Early Bird Gets The Worm..

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Early Bird Gets the Worm, Especially for Females

What do data say about the dating market? It highly favors men.

The uneven gender ratio

Among the total of 115.5 million U.S. unmarried adult population age 18 and older, 53.5%, i.e., 61.8 million are women and 46.5%, i.e., 53.7 million are men. Women outnumber men by 8 million. For each single man, there are 1.15 women. 13% of women won't have a man just by the numbers. Among the total number of 20.6 million single adults age 65 and older, 69.5%, i.e., 14.3 million are women, 30.5%, i.e., 6.3 million are men. The number of women is 2.3 times of the number of men, i.e., more than double. For each single man, there are 2.3 single women. 56% of women won't have a man just by the numbers.

For women who want to get married, they should know that every year they are in the dating market, the numbers get worse for them, according to an award winning journalist Jon Birger, the author of the book Date-Onomics. After studying statistics, Birger came up with the "man deficit" phenomenon. He further likened dating to musical chairs. If it starts with 10 people, everyone's chance of losing is 10%. For the last two standing, the chance of losing increases to 50%.

The diverge age preferences

A comprehensive online dating study shows that women's desirability peaks at age 18 while men's peaks at age 50. Men have a much longer "shelf life" than women. A deep pool of research shows that "Age" has a different meaning for men and women. When men are young, they mostly prefer women of the same age. As they grow older, they increasingly prefer younger women, and they vigorously avoid contacts with older women. In contrast, women prefer older men at younger ages, and their choices become more and more mixed at higher ages. Evidently, women face difficulties with age: Whereas they are increasingly looking for men in the same age group, they are increasingly less favored by exactly these men. Thus, men and women face a disproportionate decline in market value: Male chances of realizing mating preferences stay constant or become better; female chances become worse with age.

The dissimilar selective tendency

"Women are more selective when there are more potential partners. Men show no such tendency," according to a study published by a team of scholars. At the age of 18, most women are facing plenty of suitors therefore the selective tendency starts to habitualize. The tendency of being selective persists as research indicates that women emphasize more on all the factors that affect a relationship than men do. The selective tendency reduces the odds of finding a partner as women age and their available pool gets smaller.

The different chances for a "second chance"

Among single men in NYC, 6% of them stay single after a divorce. That number is 9% for women according to New York City demographic data. What does that tell us? A second chance comes easier to men than to women. It's even more important for women to secure a long-term sustainable relationship the first time around.

The illusional "unlimited choices"

Even with online dating, unlimited swipes are an illusion. How many realistic candidates does one have in New York City, the largest metro area in the United States? Here is a simplified example:

For an average single woman age 18-24, in theory she can choose from the entire pool of adult single men, i.e., 1.8 million. If she is looking for a man with at least a college degree (37% of the population), who is Non-Hispanic White (32% ), Christian (59%), wanting children (71%), of the average height (50%), making an income similar to or above hers (75%), physically attracted to her (20%), and also fancied by her (20%), then her candidate pool is around 1339 people.

For an average single woman age 45-50 looking for a man of age 40 and above, she is starting from a population of 683,000. With the same criteria as her younger counterpart, except for the suitable income level at 50% instead of 75% of the population because of her own increased income status, and "don't want children (29% of the population)" instead of "want children (71%)," the number of her possible candidates is 138.

If their religion preferences are changed to Jewish (8% of the population) from Christian (59%), then their possibilities shrink to 182 and 19 respectively. Seriously? 19 out of 8.5 million people in New York City?

The number of candidates will shrink exponentially with each extra requirement she throws in. That might give one explanation to the paradoxical problem observed by Birger: "the more attractive the woman is, the more difficult it can be for her to find a partner."

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