Broadening Your Search

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There are 6,800,000,000 people on this planet, with just under 20% of those being females between 25 and 35 years old. I’ve just cut the pool of possible romantic partners down to 1.36 billion.

Not that I’m looking, mind you, but as a thought experiment, it’s kind of intersting.

Half of these 1.36 billion lovely ladies identify as either Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, and are therefore incompatible with me. Down to 680 Million. Approximately 1/6 of these are said to use the internet regularly. Let’s call that an even hundred million.

Meaning: There are 100,000,000 women in my age range out there who could potentially see this note.

So out of 100,000,000 women who might be stumble upon this page, maybe half of you understand English. How many of you love culture and conversation and learning and trying new things? How many of you really enjoy sex? A lot of women can’t. How many of the English-speaking, culture/conversation/learning/trying-new-things-loving, sex-enjoying women out there are in a place where they can be honest about their needs and gifts, without shame, guilt, or greed?

Let’s go further: Are you healthy? I need a partner who isn’t going to die on me after a few years. I hate to be cold about this, but I can’t plan to spend my life with someone who doesn’t have much life left.

Of those remaining, how many are single? Since I couldn’t find a good statistic, let’s just call it half.

I imagine I’ve just narrowed the field to well-under 30,000. 30,000 possible partners out of almost seven billion people on this planet. One in 225,000.

People talk about “one in a million,” and look for that one “perfect” love. It sounds nice, but most people just aren’t that picky. Be honest, most people don’t cast a very wide net in their search for Mr. or Mrs. Right. We’re talking closer to one in 10,000 if we’re really honest.

People marry their high schol sweethearts, or somebody from their church, or someone their parents fixed them up with. More recently, we can use the internet, but the most prominent feature on most internet dating sites is the assortment of filters you can apply to search based on geography, race, and employment. We claim to want “one in a million,” but we’re really just looking for someone who won’t require us to change too much.

I decided a long time ago to broaden my search – not just for love, but for life – and I’m glad I did.

In elementary school, I only really knew the students in my class and a few from other grades. Maybe 100 kids all together. Imagine what terrible odds I would have had if I’d been forced to marry someone I knew back then. In high school, I finally found love when the population size increased to over 1000. Having non-school acquaintances helped my odds a lot too, but on the global scale, I had a very limited existence.

Getting out of the country, even for just two weeks, when I was 16 really changed my perception of the world. I knew there was more out there. In college (a time when most people experience a rapid broadening of horizons), I felt like I was trapped in a room that only appeared to get bigger – like something out of an Escher drawing or a really trippy carnival. There were more people from more places, but they were all Tech students, and I found it really difficult to be impressed by that.

To make a long story short, I started traveling. Around the country. And back to Japan, where I eventually moved. And since doing so, I’ve found that I enjoy having more options. I enjoy having more friends, more experiences, and more life.

I probably could have contented myself with a life centered around staying in Atlanta, and I may even go back someday. But I can’t imagine I would have found this feeling of freedom, of totally open potential, if I hadn’t gotten out at some point.

And though I haven’t met them all, out of 30,000 candidates, I can’t say I would be able find a better partner than Noriko. Yeah, she’s only my second or third really serious try, but I would never have met her if I hadn’t looked farther than graduation.

If you can’t find what you’ve been looking for, the solution is very simple: broaden your search.