Single womenThere’s never a dull moment in the science of studying single women. I often find myself thinking something along the lines of “Eff this English degree, I’m going back to school for statistics” because clearly, honey boo boo, that’s where the credibility, cash, and major publisher book deals are. Endangered animals teeter on the brink of eternal extinction, but for some reason, no species is more fascinating and ripe for study than the common Womanus Unmarriedus.

In this latest round of findings, published at The Atlantic, we learn that geography is also a contributing culprit to our ringless status—a welcomed deviation from the routine look-how-suckishly-your-parents-raised-you approach. “The Worst Cities for College-Educated Women Trying to Find a Decent Date” takes a look at the gap between folks 35 and under in 102 U.S. metro areas.

Wow, just a decent date? And the bar slips even lower.

Naturally, I skimmed the article to see what the Washington, D.C./Maryland/Virginia area I call home has to offer by way of gender-based education discrepancies. We ring in at #32, with just a smidge under 26 percent of us ladies more learned than the fellas, which, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t a major component of the complicated social climate that makes dating so difficult in this city. There’s so much ego in the atmosphere sometimes it’s hard to take a breath. That’s the real problem.

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It could be worse, though. Think you’re gonna get yourself a degree and then get yourself a man with a degree in Sarasota, Florida? Think about moving. The gap is a friggin’ chasm down there to the tune of 82 percent, the largest in the country, where there are 18 female college grads for every 10 similarly accomplished guys. That’s pretty stiff competition, even before you factor in the tans and the six-pack abs and what not. (A silent thanks to God that I live inland and away from bikini body pressure.)

The implication of this research, of course, is that every college-educated woman is in search of a college-educated man, when that’s not the case. A degree doesn’t go nearly as far in making a dude a decent date as it does making him possibly smarter, maybe more white collar, and definitely more marketable on the singles scene. But some of us are open to dating non-college grads. I know I am. Makes me no difference whatsoever.

Some of the brightest, most thoughtful and well-versed folks I know either dropped out of school or never went in the first place. I actually have more respect for people who thirst knowledge enough to seek it out on their own rather than having it spoon fed to them by a college professor in a class that makes reading and thinking mandatory. (I am one of those people, by the way.)

It’s all so much to think about, this inundation of why-you’re-still-single information, which is why I choose to stay my focus on shoe sales and The Walking Dead. To drive the point home, though, said Atlantic article had advertising for engagement rings on the page. Way to dangle the carets in front of us.

Does it matter to you if a guy has a degree?


Image via Giovana Medeiros/Flickr