Thursday, November 29, 2012

Statistics on Why You are Single

Today is one of those days I randomly rant. I've been trying  to expand my horizons beyond statistics, programming and martial arts, so I have taken to reading books reviewed in the New York Times and LA Times and random novels checked out of the library.

I have reached two conclusions:
  1. It was a very good choice on my part not to major in anything related to literature.
  2. People younger than me sure are whiny.
There are a lot of books by single people, mostly women, on "the truth about single life" and how nearly impossible it is to have a relationship with anyone who is not a complete loser.

Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me? By age 38 I had been married three times, two of which (so far) are in the 'till death do us part' category, putting me way ahead of the odds for marriages. And look at me, I'm short, my only domestic quality is that I live in a house and I've never owned makeup in my life. In any women's magazine rating of how to get a man, I score below zero.

Today, I will give my advice to women. If you are interested in advice to men you can read something I wrote a long time ago on my statistics blog, A geek's guide to meeting women.  It actually applies to non-geek men also.

LADIES ... listen up - your problem is that you are completely, stupidly unrealistic. Jacob or Edward or whoever on that stupid ass show you watch is a fucking vampire or werewolf or something. No! And he's paid to give those smoldering looks. One of my graduate students is married to a celebrity. She laughed about the women who were so in love with him, saying,
"My husband is great, but it's not all listening to that dreamy voice. It's also listening to him snore and washing his underwear."
You get FIVE, no more than five points that are a deal breaker, cross him off your list, non-negotiable. I cannot believe the women who have a hundred reasons why they won't date a guy again from, "He's a Republican", to "I just couldn't get serious about a man named Ed, it reminds me of the talking horse" or ....

Let me give you my not-for-me points. These are just very personal for me. Not everything in the world can be crucial to you. For me, it is family, religion, employment and intelligence. Plus, I have never once been attracted to a younger man. You get your own five. 

1. Does not want children - since I have always wanted children, anyone who I was going to get seriously involved with better want them, too.
2. Is not really intelligent - as in, can look at the beginning of a simulation application and say, "That's going to be a normal distribution", or in the first 30 seconds of a match can say, "She is going to lose if she doesn't switch grips."
3. Doesn't work.
4. Objects to raising the children Catholic.
5. Younger than me.

Okay, I'll give you the obvious ones as extras- he can't be abusive - by that I mean physically abusive or verbally abusive. Calls you names, deliberately insults you. I don't mean he forgot to bring you flowers on your one-month anniversary. And seriously - a one-month anniversary? What is WRONG with you people? He also can't be insane - thinking the guinea pigs are plotting against him. He has to be legal age, can't show up at your first date drunk and have good hygiene - I mean bathe and wear clean clothes, not require a specific cologne. My point is, that is all you get. Who the hell brought you up to think the world has to deliver a person designed to your expectations?

You know what kind of women men like? It's not all that crap about the right beauty products to buy - Men like women who like them.

Get over yourself.

Now, it has been said, with some justification, that I have a pretty high opinion of myself. I do. Yet, I am continually surprised when single women make comments about my husband like,

"He hates to exercise? There's no way I could settle for that. Look at you, you're in such good shape..."

Here is the answer to all of those questions and why you are still single. My husband is a really brilliant man, a good father to the children, the calmest person you'd ever meet (which comes in handy being married to me). He likes math, programming, computers, museums, good restaurants and the occasional happy hour. Me, too. He wants to live in southern California. In 17 years, I've never heard him tell a lie.

It never occurred to me that because I liked sports he must also, or that he had to be certain height or within a two-year age range.

Here is where my statistician background comes in. If you are 40 years old and haven't found any man who suits you, I suspect you have 50 different qualities you think a man should have - height, weight, age, income, location, job, personality, etc. etc. etc. and if he doesn't meet every one of those 50 check-off lists, then you cross him off. Of course, the odds of him meeting with your approval are
1 in 1,125,899,906,842,624    (or 1 in 2 to the 50th power).

This is why you are single.

I, on the other hand, look at it as a maximum likelihood function. If he is good on more of those 50 traits than bad, and maybe REALLY good on some of them, like being the smartest person I ever met, then he reaches the cut off score for husband material.

Want to have a good relationship? Quit focusing on what is wrong with him and how he doesn't measure up to what you have to have.  Look at what is good about him. If you like him, odds are, he'll like you. If not, there are 3 billion more men on this planet.


Michael Hultström said...

Anna-Maria, I humbly suggest you stop reading again. It must be bad for your blood pressure.

Al B Here said...

When I first read this entries title, I thought I should probably check my laptop for some cleverly designed spyware. Then I wondered if I had unconsciously spouted off on Twitter again (You would have called me out on there rather than devoting an entire blog post to that). Entertaining post. :)

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Michael -
Or maybe I should go back to reading about JavaScript libraries and arm bars

Maureen said...

I have a great appreciation for both statistics and men myself. I found myself nodding as I read your entire post. I also strongly agree that men like women who like them - without all the drama and ridiculous expectations.

dsimon3387 said...

Just like anything else, you get from a relationship what you put into it. Major problems are that initial "hooks" like physical attraction move from a "primary reason" to not so important as a relationship grows...Even a beautiful woman day in and day out, farting and snoring etc will not charm the same.

Ann Marie I like your setup, i.e. mine is similar haha, I have studied the MA for over 30 years, wifey thinks they are silly (at least the people they attract). We are compatable because we are both edumacated (MA level, me with some doctorial work), we both are compassionate and love our chilren!

People tend to believe that romantic means spontaneous and sexually compulsive... these are indeed delicious but as my mother says "there are other things on the table."