Relationships 101: K.I.S.S.
So Many Women, So Little Time
So you're a single guy in the 21st Century and you are looking to hook up with a member of the opposite sex. As of this moment, there are more than 3 billion women and girls on this planet. Let's say that about half of them are either already married, are too old for your interest, or too young to be legal. So that leaves you with a potential audience of 1.5 billion. That's still an enormous population to wade through, because even if you could go on a date an hour every day until you had gone through every one of these women, you would need more than 175 THOUSAND years to meet them all.
So with such a daunting task, what can a guy do to further simplify the process, narrowing the field of potential candidates?
Well, for starters, you could limit your search to people in your own country. Since I live in Maine, in the great United States of America, I'll use the good ol' USA as an example. At present there are roughly 300 million people here. Let's say for argument sake that half of them, or 150 million, are women. Then let's assume that the same percentage were under age, over age, incarcerated or otherwise unavailable as before. That leaves you with a potential population of 75 million women. Seeing each one for one hour, it would still take you more than 8500 years to meet them all.
Obviously, no one has that much time, energy or money to be able to do that, which leads me to the ultimate answer to this question: Keep It Simple Stupid. The more you broaden your search, the more arduous the task becomes, and the less likely it is that you will find that special woman who makes your heart go pitter patter.
So how do we do it?
First, let me say that I would hardly consider myself an expert when it comes to women. I've been married for 7.5 years, and I'm still trying to figure out my wife. Some days I doubt I ever will, but that's another hub....
What I did in order to find her was to look at myself, what I know about myself, and what is important to me. The first decision I made was that trying to meet people at bars or nightclubs was not going to happen. It was just too intense for me, and girls had a distictive advantage in that environment, because if a guy comes up to them and asks them to dance, they can easily say no because it is still socially acceptable for groups of girls to dance together. Men have no such luxury, mostly because of our own insecurities that if people saw a group of guys dancing together on the dance floor that someone - anyone - would think they were gay. And even though I love Billy Idol's song "Dancing With Myself," it's just not cool to show off your moves without a partner.
So after years of sitting on barstools and becoming more friendly with the female bartenders, I decided a different approach was needed. For me, the solution was online. My work environment was not an option because I was working in town halls, where there were very few people working, and of the women there, most were married, engaged, or otherwise unavailable.
I actually started out with a membership on a service called The Western Mass. Single's Line, which allowed people to post creative voice ads, and stipulate what kind of person you wanted to hear your ad. That worked reasonably well, but in the end, the lack of a visual element ended up being problematic. Most of the people I met through that service had good reason for being on the phone instead of online, with a picture there for everyone to see.
So then I moved to the world of online dating. I'm not sure what led me to Match.com, but it was there that I met my wife. This was after meeting many other women, most of whom did not result in a Love Connection. Some times the feeling was mutual, some times she wasn't interested in seeing me, and some times I wasn't interested in seeing her again.
Like the time that I met a young lady at a restaurant in Hartford, Conn., for dinner. I should have known this date would be a disaster, because she was (and probably still is) a Yankees fan, while I am a devotee to the Boston Red Sox. Still, I figured it was worth meeting her. In the lead up to our date, I learned that she was extremely afraid of spiders, which I could understand, and I promised that if a spider should happen along while we were on our date, I would protect her from it.
So we're sitting there in the restaurant, having a nice conversation, when all of a sudden, her face went into a blank stare and she stopped talking, mid-sentence. I asked her if she was OK, and she said, "Did you see it?"
She was pointing at the table right in front of her. I looked, looked again, and looked a third time. No spider. But she started freaking out so much that we had to leave the restaurant.
I don't think this was a creative way for her to end this date and wash her hands of me, because after we left the restaurant we continued to talk for some time, and she went back to her "normal" self.
So What Did Work?
I finally started making progress when I decided to reduce the number of hard and fast criteria that were important to me. Initially, these were the important criteria:
* She had to be single, not divorced.
* She could not have children (ex-husbands can only muck things up, particularly when there's children involved.)
* She could be 5 years older or 5 years younger than me.
* She did not need to be political, but needed to accept the fact that I am.
The first of these criteria to go was the never-been-married criteria. People make mistakes, so why should that disqualify them? The next to go was the children requirement. I actually wanted to have a family, so I figured I could just deal with the kids' dad as being a part of the overall package.
When I elimited these criteria, I found a whole new bunch of women, including one who lived just 20 minutes from me. We connected, had a romantic date at a drive-in movie theater, and ended the evening with the most passionate kiss I could remember before or since.
So the moral of this story is that if you can keep your criteria to a minimum, you'll have greater success in finding that special woman who is waiting to meet you. So K.I.S.S. and enjoy!