Ah, statistics! I rely on them to form my opinions. Others read them and scoff:
“Those statistics are wrong!” “That doesn’t apply to me!” “There must be something faulty with the study!” “It must be that liberal media bias!” or even “You’re an asshole!”
I’ve heard all of the above more times than I can count, but it’s not going to stop me from giving dating advice based on data rather than on ego and feeling.
You are entitled to your own opinions and life choices. You are not entitled to your own facts. That one is the big one.
So, to anyone about to read this who objects:
- Unless you’re a statistician who has a background in this, you do not get to overrule people who do this for a living.
- Studies observe populations of people. In this case, over 3000 couples. If you are the exception to the rule, it doesn’t mean the rule doesn’t apply. For example, smoking causes lung cancer. Just because your grandpa smoked until he was 99 doesn’t mean that smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer. Got it?
- Just because you don’t like the results of a study doesn’t invalidate the study. If there were, in fact, a study that illustrated that “Jews are cheap”; it might make me angry or embarrassed but it doesn’t mean that the study is flawed. You can’t participate in science and get angry at what the results show.
- Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m literally just linking to an article written by people who are smarter than I am about a subject relevant to this blog. When I read these studies, they help to form my worldview and influence my advice.
- You are entitled to your own opinions and life choices. You are not entitled to your own facts. That one is the big one.
Over the years, we’ve learned that women are judgier about looks than men, that men cheat slightly more than women, that people who marry in less than a year are more likely to get divorced, that women who have NSA sex are less happy than women who don’t, that short men have a tougher time getting attention online than tall men and black women have a harder time than Asian women, and dozens of other nuggets that stick in my head and impact my advice. None of these are my opinions. I just report them. Those who argue in the comments section aren’t arguing with me but arguing with studies – all because you don’t like what the studies may say about you.
This has very little to do with the point of today’s article; it’s just something I wanted to get off my chest for awhile. I don’t suppose that this will make a whit of a difference. It’s already been proven that confirmation bias is so strong that opposing facts even make you MORE sure of yourself (cue guns-rights advocates and climate change deniers).
Since it’s my job to steer you to more successful outcomes, you may want to stick with dating people in your own generation. That means you, creepy old guys!
It’s just that I read this article last month in the Atlantic and thought it was very interesting – especially to those men who really covet younger women. Sorry, fellas. Your May-December romance is probably doomed.
A one-year discrepancy in a couple’s ages, the study found, makes them 3 percent more likely to divorce (when compared to their same-aged counterparts); a 5-year difference, however, makes them 18 percent more likely to split up. And a 10-year difference makes them 39 percent more likely.
Once you enter large-gap territory–the 20-year difference, the 30-year difference–the odds of divorce are … almost never in your favor. (95% higher for 20 years, 172% higher for 30 years).
As the article mentions, “statistics aren’t destiny.” There are examples of big age gaps in successful marriages. But there are many more examples of divorce. And since it’s my job to steer you to more successful outcomes, you may want to stick with dating people in your own generation. That means you, creepy old guys!