When it comes down to it, you can boil dating down into 2 key factors and 4 distinct outcomes: (i) both timing and compatibility are on (a MATCH!), (ii) timing off and compatibility on, (iii) timing on and compatibility off, and (iv) both timing and compatibility are off. The one time that both timing and compatibility are in sync, you are fortunate to have reached the “golden circle” outcome (as outlined in yellow in the chart).
This outcome is 1 in 4, and after you have waded through all of the people that don’t reach your baseline criteria of height, activity level, and educational or career requirements. Thus, this 25% chance of finding someone is taken once you have processed the percentage of the pool that would fit your ideal mate criteria (which, if you have high standards, is likely 0.5% of the available male/female population).
This is scary.
That being said, I think there are a couple of prefatory comments that can be observed or noted with this chart:
1. How to reduce the probability of “timing” being off? Have an open heart and open mind. And a somewhat open schedule. So many of us work ourselves to the ground because we think that with a few more hours of grinding it out, we will have something to show for it. But at the end of the day, being a rockstar at work does not keep you warm on a Saturday night, when you are at home alone watching SNL on your couch. Prioritizing dating is work in and of itself, but work that’s important if you are searching for a life companion. Also, being sure that your heart and mind are open in the sense that exes no longer cloud our minds and we start re-thinking the importance of height or other arbitrary criteria that we have set in our heads as “must-haves” in light of all the other fabulous characteristics that the person has to offer.
2. How to reduce the probability of “compatibility” being off? Ask friends to introduce you to like-minded singles. There is probably a reason why you are friends with the people you are, because you have similar backgrounds, aspirations, and interests. I’m a firm believer that the best way to meet people is by way of networks, so if there are friends that you are compatible with, be introduced to other friends of theirs. Even if there are no singles in their immediate circle of friends, their extended network likely contains people that you would be interested in meeting.
While it may seem simplistic to reduce the complexity of dating interactions into this chart, I do believe this helps explain any situation you might find yourself in, where you are wondering “what exactly happened.” It’s a comforting, common sense reminder that there are factors beyond your control and that sometimes, you’ve gotta shrug your shoulders and just be ready and hopeful for the next one.