Dating is tough. You have to wade through a bunch of crap to get to the keepers. You could go on a hundred dates and not find anybody you’re into. And even if you meet a keeper, there’s no guarantee that your keeper thinks you’re a keeper. If you’re living in a big city, dating is like riding an endless carousel of disappointing date after disappointing date, trying vainly to grab the brass ring. It’s not surprising that more and more people decide to opt out of the ride altogether.
And yet, if you’ve gone on a hundred dates with a hundred different people and you still haven’t found somebody suitable for the long haul, chances are you’re probably way too picky. If that’s the case, maybe you have a lot of dealbreakers. The problem is, dealbreakers greatly reduce the number of eligible bachelors/bachelorettes in your dating pool.
Using the power of statistics*, I’ll demonstrate how having a long list of criteria for an “acceptable” partner is essentially making it impossible for you to find “the one”.
Let’s say you live in a city with 1 million people. The gender distribution in the US is essentially 50/50, so right away, your pool gets cut in half. So, 500k eligible bachelors! Not too shabby. There’s plenty of fish in the sea!
Dealbreaker 1: Married
According to the Census, 49.1% of all adults are married. That effectively halves your dating pool from 500k to 254,500. Whatever. The motion in the ocean still looks pretty lively.
Dealbreaker 2: Less than a bachelor’s degree
Only 28.5% of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher. Well, that narrows it down a bit more substantially. Now we’ve gone from 254,500 to 72,533 people. Hmm, now the ocean is looking more like a very large lake.
Dealbreaker 3: Less than average height (Male: 5’9”, Female: 5’4”)
Granted, girls care more about height than guys do, so depending on your gender, you can skip this section. If you do care, halve it again. 36,267. If you have very specific height requirements, this could look downright bleak.
Dealbreaker 4: Age difference can’t exceed 10 years
The age distribution between people who are most likely to get married (20-44) is actually remarkably uniform. Regardless, the culling must continue. You have to reduce the pool again by approximately 86%. Now we’re at 5,078 eligible singles. That’s like 3 high schools.
Dealbreaker 5: Race
Call Kenny Loggins, because this article is nearing the danger zone. But it’s undeniable that a lot of people do have racial preferences when it comes to selecting a potential spouse. According to the most recent statistics from the US Bureau of the Census, here’s how it breaks down:
White (non-Hispanic/Latino): 63%
Hispanic or Latino: 16.9%
Depending on your particular preference, the available pool just shrank to 2 high schools or just under 4 average sized classes.
And that doesn’t begin to cover people who are in committed relationships but not yet married, religious affiliation, employment, etc. If you keep adding in more and more dealbreakers, you’ll eventually squeeze the dating pool from half a million people to like 10 people. The chances of you finding those 10 people in a city of million are pretty low.
My point is, lighten up and start loosening the requirements you have for your significant other (SETTLE!). It’s either that, or become bisexual. Your choice.
* Yes, I know that some of these statistics have correlations with each other, but I’m speaking from a general sense. Plus, what may benefit one person could be a detriment to another. It evens out in the final analysis, more or less.