I have in the past. And the list gets thrown right out the window.

    But maybe it’s easier for me to say since I’ve never done online dating… and this gets back to a point that Karl (or someone else earlier) mentioned about simply going out and meeting people in person, as much as possible. Then you’ll discover all those wonderful people who wouldn’t have made the first cut on your lists.

  3. 103
    Selena

    @ Helen #102:
    That’s always been my experience. I’ve never done online dating either, and while I can see Evan’s point in it’s value – a way to meet thousands of people instantaneously- perhaps the “filtering” aspect of it is being taken too seriously, too far, by some. It was Paul #9 who wrote about meeting people, getting to know them, deciding to date, and finding the size of their nose, whatever, doesn’t matter at all.

    Online dating seems to be a bit like “wish list” catalogue shopping: if the Armani suit and the flannel shirt are the same price, why not try to order the Armani? Though it may not get shipped to your address – or when you open the package…you find it’s a dreadful fit.

    If one is using an arbitrary list to pick and choose through online profiles, are they doing the same in offline life? “Not enough education – not interested.” “Doesn’t make enough money – not interested.” “Not 5’10” or over – not interested.” Etc., etc. It’s only by talking to someone you find out if you have compatible personalities (love that)…or not.

    And when you do find that? List? What list? I had a list? Oh yeah, but what did I know then! 🙂

  4. 104
    Selena

    Sayanta,

    Since you are so interested in the arts, do you have a job in that field? If not, have you considered volunteering?

    I live near two small museums that are asking for volunteers for the season (I live in Fl). A few years ago I worked for a company that donated to them. Volunteering for arts organizations you patronize, either by working on the premises, or out in the city drumming up potential support, might be a way for you to meet men who at least have a passing interest, if not a passion shared. A place to start, yes?

  5. 105
    Janet

    Karl R @ 98: Aren’t you the one with the backup in case it doesn’t work out with current GF? How does this jibe with “accepting her the way she is”? And does she know and accept that you have a potential spare in the background should things not work out (“working out” being what, anyway)? Just saying….

    Hang in there, Sayanta. I don’t think your list is unreasonable. You can find a partnership that is mutually satisfying to you and your guy. Even in New York, though it is a tough town. (Did my grad work there–in the arts! 🙂 )

    You only need one special guy–so hats off to you for knowing yourself well enough to avoid all those who would be inappropriate. What a waste of time dating noncontenders is if you have very specific desires in a mate.

    My SO is also in the arts–and I can tell you that the stereotypes about artistic men on this board do not apply. He is extremely responsible, very kind and insightful, well compensated for his work (as am I), and respectful of women. But yes, he is a rare bird, and I feel so very lucky to be with him.

  6. 106
    Sayanta

    Janet-

    THANK YOU for understanding my POINT!

    btw- may I ask how you found your SO? 🙂

    The thing that no one seemed to be getting about my “list” is that most of it goes to character, personality, and interests, and how a couple can mesh without these things is beyond me.

    If I was saying something like, I MUST date someone who’s over 6 feet and he MUST have blond hair and green eyes- blue won’t do- then, yeah, that would be pretty ridiculous.

    But, you know what, people can argue on this board all they want: it all goes down to the same thing. People have different opinions about life in general, and writing lengthy debates about a person’s view is not going to change that person’s view. It’s like telling a Republican to become a Democrat, for Chrissake.

  7. 107
    Sayanta

    Janet-

    One more thing: sorry to be nosy, but mind if I ask what kind of work your SO and yourself do? No titles necessary or anything- I’m looking to change careers, and trying to get ideas. 🙂

    Heather (or was it someone else?) made a good point. If I want to meet a certain kind of man, it’s good to have a career where I meet those kind of men, right? lol Not that man-hunting is my reason for the career change- I’m just sayin’…

  8. 108
    Karl R

    Janet asked: (#105)
    “Karl R, aren’t you the one with the backup in case it doesn’t work out with current GF?”

    Yes. However, as our relationship has progressed, that has appeared to be increasingly unnecessary.

    “How does this jibe with ‘accepting her the way she is’?”

    Accepting her the way she is does not imply that she will necessarily accept me the way I am.

    Furthermore, I may accept someone the way they are, yet still have incompatible goals. In my previous serious relationship, my ex-girlfriend wanted lots of kids, while I wanted none. We’re still friends, and I hope that she finds someone who will be a wonderful husband and father. But I’m not intersted in being a father.

    ” ‘working out’ being what, anyway)?”

    For convenience sake, let’s call it a long-term, exclusive relationship.

    “And does she know and accept that you have a potential spare in the background should things not work out”

    I may have mentioned it to her, but I don’t remember for certain. I can’t imagine that the idea would bother her … particularly in context of the initial stages of our relationship.

    We’d been acquainted for 10 months before we ever had a conversation that lasted more than a few minutes. During that first long conversation, my girlfriend told me that she wasn’t interested in a serious relationship with me. Instead, there was a widower and long-time friend of hers that she was interested in. However, she was open to dating casually (and implied that a casual sexual relationship might also be a possibility).

    I initially expected our relationship to be a week-long fling (our group was on a week-long cruise), followed by some non-exclusive dating while I continued looking for a serious relationship.

    By the end of that week, I’d decided that I would postpone dating anyone else in order to see where things led. At the three-month mark, I confirmed that the widower was no longer in the picture (though I had suspected it for weeks).

    But I’ll try to remember to mention this to my girlfriend to see if she has specific comments to add.

    Janet said: (#105)
    “hats off to you [Sayanta] for knowing yourself well enough to avoid all those who would be inappropriate. What a waste of time dating noncontenders is if you have very specific desires in a mate.”

    Would you extend the same congratulations to a 40-year-old, balding, divorcee, truck driver who wants a beautiful, classy lady 10-15 years his junior? He has very specific desires in a mate, and he’s not wasting his time dating noncontenders.

    Just saying….

  9. 109
    Janet

    Karl: Yes, I would extend the same congratulations if he felt that that was truly what he wanted. In truth, I have seen it happen. In almost every case it was a situation where the man was an older, white, middle-/upper-class American and the younger, beautiful woman was from a less-priveleged, foreign background, but who can say that they aren’t both happy with that arrangement. As a matter of fact, I would highly recommend those foreign dating sites for American men who want youth and beauty but who aren’t real contenders for the supermodels they fantasize about. There are many women who are willing to trade youth and beauty for security. If both parties win and are happy, why should anyone care about the why?

    Sayanta: My SO and I are both classical musicians and we met on a project several years ago. We also teach and write. I know many creative people, and the trick to being financially viable is to have many income streams and to be smart about money. You can meet a lot of interesting people through your work–whether it’s your creative work or your bread-and-butter job.

    The idea of compromise isn’t alien to us–we do compromise every time we play a job that isn’t up to our standards (and there are many of them 🙂 ). But we didn’t compromise or settle for each other. We were drawn to each other out of a shared passion for our work and a very strong mutual respect. Doesn’t hurt that we’re both very attracted to each other, too!! Will admit that we weren’t drawn t0 each other at first–the work eclipsed all else. We knew each other for awhile before we got together, too. So there were no nervous dates or anything like that. I don’t believe that this is the usual way that people find each other. It worked for us.

    And I agree with you, Sayanta, that your list speaks more to character, personality and interests than to the superficial, which Karl’s example speaks to. It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round, so no judgment of eithrer way. Sayanta, your uniqueness will have its own rewards, both professionally and interpersonally, so you can take what you need here and leave the rest. This site does seem to be more for cookie-cutter dating relationships and not very open to those who are looking for something outside the formula. But there are plenty of nonformulaic people out there, and yes, you will find them in the arts.

    It is tough to be an independent thinker and buck the so-called norm, but the rewards are great. 🙂 Best of luck with it!!!

  10. 110
    Sayanta

    Janet-

    Thanks so much for your uplifting post- I’m glad that you and your SO found each other, and I wish you the best. You’ve also given me hope! 🙂

  11. 111
    A-L

    In #98 Karl wrote that Sayanta’s wishlist appeared like the following:

    <I>
    1. Must be trying to advance himself materially (ambitious).
    2. Must be trying to advance himself physically. pretty much the same as #11
    3. Must be trying to advance himself emotionally.
    4. Must be no more than six years older than you.
    5. Must be interested in having children. <B> majority of the dating pool
    6. Can’t be of an ethnic background that has a conservative view of a woman’s role (which includes most men of your own ethnic background). majority of the dating pool
    7. Must be sexually attractive. <B> **
    8. Must have a bachelors degree.
    9. Must be intelligent. (An important distinction, since there are some people with degrees who fall short in the intelligence department.) <B> **
    10. Must have good character. <B> majority of the dating pool
    11. Must be healthy. <B> pretty much the same as #2
    12. Must be interested in spirituality.
    13. Can’t be a conservative Republican. <B> majority of the dating pool
    14. Must have an interest in great literature and (or?) great art.
    15. Can’t be socially awkward. <B> majority of the dating pool
    16. Must be passionate.
    17. Must be willing to wait until marriage for sex.
    18. Any others that I’m unaware of. (non-smokers?)

    The list looks long-ish, but a lot of it can be condensed, and some of it may not be as demanding as it first appears (comments in bold on the list are mine). There’s more of a continuum for many of these categories and depending on where on that continuum Sayanta falls would determine whether or not her expectations are quixotic or feasible.

    In relation to
    #1 ambitious : In comments #124-135ish in the Why Don’t Men Like Smart, Strong, Successful Women thread there was plenty discussion of what ambitious actually means. If you’re looking for someone super-driven who wants to have an income in the top 1% of the population, then it’s a small group. Or if it’s just ambitious enough to get through college and have a solid job, then that’s a far larger group of people. Also, being ambitious does not necessarily link with advancing himself materially. Someone might earn $100k but spend it all, and even be in debt because they spend beyond their means. But someone earning $50k might actually have more money in the bank (in the present and in retirement) because they’re more frugal and sock the money away. Again, depending on which meaning Sayanta has it could widen or narrow her dating pool.
    #2 (advance physically) and #11 (be healthy); I’d say that these are so close that they’re essentially the same group. Again, there’s variety here as well. Is it someone with a 6-pack, or who isn’t perfectly toned but can do most athletic activities, or someone a bit overweight but still can do most things, or?

    #7 sexually attractive; I’d assume that this is whatever Sayanta finds sexually attractive, and everyone wants a partner toward whom they feel sexual attraction. Now if she only finds 9s and 10s attractive then it’s quite limiting, but again, the wider the range of what she finds attractive, the larger her dating pool gets.

    #9 intelligent; Are we talking Einstein? Jeopardy Tournament of Champions champ? Local Trivial Pursuit nerd? Someone who understands literary and historical allusions? Someone who may not be as interested in book-stuff but is crazy-knowledgeable about construction or music or nature or? Or just someone who learns stuff quickly? Again, there are varying degrees of intelligence and some would constitute decent chunks of the population.

    These are the main things that come to mind with the Karl/Sayanta list. Depending on Sayanta’s interpretations of these terms, she could still be open to considering a variety of men, or it could be extremely limiting. Don’t know why I’m going on about this, but just wanted to say that it’s not entirely possible for us to know if Sayanta’s tilting at windmills or if she really will win it all.

  12. 112
    Heather

    My but there’s a lot of reading here!

    I’m curious to know, Sayanta, have you ever met someone like the man you hope to meet/marry someday? If you have, then whatever is on your list is reasonable to ask for. Sometimes we do meet people who are not in any way like the dreamboat we imagined for ourselves and despite having ‘flaws’ or not having certain qualities we thought were must-haves these people add to or help us redefine that list of qualifications a bit. I think one of the beauties of falling for someone is that very phenomenon.

    If anyone cares to know a funny story about my ‘love life’ – last weekend I ended up unexpectedly spending the night with the guy I’ve had a crush on for about 18 months. I slept with him … in the sense that I slept in his bed next to him. There were no amorous interactions. I swear this type of thing only happens to me! But, since I’m still giddy from spending time with him, I think it’s cute and sort of funny 😉

  13. 113
    Joe

    Well Jeez, Heather, why didn’t you jump his bones? 😀

  14. 114
    Sayanta

    A-L-

    Like Janet, you seem to be understanding my point as well- thank you!

    No, I’m not looking for a Nobel Prize winner who has a trust fund- is only 35 years old, and over six feet with dark hair and blue/green eyes (the latter is my favorite hair-eye combination in men :-))

    There’s no use in constantly rehashing my “list” here, because some other posters will convolute it to make it sound like I’m some high maintenance princess.

    Yes, I want someone who has broad interests, is willing to grow in all respects (advance physically does not mean 6 pack- it means eating healthy food and exercising at least twice a week). I’m not going to cross that out of what I’d like to have- because when people stop trying to learn and improve themselves, that leads to stagnancy, which leads to dead relationships. This isn’t just limited to romance; it happens with friends and family as well. This does NOT mean I don’t accept people for who they are. I am FAR from perfect myself- I realize this fact but I unconditionally love and accept myself regardless. In the same context, I can easily accept a man with imperfections- and I have no choice there, since we’re all imperfect- and love him and support him unconditionally anyway, as I hope he’d do with me. To quote an Eastern parable, there is perfection in imperfection.

    A trend I’ve noticed here, is that I keep writing pretty broad things about spirituality, emotion, etc. that I look for in a person, and then Karl R comes out with some analogy having to do with tennis partners and supermodel looks. This is hysterical, since, to my knowlege, none of the things I’ve ever said I look for in a partner can be considered shallow.

    Yes, I know that ‘shallow’ is a relative term, but Karl R mentioned two things:

    1) What if a guy met me and didn’t want me because I don’t play tennis? (I’m paraphrasing)

    2) Would Janet be congratulating me if I was a 40 year old truck driver looking for a hot 18 year old?

    Again, I repeat. I repeat. I don’t understand how someone with intellectual curiosity and willingness to grow (in the relationship and otherwise) can be compared to seeking sports partners and supermodel looks.

    And now to the looks things- I NEVER said anywhere that I want a supermodel. There seems to be a hidden assumption somewhere that I’m only looking for Johnny Depp. In fact, sometimes when I tell friends about my crushes, they’ll give me a strange look and say ‘you like him?’ It’s all about that je ne sais quois for me, at the risk of sounding pretentious.

    Yes, the college degree and age difference thing might be considered “strict” requirements to some- oh well. Sue me.

    As for sex, I’ve said I’d wait for COMMITMENT. Originally I did say marriage, but I later changed that- a fact that got lost in my bazillion posts. Understandable.

    I’ve also said I’m open to race, ethnicity,religion, etc. even though most Indian (my own race) men I’ve met have not had the most progressive views about women. Again, this does not mean (I hope) that none of them do. The fact that I’m not willing to consider someone who has conservative views on women’s role was implied to be a ridiculous requirement.

    I ask you -as a professional woman and feminist- how can I, for example, date a guy who thinks women’s role is to stay at home and serve their man? I don’t have a problem with women who do this, by the way, I just probably wouldn’t do it myself. And things like that change once kids come along anyway.

    Okay, I’m done here. For now.

  15. 116
    Sayanta

    EMK-

    LOL- you know what, I was actually going to say something about feeling your pain.

  16. 117
    Janet

    I’ve observed quite a bit of misquoting and misinterpretations on both sides, to be frank.

  17. 118
    Heather

    @Joe #113

    I’m not that kind of girl! 😛

    Actually, and this is a subject for an entire other discussion, there’s another reason I don’t/can’t initiate sex … I have herpes and I feel obligated to disclose this before anything physical goes down. You can imagine how this takes a lot of the spontaneity and reckless abandon out of my life. I don’t feel right making a move on a guy when I know I’m just going to have to stop halfway and drop that info. on him before anything can happen. Talk about mood killer! It really sucks, but what can I do about it?:(

  18. 119
    Karl R

    Sayanta said: (#114)
    “Karl R comes out with some analogy having to do with tennis partners and supermodel looks. This is hysterical, since, to my knowlege, none of the things I’ve ever said I look for in a partner can be considered shallow.”
    “I don’t understand how someone with intellectual curiosity and willingness to grow (in the relationship and otherwise) can be compared to seeking sports partners and supermodel looks.”

    Do you think the universe is going to reward you with a partner because you’re focused on “deep” traits? Do you think the universe punishes people who focus on “shallow” traits.

    My question is whether you can attain a partner with the traits you seek.

    Sayanta said: (#106)
    “The thing that no one seemed to be getting about my list is that most of it goes to character, personality, and interests, and how a couple can mesh without these things is beyond me.”

    The man seeking a tennis partner is seeking someone who shares his greatest interest. How is it more shallow for him to do this than you?

    Sayanta said: (#114)
    “Karl R mentioned:
    Would Janet be congratulating me if I was a 40 year old truck driver looking for a hot 18 year old?”

    Read my description again. I described a couple that you mentioned here:
    https://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/why-does-my-older-boyfriend-kick-me-out-before-his-kids-wake-up-give-me-some-relationship-advice/#comment-52921
    You know these people. And despite the traits that this man is seeking (and despite his apparent lack of qualities), he met and is dating a woman with those traits.

    His wish list is attainable.

    Sayanta said: (#114)
    “I’m not looking for a Nobel Prize winner who has a trust fund- is only 35 years old, and over six feet with dark hair and blue/green eyes”
    Sayanta said: (#52)
    I’ve never been in anything serious at all! And I haven’t met wonderful guys, period.

    To me, this is the ultimate test of how reasonable your criteria are. I have dated several amazing women (regardless of how deep or shallow my criteria are). It is reasonable to assume I will be able to do so in the future, should my current relationship end.

    You have not met anyone met any single men you would describe as “wonderful,” much less been in a serious relationship with them.

    Based on your own words, it seems that the man who meets your criteria may be unattainable.

    What is the purpose of your criteria? The purpose seems to be to help you obtain a good partner. But I’ve gotten the impression that your criteria are preventing you from obtaining any partner (good or bad).

    I’m not your enemy. I’m not preventing you from finding a relationship with a wonderful man.

    Janet asked: (#105)
    And does [your girlfriend] know and accept that you have a potential spare in the background should things not work out

    I checked. I had discussed some part of that story with her around a month ago. She seemed more offended by the idea that she might have an issue with it. Her words:“I am not an unreasonable person.”

    She did say she might have found the conversation “somewhat off-putting” if I had explained it poorly.

  19. 120
    Sayanta

    Karl, my brother, I’m impressed that you’ve combed this site to find my precise words on all these different posts. I feel like a politician!

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