Mundane question of the week: What % of the population is undateable?

I recently had an argument with a friend over the Sienfeld theory that 90% of the population is undateable. I beleive that the theory has some merit, as the large majority of the popluation annoys the hell out of me in general, (come on, you all know who I’m talking about. Dennis Leary sang about them…) when you consider age differences, simple incompatibiltity, value/moral differences, and those who are already taken, those who are simply out of my league and I would go as low as 85%. My friend, who is 17, claims in his experiance, it’s more like 95%. He claims this is due to his being younger, and therefore it is less acceptable for him to date older women, whereas as I can date older men, he is somewhat more limited in his options.

The conversation also shifted to whether it is easier to find your 15-5% in large cities or smaller cities. I held that as there is more activites in larger cities, it would be easier to find people. He claimed (damn that math) that a percentage is a percentage. But we both agreed that the “people are nicer to strangers in smaller cities” thing was tripe.

So, Dopers. What is your percentage that is undateable, and what say ye on the big city vs. smaller city question?

For me, I’d say 95%. I know I am not particularly easy to like, and I also don’t usually go out on dates unless I am quite interested in someone.

I am partial to a big city, although percentages are percentages. There are more opportunities to fulfill individual interests, and I tend to meet people I would be interested in in these kinds of settings. Not to mention there are more bars.


I, being a single man in a big city, frequently pass the time on the DC Metro counting the attractive women.

On a typical day, there are usually five or so women worth looking at in my area of the train (in other words, women I can easily “check out”), out of say, thirty or so. Invariably, however, at least two or three of the five have rings on their left hand, men with their arms around them, etc., that remove them from the possibility of joining the exclusive Montfort Dating Club (current member: Me). So, that leaves two or three out of the thirty.

Of course, I’ve also noticed that women in DC are generally more attractive than a smaller town. Maybe it’s just my personal preference for “professional” looking women, I dunno. I go for urban chic more than rural chic, in general, though. Suburbs are the best, however. :slight_smile:

Being married for going on 15 years (at least a couple of the happily), the current percentage is 0.

I’d have to assume the odds would be better for me in a big city, cause there’d be so many more people who haven’t met me yet and consequently haven’t had the occasion to form negative opinions about me yet.

Don’t statistics hold true only for sufficiently large populations? Tho coin flips will average out to 50% heads, you could start of with a run of 5 tails in a row. Small towns can be very insular, and if you don’t fit in for one reason or another, you simply don’t fit in. And if you screw up, news gets around. Big cities permit anonymity upon demand. You can be different people in different circles should you wish to.

I was never a big dater, and could not imagine the idea of dating at this time. Should my wife die or we get divorced, I would imagine I would have a small number of good female friends, a larger number of more casual acquaintances, and very few “dates.” I would imagine being celibate for the most part, unless it turns out some of my “friends” just wanted sex regularly. And the idea of just going out and trying to get laid anonymously seems depressing. I’d probably spend most of my time pursuing my interests, martial arts, golf, gardening, maybe joining a bowling league or book club for social reasons. If I met a prospective date through them, fine. And then I wonder which of my friends would try to fix me up? But I can’t imagine strategizing to get in a dating relationship. Of course, having kids would be an additional demand.

While I strive to be able to enjoy the company of as large a percentage of the people I meet as possible, I suspect there are very few individuals I would wish to invest the resources needed for an ongoing dating relationship. If I were being myself, I would guess 5% would be a pretty high number for a serious relationship. Probably more around 2-3%. Just going out for a good time would be somewhat higher, but certainly nowhere near 15%.

One thing that skews most of our estimates is that we judging the population in general by the characteristics of people in the circles we currently travel. It is often easy to overlook that we only interact with an extremely small and nonrepresentative percentage of the people out there. For example, most of the folk on these boards have some degree of intelligence and relatively high education, either formally or independently gained. We value intelligent discussion and communication. 50% of the population have IQs under 100. How many folk have not graduated from high school. Chances are we move in different circles than them in light of our education, career choices, etc. When you figure out the percentage of people you absolutely wouldn’t date, i.e. because they are too stupid, wrong religion, not your preferred color/ethnicity/add your own prejudices whether you admit them or not, different social strata, the numbers get pretty high pretty quick.

Now that dreary image is almost enough to get me back to work!

being that i’m 100% datable, i believe that at least 50% of the worlds population is datable. all they have to do is say yes. nobody said anything about marriage.

Well for me, it would be about 99.9999999% of the population is undatable assuming that I wasn’t currently in a relationship. Do you know how many big gay men there are out there? Not many. And do you know how many of the big gay men are complete slobs and thus undateable? A whole lot. I do have to say that I have managed to find someone who isn’t a slob and is pretty nice. :slight_smile: Again, the big city thing works better than the small towns simply because there is a larger concentration of people. I met my honey on the streets in NYC when he was living in Harrisburg and I was living in DC. So that adds to the big city thing.


Dinsdale, just because you’ve already ordered doesn’t mean you’re no longer permitted to see the menu. :slight_smile:

Ah, hell, Sqrl, you’re right. Burlington has a population of somewhere around 60,000. I have a hard time finding men who don’t spit on the floor. But at least I’m not dealing with 3% of the population. I’ve also had the conversation with a different friend, who is a lesbian, about who has an easier time meeting people. She claims that because the gay population is smaller, it’s harder. I claim that because the community is so close-knit, that meeting people is not AS impossible as she lets on. That, coupled with fact that from those I know, the act of coming out really forces you to explore self-awareness, and therefore be less of an asshole. In general. Compared to the population at large. Therefore, finding a dateable-nonasshole, while more difficult than in the hetero population, is not AS hard as the numbers would suggest.

And soul, I’m talking about being able to sit through a meal comfortably. The act of seeing someone, thinking “don’t if I do,” and the likelyhood that they are not an asshole, and are not involved, ect. Strickly date-ablitity, nothing else. If we were talking marriage, then my 85% would be considerably higher.

Damn, I was in statistics last semester. Why the hell didn’t I do THIS for a project? :slight_smile:

Unbedable: 90.0%
Undateable: 95.0%
Unlovable: 99.5%

This isn’t so bad at all, really. Let’s assume a world female population of exactly 3,000,000,000.

Bedable: 300,000,000
Dateable: 150,000,000
Lovable: 15,000,000

Assume a US female population of 150,000,000

Bedable: 15,000,000
Dateable: 7,500,000
Lovable: 750,000

I’ve got options, I guess.

Even if you’re one-in-a-million, there’s 3,000 others just like you.


I know what you mean. Using the semi conservative estimate that about 10% of men are openly gay, makes it even harder. You also have to find someone that is comfortable enough being gay that they are willing to be in a relationship. Sigh. It really is difficult to find a relationship worthy individual in the gay community. I would go with your lesbian friend on this one. It is definately easier to find someone to have sex with than to find someone that is worth dating and forming a potential bond with than in the straight community for so many other reasons than just numbers.


And Leigh Anne knows this, Phil? grinning

How can you honestly factor what percentage of the population is undateable. It’s different for everyone. So i can do it in reverse much easier, I am 100% dateable, and for me in neighborhood, or rather in all of NYC, i believe approximately 40% of the population is dateable. That’s out of approximately 8 million people.

Well, first of all, let’s say the gender split is 50-50. Therefore, with the exceptions of bisexuals (luckies!), the undateable population drops to 50%. Then consider that roughly a third of those people will be involved with someone else, and therefore undateable. (that’s a pretty liberal figure, I think) Now, finding someone who isn’t an asshole (someone who is selfish, someone who is unaware of themselves, someone who is closeminded, etc. “He’s the guy who drives really slow in the passing lane.” as Leary put it,) is the real trick, as, let’s face it, there is a disturbing majority of the population who are assholes. (the population at large.) Let’s put that number at a quarter of the original 50% gender split. And we’re at 79% right there. That’s not even considering people you’re not attracted to, age differences, incompatibility (ie: someone who just sits there and doesn’t talk,) and those who are just out of my league. I’ll give a percentage point in a half to each of the above, as they are not impossible obsticles. That leaves me with 85%.

And that is how I factor it. The question becomes, then, why is it go godammed hard to find people. For example, the pop of Burlington is but a mere 60,000. That still should leave me with 9000 potential dates out there. Are my percentage estimates too liberal?

Hell, I called it mundane, and that’s what it is.

To a butt-ugly guy like me it is just too wierd hearing that a good looking intelligent woman like you has trouble getting dates. Oh wait, you do improv…

I based my reply to Swiddle’s OP on appearances (I said 90% is undateable). Now, considering the percentages of women I know whom I’m just completely incompatible with, I’d raise the ratio to over 95%, just because I know that of the two or three attractive women on my mythical Metro train, there would be at most one of them that I wouldn’t find to be an idiot, self-centered, or otherwise undesirable.

Of course, this is just looking at things on a local scale. More often than not in the past few years I’ve tended to have LDRs (long distance relationships). That skews the data even more.

But, I don’t care what the percentages are. I’m still looking for that 1 in 6 billion…

Let’s see…

I’m a male, that takes roughly 50% of the population out (guess which?).

Of that, probably half are already married, which takes me to 25%.

Of the unmarried group, I’d guess that a third already have children from a previous relationship. I think that leaves me with roughly 17% (rounded).

Removing all the candidates in the remaining population that are either too old or too young (I’m 26, won’t date anyone under 21, and anyone over 33 is unlikely)would bring me down to probably 7%.

Of this 7%, I’d have to take out half for personality differences, leaving 3.5%

Now take out half who don’t pass my oh-so-stringent looks and intelligence qualifications, and we get 1.75%.

Of that 1.75%, probably half would have some issue with dating me (though I can’t imagine what would possibly stop them. Maybe because I’m too picky?) and we get .875%.

I’m sure I could whittle it down even further, but what’s the point? I’m very resigned to being single for a long, long time.

Maybe I’m slow, but…huh?

I think he means that you’re just weird, Swiddles. I knew an improv-er when I was in school and she was hysterical, fun to be around, nice, and very very strange (in that endearing way).

Oh, and thinking about this more is not only depressing but also finding out that I’d probably limit out women who smoke or would have problems with my vegetarian diet. Maybe it really is just one out of six billion…

Let’s just compute this, shall we?

Population of Springfield, IL-approx. 105,000

Number of apparently single people in Springfield-approx. 1

That works out to be 0.00000952380952381% of the population of my fine town is undateable.

Of course, this is just Springfield. Your town will probably differ.