When Dating Doesn’t Add Up
I’ve never been great at math, but I believe in it. Math took us to the moon, gave us the internet and keeps our bridges from falling down. So, I think it’s kind of important. Even in the abstract world of dating, math is useful. For example, you don’t need to take algebra to know that two bottoms don’t equal a top. In our age of science, math is at the heart of popular dating sites like OKCupid.com, but there’s a lot more to romance than a simple algorithm.
I am on OKCupid and because I trust their technical underpinnings, I have answered more than 1500 of the questions in the database. When searching for a match, I am rigorous in my demand that they are at least 85% and I prefer an over 90% match. This is not how most people use the site. Generally, you look at the guys you are a high match with and after you don’t see anyone hot, you suddenly think you have more than enough in common with the 32% match with rippling abs. Here’s a hint: you don’t.
My highest match in the whole world is 97%. He’s even hot, a writer who used to be a professional dancer and lives near me too. My next highest match is 96% and he’s cute enough but lives in France so that doesn’t seem very practical at all. You would think, or at the very least, math would assume, my 97% match and I are nearly perfect for each other. But we are up against a bigger numbers problem than pure compatibility: age.
I am 44 and he is 36 and while there is a difference in age there, it’s not outrageous. We may not be in the same ballpark, but one of us is no further away than the front gate. However, a 36 year old is in a different place in life, with different options than a 44 year old.
This is a generalization, of course, because no matter what age you are, you will be constantly surprised by just who might throw themselves at you. For instance, it should warm the hearts of all 29 year olds everywhere sweating out their next birthday that when you are my age the ages of guys who will hit on you will range astonishingly from 19 to 69, in nearly equal numbers on both sides. All that aside, there is a correlation between your age and your willingness to settle down and no computer program in the world can predict exactly where it is.