Locational Filtering

If you wanted to find fish, where would you go? Certainly not the desert.

Despite trying to avoid this for as long as possible, I’m going to devote a post (partially) to some of my thoughts on romantic relationships. Luckily this concept applies to more than just meeting women though. It just happened to occur to me while thinking about picking up women in a grocery store.

To set the scene: I recently went grocery shopping at both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, and as I often do, I was checking out women in the store (in a non-creepy way I assure you). I noticed that there’s a different sort of crowd between the two stores. Trader Joe’s seemed to have older women and more hippy types, whereas Whole Foods had more athletic and younger-looking women. Anyways the point is not what my stereotypes are for both of the stores, but rather that there can be a marked difference in who you meet depending on where you choose to be.

This concept works in dating, business, sports, and many other situations. Just imagine, if you want to meet people involved in the tech industry, go to Silicon Valley. If you want to find outdoorsy people, got to Montana. You’ll have a much more difficult time meeting outdoors types in Silicon Valley or venture capitalists in Montana. Not to say that they don’t exist, but it’s a simply numbers game. The more saturation there is of whatever you’re looking for, the better your chances are of finding it.

Being a programmer, this is an especially pertinent point. I work in a 95% male field (I made that number up — just fyi). If I’m going to try to meet women, it certainly shouldn’t be through work or programming related activities. This runs counter to much that we’ve been taught about finding love or employment. It seems to me that what we’re often told growing up is to just relax and work hard and let things work themselves out. If you just do activities you enjoy, you’ll meet the woman of your dreams because she’ll be interested in the same things that you are. While this is sound logic in that if you meet a woman doing things you love to do, she’ll love doing them too. Yet I still find fault with the general principle from a purely statistical standpoint. (Also the fact that I’m invoking statistics to discuss dating probably means I’m doomed to fail).

The real lesson here though is to consider your environment in life. I think often people forget to give proper credence to physical location. Is it conducive to meeting the goals you’ve set forth for yourself? Is it helping or hindering you? If it’s hindering you, fix it. I mean this in a more general sense than my simple example above. I’m certainly not going to change professions given the low odds that I meet a woman at work, but I did choose to move out of Montana because of the lack of professional opportunities there.

Make your own luck.

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