Annie and I sat around the table talking about all the freaky things we have in common. We're both vegan, don't eat sugar or refined flour, don't drink, aren't religious, etc. We knew that the odds of finding someone with so many similarities was rare, but just how rare was it?
Similarity #84: we're both a bit geeky. We opened up Excel and started looking up the statistics for as many of the quantifiable similarities as we could find. Vegans make up 1.4% of the US Population. A surprising 46% doesn't drink. We added a few modifiers in, taking out half the population for being below average intelligence, and another 85% or so because, like anyone, we're not attracted to most people we meet.
If I had guessed before doing the math, I would have thought that there would be at least a hundred thousand girls out there that fit my criteria. I was WAY off.
Depending on just how picky I decide to be, there are only 10-25 girls in the United states that match my criteria. That's not a lot. Annie's was a bit more, mainly because she has a wider age range than I do.
Worse, there are a lot of criteria I couldn't quantify. What percentage of the US can cook? There are also criteria I haven't even though of yet, as well as dozens of things that individually aren't worth looking up the stats for. In other words, the number may very well be even lower than I calculated.
To be fair, this is far from an exact science. A lot of the variables interact with each other in ways that I haven't accounted for. Vegans are probably less likely to smoke, maybe less likely to drink, but more likely to smoke pot. Religious people might not drink as much as atheists. A serious statistician would take these correlations into account, but I'm happy to estimate that they all cancel each other out.
Curious how many people are out there for you to choose from? I asked you last week for your input and I have made an interactive calculator using a lot of your suggestions. I didn't incorporate all of them, and some of them were too objective, but I was still interested to read all of your responses.
To calculate how many of "The One" are out there for you, visit the Perfect-O-Meter.
842,554 people are "the one" for me. With such a large number I feel I should have met at least one of these people.
Worth a read:
15,205. But after adjusting for the population of my metropolitan area vs the rest of the US... the number dwindles to 136.9 people 'nearby'... ouch! And I live in a decently populated area too.
Fun to think about it that way but....not realistic. Love is not a checklist. I've been with my husband since we met at 17 (which was 18 years ago :-) In 18 years we've grown together and apart over and over. Our views have changed, hobbies, interests, lifestyle. Basically though, our morals match up, we are attracted to each other, and we thoroughly enjoy doing anything together. THAT's what counts. Oh, and we love your blog.
Did you hear about the man who spent his whole life looking for the perfect woman........ but when he found her....... she was looking for the perfect man!
Tynan, what an interesting and thought provoking post. I have question relating to this. Have you revisited your views about "oneitis"? Beacause it really seems there might not be so many "right ones" as we may have thought.
I think you're missing a very important fact: Most of these traits are statistically dependent.
For example: There are probably significantly more healthy-weight vegans than obese vegans, but your calculator appears to think there are approximately as many of either.
There are probably also more Democratic pot-smokers than Republican pot-smokers, but your calculator claims equal numbers of each.
Here are a few objections raised in the comments. Although I've answered a few already, I want to put the bulk of them together in one spot.
1. Other things are dangerous too. Why eat healthy if you're not going to take EVERY precaution?
This is a pretty good question, especially aimed at me because I do tend to do fairly dangerous things occasionally.
A reader astutely noted that I drink a lot of coffee and asked about it. He said that green tea is probably healthier if I believe in caffeine, and caffeine is a mixed bag anyways isn't it?
Fact is, I have very few vices or addictions, but caffeine is one of them.
I think there's some metabolic benefits and if used correctly, you can better performance out of it. But I don't necessarily recommend it. Indeed, green tea is probably healthier, but I already don't eat carbs, don't eat mammals, don't drink/smoke/do drugs/etc, and otherwise live a pretty intense life. Coffee is a vice that I might quit eventually, but for now it's one of the chief vices I've got. I do enjoy a good tea as well, but coffee moreso.
In any event, I'll seriously crunch the benefits/drawbacks at some point and likely quit coffee. But it's key to not do too much at once and I've already got a lot of health and other goals/projects in process.
Earlier today, I was trying to write some automation processes for someone I'm consulting for. I was stuck while trying to define what the goals are behind any particular action and the evaluation criteria for which process to choose - and I was just useless and dragging.