Life & Love


Dear E. Jean: I live in a vibrant city, I have a job that is stimulating and friends I love, and yet I have trouble meeting men. It’s like I’m caught in a Venn diagram with only a small number of guys in the intersection. I’m an atheist, a feminist, and child-free—important qualities and beliefs that any of my prospective partners must share. I’m also lucky to have an IQ that consistently tests over 140 and would love to find someone similarly lucky.

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I’m completely open to dating fit men (they should be very into exercise) of any race, height, appearance, or income. So, you see, I’m very reasonable about some things! The icing on the cake: I’m into many forms of nonvanilla sex. Yet this restricts my search even more. Given the cross section of qualities I’m seeking, do you have any advice? —Empty Venn Diagram

Venn, My Violet: I know you’re a nonbeliever, Venn, honey, but God Herself couldn’t find a chap who fits into this diagram. Get rid of it.

The heroic requirements bristling in your letter boil down to just three—which I will reveal at the end of this answer. So now, Miss Venn, let us turn to the real question: Who is more successful at finding love? Women with long lists of romantic requirements? Or women with short lists?

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My colleague Kenneth Shaw and I took the weekend and analyzed 30 days’ worth of data from Tawkify, the matchmaking company we cofounded five years ago, which has grown into one of the largest in the nation. The results: Looking at the 1,047 dates we sent out (evening strolls, polo matches, picnics, wine tastings, scavenger hunts, etc.) in the month of May, the women (we didn’t analyze the men) who stipulated eight or fewer requirements for potential mates enjoyed nearly threetimes the success of women who listed between 9 and 34 requirements. (We define “success” as both people on the date wanting to see each other again.)

A chick with an IQ of 140 (and only one-fourth of 1 percent of the human population has an IQ as high as yours) cannot have much difficulty in comprehending why the short-list women tore the long-list women to shreds. A short-lister is open to the queenhell possibilities. A chap has a chance to captivate a short-lister with attractions she didn’t even know she wanted, and when a woman is captivated, it ignites a powerful fire in a fellow.

So, old girl, shall we give a boost to your love life and whittle down that list of yours? I advise you to seek a smart, open-minded guy who will tie you to the shower-curtain rod.



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