The Best “By the Numbers” Online Dating Story We’ve Seen In a While

Pin it

We love this hilarious and endearing McSweeney’s Internet Tendency piece by Emily McDowell — a serial online dater with an apparent affinity for statistics. From January 2009 to November 2010, Emily went on 40 first dates. Among her observations:

  • If nothing else, being an active online dater will greatly improve your ability to make small-talk (an increase of over 500%, in average minutes she can effectively shoot the proverbial s**t).
  • Describing yourself as “fun-loving” in your profile is a decidedly unoriginal thing to say (estimated percentage of daters who self-identify as lovers of fun: 80).
  • Ditto for claiming that you both work and play “hard” (85%).
  • Guys tend to exaggerate — and even outright fabricate — their height (28/40).
  • If you work in an industry that is especially attractive to networkers, you will attract a lot of suitors for the wrong reasons (25% of Emily’s respondents were seeking job-help, rather than a date).
  • Finally — and certainly most importantly — persistence is key. Emily corresponded with one contact for nine months before eventually getting together with him. The outcome: they’ve now been living together for almost a year. Hence the fact that she retired from online dating in November 2010.

The conclusion: There’s someone out there for you … and you can seriously expedite the process of finding that person (and better prepare yourself to impress him/her when he/she finally comes along) by making the most of the resources at hand. Practice makes perfect, so to speak.