Yes, the math is wrong. =)
jaffo asks: What percent of the single population do you consider undatable?
Unfortunately, I've become a 'modelizer' after all these years of chasing/dating pretty girls - I have a stupidly high looks filter that automatically screens out 95% of the women I meet (Yes, yes - I know it's dumb. But I can't develop any sort of the necessary romantic affection/feelings for someone unless she is pretty. Which, of course, makes me a pig. Oink oink). Of that remaining 5%, a good majority (let say, 75%) are too self-conscious of their looks and/or have coasted through life on the adoration/sexual attention of men and envy of other women. In the process, their personalities are warped beyond repair - they may be fun to date but represent a dead-end as far as life-partner material is concerned. This leaves with 25%.
Percentages of women in the "non-narcissistic-but-pretty-enough-to-date" category: 0.05 x 0.25 = 0.0125, or 1.25%
I'd want someone with a significantly higher-than-average intelligence (clearing at least a sigma two). Sigma two is approximately 98th percentile, which can be translated into a 2% filter.
Assuming insignificant correlation between the first two factors, this means the percentage of women in the "smart-and-non-narcissistic-and-pretty-enough-to-date" category is: 0.0125 x 0.02 = 0.00025, or 0.025%
As far as a long-term partner is concerned, I need a woman with a strong enough a personality to hold her own and stare me down when necessary in moments when I have to be called on my excesses. That, from anecdotal observation, screens out another 90%.
(For those of you following in the home game, this means works out to 0.000025, or 0.0025%)
The remaining filter is age: which I'm going to set at "between 20 and 30," (with a strong preference for something in between). That screens out 20% of the datable pool (Too low an age, and I feel like I'm [http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?itemid=5819466 sandbagging]. At too high an age, the probability of emotional scars/personal issues/residual baggage increase exponentially).
Final score: 0.000025 x 0.80 = 0.00002 or 0.002%
In a metropolitan area of, say, 10 million, half will obviously be women, giving a maximum pool of 5 million. Of those, perhaps 80% are either married/in a long-term-near-marriage situation, lesbian or simply not looking for a partner - all of which places them off-limits. This drops the pool to 2 million. Multiply 0.002% by 2 million and you get ...
2,000,000 x 0.00002 = 40.
That's right. Forty. Forty potential matches that I have to find in a city of ten million. Needle in a haystack? Whoo, yeah. (This may explain why I am repeatedly involved with women who live more than 500 miles from me ...)
Additionally, the qualities I've described above are highly desirable by many men, and in this heavily-contested market, my immediate competitors are high-status/intelligent/charismatic/good-looking "alpha males." At this level of desirability, we can safely assume every woman is actively courted by an average of ten men, with approximately two who are in her league.
My advantages are limited to a few genetic and social edges: I'm a shade over six feet tall, inherited [http://www.livejournal.com/allpics.bml?user=pjammer relatively good cheekbones], write great mash notes (an ex from as far back as seven years ago still has all the letters I've written her), command a [http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?itemid=6601099 wickedly sardonic sense of humor] and have a tested IQ at the sigma-four level. With these assets (and factoring in womens' occasional bizzare penchant for pairing up with inexplicably mediocre males) I conservatively estimate that I can prevail 25% of the time.
So on average, I will be attractive enough to 1 out of 4 of women in heavily contested/competitive markets.
Thus, my possible partners in an given large metropolitain area will, on average, work out to 40/4 = 10.
I think I am going to kill myself.