LIVING SINGLE IN NYC
by Grace Anders
|Is dating really a numbers game?-- by hownowdesign via Flickr|
I have a very bad habit: I tend to overthink everything. In fact, I can't even go to stores like H&M, because I get overwhelmed with the options. I can't make a decision, and go home to look at everything online in an organizational manner-- which is kind of ironic -- because once I buy the clothing, that clothing is going to spend its lifespan disorganized somewhere in my closet, the backseat of my car, or in a suitcase perpetually waiting to be unpacked.
Anyway, in my usual manner, I decided to evaluate my dating prospects by applying something everyone with a liberal arts graduate degree loves: math! This was spurred by an evaluation of my messages on OkCupid – a dating website for those committed enough to make an online profile, but not committed enough to actually pay for it. I have 256 messages from guys since I joined, and I've replied to 14; a reply rate of slightly under five percent. There are 8,336,6971 people in New York, and, on average, 49.22 percent of the population is male – that means that if I'm only interested in five percent of them, it still leaves 205,082 men available to me.
|Is he a prospect?--by Ed Yourdon via Flickr|
But wait – not all of those men are available. Research suggests 1/10 men are attracted to men (and I've on occasion wondered if this wasn't the vast majority of men in certain areas of NYC) So that only leaves 184,574 (and a half!) men I could date.
But, that's not true either. The average guy lives to age 75. So (and this what republicans may know as 'fuzzy math.') there are 2,460 men/boys of each age in the city – 2,460 20-year-olds, 2,460 21-year-olds, 2,460 22-year-olds, etc. My age range is (and this is broad, because I'm all about salt-and-pepper hair) 28 to 40. So now, with a 12-year age range, that leaves 29,531.91 potential matches. I guess the .91 must be a short guy.
But wait (again!), I don't want to date a married guy, so that rules out, um, a bunch. The average age of marriage in the US is 29 for men, but people get married later in NYC – hedge funds and vodka-launch parties are more important. So, even if 50 percent of the men in my age range are single (and I think that's generous,) I'm now down to 14,766. For comparison, that means every eligible man for me could fit inside Madison Square Garden, with plenty of elbow room.
|This is still a lot of men to choose from--via wikipedia|
Unfortunately, those are only the basics. There are a few points on which I'm not quite ready to compromise. It's very important to me that the person I date be politically aware (45 percent of the population, so down to 6,645 men) and democratic (68 percent of the NYC population; down to 4452 men.)
And here's the nail in the coffin: he has to be a skier; a sport enjoyed by a staggering four percent of the population. Ouch. 4452 multiplied by .04 is 178 men.
|My man has to be a skier--by jsmjr via Flickr|
So for fun, let's add a few other qualities I was hoping I could have:
If I want a guy who is better looking than, say, half of all other guys: 89 guys are left for me.
If I want a guy with a bachelors degree: 21 men. An advanced degree narrows the field further to just 8 men.
And if I want a man who scuba dives, watches zombie movies, has a dog, rocks facial scruff and enjoys modern art? I'm not bothering to calculate, because the statistics will probably suggest that he doesn't exist; at least not in the tri-state area.
Sadly, in all of these scenarios, I didn't even take into account the percentage of men who already have a girlfriend.
|How many New York men already have a girlfriend?--by videocrab via Flickr|
...and now it's time to end this post, because I clearly need to revisit some of my ignored OkCupid messages.
Any source not listed comes from Wikipedia, the most accurate and obsessively-updated website on the planet.