Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Dateable Redux

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: “Elaine, what percentage of people would you say are good-looking?”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: “Twenty-five percent?”

Seinfeld: “Twenty-five percent?”

Louis-Dreyfus: “Um-hmm.”

Seinfeld: “No way! It’s like four-to-six percent. It’s a 20-to-1 shot.”

Louis-Dreyfus: “You’re way off.”

Seinfeld: “Way off?”

Louis-Dreyfus: “Yeah.”

Seinfeld: “Have you been to the motor vehicle bureau? It’s a leper colony down there.”

Louis-Dreyfus: “So, basically, what you’re saying is 95 percent of the population is un-date-able?”

Seinfeld: “Un-date-able!”

Louis-Dreyfus: “Then how are all these people getting together?”

Seinfeld: “Alcohol.”

And, as I said yesterday, that sounds about right to me.  Not because there are so many people who are unattractive, but because we are all such unique individuals.  My 5% could be very different than a friend’s 5% because we look for different things in .  Taking this ‘dateable’ thing further, I’m quite sure there are many, MANY, who would put me in the undateable pile.  While others happily put me in the dateable pile.  Vive la difference.

All that said, here’s my real point – I think the same applies for (yeah, here I go again).  I don’t think the dateable/undateable numbers shift all that much when you move to the world. It’s just a matter of perspective and context.

First of all, you’re sitting at your computer staring at (if you live in a major metropolitan area or you’re doing a wide area search) potentially thousands of people.  That’s a lot of people.  And if only 1 in 20 of them are dateable, in your eyes, then that means you’re going to be looking at a lot of undateable dudes (or chicks).  That’s a lot of ugly.  After 10 or 15 minutes you start to think, OMG there’s a lot of unattractive, stupid people here.

Then there’s the fact that so many people seem to be shopping in the wrong store – FOR THEM.  Last week I did a test drive with .com. It didn’t work out and I cancelled the trial membership because .com isn’t a good for my needs.  It’s not just me.  A lot of women in NYC that I’ve spoken with have found the same thing, that .com tends to attract a lot of guys from the ‘burbs. And there’s nothing wrong with that if you want to date a guy from the ‘burbs.  Which I don’t.

My point is that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to online dating.  That my odds of meeting someone go up when I’m on a site that meets my needs and goes down if I’m on a site that doesn’t.

Anyway, I just wanted to put it out there, once again, that I think online dating gets a bad rep.  That most people, if they wanted to and if they were interested in making the effort, would find that there was an onine dating site on which they could find 5% of the users dateable.

But then, it’s a lot easier to just complain about how things don’t work.


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4 to “Dateable Redux”

  1. Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles says:

    Thanks! This just made me feel way better about the fact that I’m only physically attracted to about 20% of the men I meet and only mentally/emotionally attracted to a quarter of those, leaving me with a 5% dateable pool. Here I thought I was just an oddball this whole time! :)

    I think you’re on to an overlooked truth about online dating–it’s not that different than the real world. The rejections are just more obvious. I think of it this way: If you went out to a bar, and one or two guys out of a hundred or so there hit on you, you’d think that was a successful night. Same applies if you’re a guy and got one or two numbers. But when you write to a hundred people online and only a few write back, the rejection is more obvious, so you feel like a failure. It’s all in how you look at it.

  2. Simone Grant says:

    You’re not an oddball. The oddballs are the ones (In my opinion) with no standards at all. Who think just about anyone could make a suitable partner. Online dating makes the realities of dating more obvious, not everyone is going to like you, there are lots of duds out there, and finding someone to love isn’t easy. Some people don’t want to deal with that truth :-)

  3. adnoxious says:

    I found the Onion personals to be the best online dating service. Sometimes you actually meet someone with a personality. Also, if you find the recent ads painfully annoying check out:

  4. Dating Match says:

    I don’t normally comment on blogs but your post was a real call to action. Thank you for a great read.