The 80/20 rule- dating advice


Pareto’s principle or the 80/20 rule is often used in business and economics to determine efficiency and to make decisions.  You have probably heard or read it used in terms of wealth distribution ( 20% of the population owns 80% or the wealth or 20% or the population pays 80% of collected taxes – not the same 20% by the way) . But Christian Carter has finally written something that makes sense to me.  He is using Pareto’s principle to describe the ratio of good available men to all men.  (To learn a little about Pareto’s rule click here)

In a recent email he writes:

Out of a random sample of 100 handsome guys, you’d probably find that only 20 of them (or so) are:

– Single

– Emotionally stable and at least semi-mature

– Able to carry on an interesting conversation

– Open to a relationship, should the right woman come along

– Not a player, or looking for just “fun”

This is just an estimate from my own personal experience, but I think you get the point.


HOOORAAAAHH!  Now I get  why there are seemingly so few great men out there.  I have been frustrated, as I am sure many single women in their “middle-age”are also, because I failed to realize I was looking for something so rare.

I love that Christian includes “able to carry on an interesting conversation” on his list of qualities.  I have found this especially to be true (with the exception of a very interesting and eloquent man I have been communicating with lately.)   What I love about the “conversation” attribute is that if a man fails to intrigue me with words he hasn’t got a chance regardless of his status or qualities. I know the misery of being with someone who has a limited capacity for thinking and expression.  You know what I mean,  A person with this issue might repeat themselves, the same stories, the same jokes, phrases and responses to adnauseum as if they are in a mental and lingual holding pattern for ever.  Like the man who made a funny comment about the way I said the word, “phone”. (Occasionally, my native Southern accent makes its way into my word pronunciation.  Sometime I pronounce the word phone with a very long “O” sound so that PhOne becomes Phowne. It is very cute when it happens, I am sure.) It was funny the first time he said it.  I showed  that he was paying attention to me and what I was saying, that he found something  charming about me.  The second through fifth time he said it, it was sort of an inside joke- an attempt at creating intimacy, perhaps.  By the 20th time it was annoying and I asked him to stop.  By the 30th time it was a demonstration of mental calcification on his part, a lack of creativity (couldn’t he move on from that joke and create another?) and a lack of respect for my wishes. Or they simply lack a decent command of the language.  I thought, “Good god, am I going to have to hear this for the rest of my life?” and I decided, “Nope.” and ended the relationship. Of course that was not all that was problematic in the relationship. The “phone” thing was merely a symbol of some bigger issues. OR there is the man who uses too many slang and/or curse words in his speech.  I mean, just get a little more creative, will you? But I digress.

In my experience it is not that there is a dirth of single men that is the problem but meeting all of Christian’s criteria that is the main issue. But Christian also says that it is not  the quality of men out there that is important.  He claims it is how women interact with them that counts.

Here is where Christian sort of offers some useful advice for once.  Read what he writes later in the same email quoted above:


So what do you think could happen if you yourself suspended your disbelief that there weren’t many great men out there…

And instead you lived your life with the generosity that only comes from an open heart who’s willing to seek out the best in people?

How do you think men would respond if you were that woman who believed that every man you start talking to could be interesting, SINGLE, and that he’s probably a great guy?

And how do you think men would FEEL around you if they didn’t see that you looked at them suspiciously as though they might be like some of the other men who weren’t acting so great?

There’s an old principle that stands true in the world of advertising…

It basically says that out of 100 people reading your ad or seeing your commercial, maybe ONE of them is that someone who would buy your product. The rest will tune your message out even if it’s a great message.

Which means, if you try and talk to the 100 people in your ad, you’ll fail to grab that 1 real genuine buyers attention.

To put it another way: “Don’t worry about the DOGS, concentrate on selling the FOXES.”

It’s great metaphor I borrowed from a smart writer I know named Gary Halbert.

The point is…talk to the men you meet AS IF they’re single, open, interesting, and wonderful.

And then don’t worry about the ones who don’t turn out to actually BE single, open, interesting, available, and wonderful.


I really like that Christian says to just go out there with your good attitude, your heart open and chat up every man you meet with reckless abandon. I think I have been doing this all my life . But what Christian fails to mention here is that when you put yourself wholeheartedly out there and treat every man like he’s wonderful and available you may attract the attention of some serious psychos who can be difficult to shake (I will be starting my “stalker” novel this month) or enjoy the wrath of an insecure girlfriend or jealous wife or two (not a fun experience to be reamed up the butt by a woman who feels you are a threat because you treated “her man”  (I hate this term because it Implies ownership – might indicate the real problem right there) like he was single.)

I agree with Christian that you should be comfortable, open and confident when talking to men – all men, single or otherwise.  But I invite you to keep that radar of intuition up while you are enjoying some good conversations.

A fun book to read regarding weeding out the looser/player/undeserving guys from the keepers is Steve Harvey’s “Act Like A Lady, Think Like a Man“.  His 5 questions are super smart and his writing style is spritely and clear.

So Sistahs get on out there, put on your confidence, raise that radar and chat up some guys.

Let me know what happens.



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