Dating Data

I decided to spend some time on my statistics in order to provide some data driven answers to the top two *totally non-judgmental* questions I often get asked by my readers.

I even made charts to share with you!

1. "Why don't you analyze your data and figure out what you are doing wrong?"

First of all, I didn't keep track of these numbers in order to "analyze" them. I kept track because I just wanted to know quantities. I don't really believe you can analyze the unique manifestation of the venerated je ne sais quoi.

It confuses me when people think that these conversion rates are so bad because I am doing something "wrong."

Like, do they understand how dating works?

You can do everything "right," but that doesn't mean you are going to be *right* for the person across from whom you are sitting.

By the numbers:

Conversion rate to boyfriend: 0%

For me personally, it all comes down to one thing and that thing doesn't take any analysis. It either is there or it isn't:

What is the Spark Rate? To put it simply, that is the rate at which you meet someone who makes you want to stop swiping. As you can see, it is REALLY low.

So, if you have found someone you spark with, be extra nice to them and don't forget how statistically lucky you are!

2. "Why do you keep wasting your time going out with guys who are too young?"

First of all, ahem, Macron!! Second of all, read my book.

But, anyway...

Here is the age breakdown of the men I have gone out with over the last three years (starting when I was 41).

If you look at the numbers, I have actually gone out with an almost equal amount of men who were Pretty Realistic as I have with Totally Unrealistic. See? I try!

Sooooo.... given that this is the data, although society keeps telling me I need to be on a Boyfriend Mission, what I am really focused on is just enjoying my life.

When people project onto me and say, "Stop going out with guys who are too young for you!" My thought is WHY?? That makes zero sense! Why NOT go out with people with whom I think I will have fun?

If I listened to those people, I would have missed out on meeting 24 year old Corey, a true gentleman, who, like The Gentleman from Philadelphia, gave me a proper invitation that included a date/time/location for a Friday night which, lord knows, I would have had nothing else to do if he hadn't.

Of course I accepted his offer!

It was a beautiful spring evening when we met at the metro and walked to Etto, where we sat outside and shared a delicious pizza.

Given that Corey had come all the way from Richmond to meet me and had been such an enjoyable dinner companion, I offered to take him on a post dinner walking tour of some of my favorite nearby sites.

The first stop was DNV Rooftop where we got to see a beautiful view on a beautiful night!

(photo credit to Corey for this one)

And from there? Le Diplomate for dessert because, of course, I had to expose him to what might possibly be the best dessert in the District.

The next stop on our tour was The Line Hotel, this new fab spot in DC which he absolutely loved.

As we sat and chatted a bit longer in the The Line lobby before saying goodbye, I got a little emotional and may or may not have teared up. I just felt really lucky to have gotten to enjoy the company of this truly lovely person on a Friday night out on the town. I felt grateful that this handsome young man chose to come all the way to DC to spend his evening with me and was just nice to me.

So, for those of you who think I waste my time by not only going out with guys my own age? Well, I think it would have been a way bigger waste to not jump at the opportunity to spend an evening with this cutie pie and his charming southern accent. 

Thank you so much Corey for such a fun evening! I really loved meeting you!

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  1. :) Another interesting post to start the week.

    Thanks, Jenni!

    Two things. Fist off - kudos for the example - Emmanuel Macron is a good one! Alas, he got criticised about his relationship by almost entire Europe (and perhaps even larger audience than that, given the office he is taking...), so I would say - you better be ready for society critiques, especially now, that you are published writer.
    Second - purely statistics... I was wondering what percentage of these dates ended because of your desire to end things and how many because of the other person?
    Just curiosity...

    1. The question about the statistics is a great question, yet it is data that I did not track. After spending some time looking at my spreadsheet to try to figure out an answer for you, I can tell you that out of the 115 first dates that I had, I got to have a second date with every single one that I wanted to except for two of them. One of them ended up suddenly moving to California and the other, I guess, just wasn't into me. Now, that does not mean that I rejected 85 people (115-28-2). Many of the 85 did not ask me for a second date, probably the majority. I would wager, however, that if I had put out the vibe that I was interested, I probably could have gone on more second dates than I did. In various cases, I accepted an invitation for a second date because I wanted to give the guy another chance despite not feeling an initial spark. That is why I feel so strongly about the spark. If it not there at first, the likelihood for me that it will develop is really low. Out of the 28 people I went on second dates with, I would definitely been into going on a third date with six of the men who did not choose to ask to see me again. But only five of those count because the sixth one left the country and moved to Iraq. (They keep moving away! Should I take that personally?!?!) Out of the nine people I went on third dates with there was just one that I wanted a fourth with who didn't want me and I REALLY liked him and that REALLY sucked. But, he was 25 so oh well. Out of the five people I went on four dates with, I didn't get a fifth date with one of them I wanted to but in that case, I was the one who left the country. The same goes for fifth dates. I only got 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th dates with two people and in the end, they both rejected me (one after twelve dates). So... basically, if you want me to analyze THIS data, the takeaway is that if you can get me to a fourth date, I'm in... but getting me there is not common.

    2. Thank you for the detailed break down of the data, Jenni!

      I have always believed that the key in successful relationships are long term goals. I mean - common dreams. Both parties MUST want to get to the same place and have common achievement in 10 - 20 years, and why not even longer than that.

      Perhaps focusing on the "perfect date" must step aside and focus on "planning the next thing in life"...

      Ask someone what are his dreams in life. What does he what to achieve.
      Let them talk about it in your presence. Just that. Just share what everyone wants. see what the chances are.

      Let us know how did that go :)


    3. Yes Svetoslav Kostadinov, you are absolutely right that common goals for a future are fundamental for a successful relationship. They are not, however, fundamental for a successful date.

  2. I've always believed Age is relative to the person, maturity is different than age, as the as dearly departed Aaliyah said, 'Age Ain't Nothin' but a Number' though I've have been accused of being a dirty old man

    1. Well, you have been nothing but polite to me! :)

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  4. I have always been curious and impressed how you collect your data. simply your foresight

  5. For a chart to being more statistically accurate, you need each bar to represent the same span of years. So your ages chart should be reworked. Because this makes it seem that 48 out of 115, or 42%, were 20-29. 35% were 30-39. 19% were 40-49. And 4% were 50+. So I wouldn’t really describe that distribution as fairly uniform. Heavily skewed towards under 40 with 77% under 40. Not sure which ages are “pretty realistic” versus “totally unrealistic” for you though.

    1. Hi Libby Jones. I absolutely love that you took the time to figure out the statistics on my chart. I really didn't have that one for statistical purposes but really just to show the age breakdowns and quantities. I didn't want to break the ages down in the same span because they don't break down that way in my mind. Totally Unrealistic, of course, is the first column is 23-27. However, at 41, when I started dating, I didn't think that 28-29 was Completely Unrealistic even though it was Pretty Unrealistic. 30-35 was Hopefully Realistic. In the original draft of this blog, I had actually broken down the categories for how I had split out the ages but I decided to take it out. Looks like I should have left it! Thank you for your feedback - math is def not my strong point!


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