And there was this, an eye-catching display of dating data, and arguably the most interesting of the lot: The chart, which comes from a longitudinal study by sociologist Michael Rosenfeld, says a lot about how romance has evolved over the past 60 some odd years.
It shows the rise of online dating (which has only been more pronounced for same-sex couples), clearly depicted by the darker of the two blue lines above (notice not only its furious ascent, but also its relative importance—more than 20 percent of straight couples reported meeting their partners online in 2009, the most recent year for which data are available).
Todd and Miller found that the solution to the secretary problem - and potentially your dating problem - requires sampling a certain proportion of people, remembering the best of them, and then picking the next person who is even better. In the secretary problem, the ideal percentage for sampling is 37% of a pool of 100 applicants. According to their research, in a group of 1,000 potential mates, only 1 to 2 percent needs to be sampled.
That means it would make sense to initially sample 37 people, remember the best of the best, and then pick the next candidate who meets or exceeds that standard. But you do need to set your “aspiration level” - your ideal mate based on a realistic view of who’s available and whom you can attract - and date those people you consider to be in the top 25%.
There was one about how close to one another people who ended up together used to live (the answer is very close).