I’m not trying to be a Debbie-downer, but I have frequently heard from the choir of monogamous married people in my world: when the time is right it will happen/ you always meet the right person when you aren’t looking to meet someone/ there are millions of fish in the sea/ etc. At this juncture in history, I personally think that 1) waiting around is the worst thing that you can possibly do, and 2) there aren’t as many possible matches as you’d think. (I temporarily moved to the suburbs and in the ‘burbs getting every kid married off is priority #1, I.E. I’ve been hearing a lot of these conversations recently)
So I want to break down some numbers using myself as an example:
First, I’m a straight, 29 year old male living in
Orange County Suburb County, California. Right now, in the United States there are 82 million people from 25- 44 years of age, and since roughly 51 percent of them are female, there are 42 million women.
“See JP, you have 42 million women to choose from” -guy smoking crack
but now we need to start getting more specific. There are a couple of deal breakers that are out there for me: stupidity, obesity, impoverished, diseased, distance.
Let’s start with distance. To actually be able to see someone that you are dating once a week they need to be relatively close. Sure you can do long distance, and you can make insane commutes… realistically though the person will need to be within 30 miles of where I’m living if nothing else than for the shear possibility of meeting them. So (even though I won’t be living here soon) we will use Orange County as an example- Population 3million.
After we apply the percentage of women 25-44 nationwide to Orange County (assuming the percentage is similar) there are ~390,000 women in Orange County. I’m going to cut into it even more by calling a spade a spade: there is no 44 year old that is going to date me, zero. In fact I personally think the high point for my cut off would be 34 (5 years older than myself) which basically cuts 390,000 in half. So that leaves us at ~195,000 possibly women. 195K? That doesn’t sound bad… that is until you make some adjustments based off of other criteria.
Intelligence. Now take this next filter after hearing me out. The types of girls that I find attractive are in a similar area of the spectrum for intelligence. The easiest way (probably not the most accurate) to gauge intelligence is education. For sake of ease I’m just going to say that I need to be with a girl that is smart enough to get a college degree. Am I saying that people that get degrees are all smarter? no. Am I saying I’m too shallow to date someone without a University education? no. Historically, most of the girls I have dated have college degrees so it is easier to use as a metric. Again I’m going to have to adapt the data, but in the US 36 percent of women ages 25-29 have a bachelors degree (reference). I’m just going to extend that out to the full group 195K that were left after we focused in on Orange County. 36% of 195K leaves us with 70,000 available women.
Which by the way, they should advertise what having a degree does for your chances to stay together.
Size. Another determining factor is physical health. I’m sure that there are plenty of people that can love a person no matter what size they are, it just isn’t me. Is it super harsh to not consider a person datable because they don’t take care of themselves? I don’t think so. I think it is just being realistic and fair. I will run anywhere between 20- 80 miles, weight train 8-16 days , and play sports 8-16 any given month. Do you really think I’d be compatible with someone that spends the same amount of time in front of the TV drinking Diet Coke?
Using the current CDC data on obesity: I can knock off another 20,000 give or take of our 70,000 based on the fact that in the general population education only has a slight effect on obesity rates. Putting me at ~52,000 women that I could date. My number is starting to look kinda small.
Availability. Here’s another thing- even if I want to date them they might not be available to date. Pulling again from the Census- of the age group that I could date: most women will get married/are married/ or have been married in that age group. In fact the number of “single” is an average of 36% ages 25-34. Mind you they don’t have advanced reporting so its difficult to be able to factor in my other data points… for the sake of good drama I’m just going to pretend that it would play out anyway. 36% of 52K leaves me with 18,720.
So my possible dating pool is roughly 18,720 women. That is before we start talking about physical attraction, political affiliation, socio-economic status, cats vs dogs, religion, humor, height, interests, alma mater, ethnic background, or anything else that usually comes to mind when you are thinking about who you want to be with.
18,720. Thats in the 3rd most populous county in California too, not exactly rural Kansas. Is the math 100% correct, probably not. Is the number less than 10,000? After you bring in all the factors that you are looking for in a person, definitely under 10,000.
Back to my original point… If you actually want to meet someone that you are compatible with, the mantra “you’ll find someone when you stop looking” is the worst idea ever… in my mind thats the same thing as saying “you’ll do a lot better job of settling when you don’t give a shit.” What you should really be doing is the same process that you would follow for other areas of your life: 1) Make yourself as awesome as possible, and then 2) work as hard as you can until you can’t work that hard anymore. When you’ve reached that point: work harder…