Don’t you love connecting dots and projecting lines through them? My high school teacher insisted that it only takes three points to make a line, which opens the field deliciously for noting correlations. Sadly, some of my favorite dating correlations still have only two points to prove them. So, in an effort to gather more data, I’m asking for reader contribution. Let me know if you’ve had any similar experiences. It’s for the sake of statistics.

Line Segment #1: Pants and Debates

I have only dated two guys who mentioned their pants on a date. One mentioned spilling water all over his before the date. The other mentioned taking his off. (It really wasn’t so bad in context.)

Both guys also jumped down my throat when I fielded an opinion they didn’t like, and we wound up arguing for an absurdly long time. Personally, I think two Jews should be able to share three opinions between them without feeling threatened by each other. I am disturbed when a guy can’t even handle two.

I have never come home from a date saying, “Can you believe he thinks Andy Warhol was a real artist? I can never go out with such a guy.” Some of my best friends have bad taste in art. It doesn’t detract from their charm.

But I have come home saying, “We disagreed over whether 17th-century metaphysical poetry or or cavalier poetry was better, and he just wouldn’t let it lie. He kept coming back and arguing that Ben Johnson had the beauty of accessibility, and how on earth could I enjoy someone as convoluted as John Donne? Does he feel threatened by my tastes in poetry? That’s so loserish.”

So, has anyone else gone out with an argumentative date who mentioned his pants?

Line Segment #2: Walks in the Park and Indecisiveness

Only twice has a guy put me on hold for weeks to a month before deciding that, actually, he wants to go out again.

Both of those guys claimed to have been discomfited by a walk in Prospect Park. In one case, the gentleman was disturbed by the feel of dirt under his shoes (he preferred concrete). In the other case, the gentleman said he was thrown off by walking with no purpose or destination in mind.

So: has anyone else noticed that men who don’t like walking in parks have a difficult time making a decision?

Line Segment #3: The Bill and Me

How about restaurant first dates? I’ve noticed an odd thing: after almost every dinner date, a dating streak ends. It could be the first date or the second, but 6 times out of 7, it’s also the last date.

Do guys compare the thrill of my company to the cost of the bill and decide that I’m not worth it? Or are my table manners just that bad? Has anyone else had this experience?



13 thoughts on “Correlations?

  1. On walks in the park, I’d say that the correlation is not with indecisiveness, but rigidity or maybe something like OCPD. The question these guys had to answer was whether they wanted to go out with you again, and apparently, for them it meant deciding whether your enjoyment of something they didn’t rendered you unfit for marriage to them. (I hope you turned them down…)

  2. her point is that because any two points determine a line, one needs one additional point to determine a correlation.

    i can help with #2, but only the inverse- we went on at least two “walking in nature”-type dates, and one of them ended in a display of obvious decisiveness. and the first date (as well as many thereafter) was at a restaurant, so go figure.

  3. Au contraire, I believe that restaurant dates incite a level of commitment. “I am paying for her pasta. I truly want to get to know her,” whereas coffee dates have this casual vibe that cannot be cast off.

    Andy? An artist? Puh-leez.

  4. restaurant dates also indicate mentschlichkeit- if a date is called for dinnertime, especially on a weeknight, it must include dinner. no excuses. you don’t want to shell out for dinner? call the date for 8pm.

  5. Two points can be on a curve. Or a non-continuous function. Or on completely different lines on the same plane. You need three to be reasonably certain that you have a line. (Although, if you’re bad about choosing your points, you can easily draw a line through what is actually a sin wave…)

  6. I was going to keep my mouth shut, but I will oblige iyhby. There is only one line which can run through two points. The two points on a curve do not define the curve. Other curves may run through those same two points while this is not the case by lines. Anyway, I was just trying to be helpful and got ripped for my efforts in the process. Well, at least I didn’t give you any data which would completely throw off your statistical analysis.

  7. Double Trip – have we dated? I didn’t rip into you, but you’re getting defensive. That’s definitely a datapoint. Can’t we debate the math with civility?

    It sounds to me like you’re talking pure math. I’m talking more statistics.

    Only one line can run through two points. But that assumes you’re defining a line, not a relationship. That is: inventing a line, defining it by two points, versus looking for a line, and knowing that you’ve found it via three points.

    Researchers usually repeat an experiment three times to verify a point, and aim for at least three linear points before deciding that they’ve found a correlation. (If it’s a curve, they’ll go for more. In my experience. Granted, that’s only two summer interships. But that’s what they made me do.)

    In an attempt to appear somewhat valid, I’m trying for the appearance of statistical validity.

  8. I really want to leave a brilliant comment about lines, but the only thing I can think of is a pun how the only line I have is this very one… I love this post, great humor, bad4. I like Donne better than Johnson too- I read some to my husband, who indeed had a hard time following his train of thought. My fav poem from that class is Herrick’s “The Collar.”

  9. Funny, I remember you liking one that we didn’t actually cover in class due to impropriety. Did you cover that one with your husband?

  10. As far as differing opinions go, I haven’t had any particularly memorable dates who disagreed with me so vehemently about a subject that they would not see me again. I have, however, occasionally been on dates in which a guy professed opinions which I found so distasteful that I could not date him again. Or rather, brought up topics of conversation which I found completely inappropriate for discussion with someone you’ve only just met.

    Regarding long walks in the park, on the boardwalk, etc – nope, had plenty of those, and assuming the company was found to be mutually agreeable, they tended to be pleasant. I like to walk, and it often makes for better conversation than over a meal. (Although the upside of a dinner date is that if the company is boring, one can always discuss the food.)

    As for dinner dates ending a relationship – again, must beg to differ in my own case. I’ve been on many dinner dates that most certainly did not result in the ending of the relationship (although neither have they led to marriage, thus far). In fact, I actually prefer not to eat out the first few dates because then I feel obligated to date the guy again whether I liked him or not, because I feel like I owe him something. However, I have eaten many meals paid for by male company and continued to see the male company for many a time afterward.

    Sorry to have digressed from the fascinating math discussion, most of which is soaring way over my head.

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