I Know Exactly What Kind of Man I Want to Date. Why Can’t I Find Him?

Dear E. Jean: I live in a vibrant city, I have a job that is stimulating and friends I love, and yet I have trouble meeting men. It’s like I’m caught in a Venn diagram with only a small number of guys in the intersection. I’m an atheist, a feminist, and child-free—important qualities and beliefs that any of my prospective partners must share. I’m also lucky to have an IQ that consistently tests over 140 and would love to find someone similarly lucky.

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I’m completely open to dating fit men (they should be very into exercise) of any race, height, appearance, or income. So, you see, I’m very reasonable about some things! The icing on the cake: I’m into many forms of nonvanilla sex. Yet this restricts my search even more. Given the cross section of qualities I’m seeking, do you have any advice? —Empty Venn Diagram

Venn, My Violet: I know you’re a nonbeliever, Venn, honey, but God Herself couldn’t find a chap who fits into this diagram. Get rid of it.

The heroic requirements bristling in your letter boil down to just three—which I will reveal at the end of this answer. So now, Miss Venn, let us turn to the real question: Who is more successful at finding love? Women with long lists of romantic requirements? Or women with short lists?

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My colleague Kenneth Shaw and I took the weekend and analyzed 30 days’ worth of data from Tawkify, the matchmaking company we cofounded five years ago, which has grown into one of the largest in the nation. The results: Looking at the 1,047 dates we sent out (evening strolls, polo matches, picnics, wine tastings, scavenger hunts, etc.) in the month of May, the women (we didn’t analyze the men) who stipulated eight or fewer requirements for potential mates enjoyed nearly threetimes the success of women who listed between 9 and 34 requirements. (We define “success” as both people on the date wanting to see each other again.)

A chick with an IQ of 140 (and only one-fourth of 1 percent of the human population has an IQ as high as yours) cannot have much difficulty in comprehending why the short-list women tore the long-list women to shreds. A short-lister is open to the queenhell possibilities. A chap has a chance to captivate a short-lister with attractions she didn’t even know she wanted, and when a woman is captivated, it ignites a powerful fire in a fellow.

So, old girl, shall we give a boost to your love life and whittle down that list of yours? I advise you to seek a smart, open-minded guy who will tie you to the shower-curtain rod.

Man Ghosts His Girlfriend And She Becomes His Boss

Ask A Manager is always a good resource for sticky workplace questions, but some days there is such a gem of a question that we all need to quit whatever we were working on and fall deep into its enticing spiral. Today is one such day, and it is brought to you by the letter K for Karma.

The question comes from a man, let’s call him Bronathan, who ghosted his ex a decade ago. Boo, but fine, we’ve all done irresponsible stuff in relationships before. Please nobody ask anyone what I was like in love 10 years ago. Anyway, Bronathan is writing because PLOT TWIST his ex, Sylvia, is now going to be his director at work.

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Awkward, but not horrible. We’re all adults, right? Well, that would be the case, except Bronathan was with Sylvia for THREE YEARS. AND THEY LIVED TOGETHER FOR TWO. AND HE LITERALLY MOVED OUT WITHOUT TELLING HER WHILE SHE WAS ON WINTER BREAK. Here is how he puts it:

Over the Christmas break, while she was visiting her family, I simply moved out and left the country. I took advantage of the fact that I accepted a job in other country and did not tell her about it. I simply wanted to avoid being untangled in a break-up drama. Sylvia was rather emotional and became obsessed with the relationship, tracking me down, even causing various scenes with my parents and friends.”

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Let’s all take a moment to acknowledge that he wrote that. He wrote that! He just sat down and typed that like it was an unfortunate, but not utterly baffling thing to do to a person. “Rather emotional” YEAH YOU THINK? If you have been living with someone for two years and they just disappear without any trace, yes you would probably be emotional because you’d assume they were kidnapped or dead! Not that they were like, “hmm I love her but I don’t LOVE her, you know?” and left the country.

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Ask A Manager’s Alison Green recognizes that there is no way Bronathan comes out on top here. “Normally I’m a fan of people putting aside personal emotions in order to conduct themselves professionally, but I don’t even know what that would look like for Sylvia in this situation,” she writes. “She’s most likely going to be shocked and horrified when she finds out that you work at her school, and that she’s supposed to manage you.”

Sylvia, if you’re out there, energy of this week’s eclipse shines on you, and you may do with Bronathan what you like. If a decade of growth and acceptance allow you to work with Bronathan with no problem, you are all the better for it and may the spirits bless and keep you. But if you want to spend your entire career rubbing your success in his face, then the righteous anger of hundreds of commenters will guide your tongue.

Anyway, this is why you don’t ghost! Also, Sylvia, please call us.

My Man Wants Me to Dominate Him

Dear E. Jean: I’m finding myself pursued by a wealthy, proper British banker who is all but begging me to let him be my “loyal, obedient slave.” He is serious. When it comes to sex, he wants me to order him around. He wants to be my “property.” I’m a gentle, romantic woman whose heart is too soft to violently correct the male species with insults and abuse, and frankly, I’m wondering where it all may lead. I just wanted a husband, and somehow I’ve veered off the beaten path into some British Twilight Zone. —I Don’t Want to Wear the Pants

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Miss Pants, My Petunia: Please. It’s gonna kill you to give the chap an order? Heck, order him to come to my house and clean out my basement. Why not find out “where it all may lead”? After all, you can’t play the “gentle, romantic” lady night in, night out, with the same underlit, soul-killing softness and the same brain-coddling endearments, because soon it becomes so boring that you stop caring altogether. When you were a kid, didn’t you play hide-and-seek? Then double dare, dress-up, tag, doctor, Barbies? Well, that’s what the best sex is. And as in all great games, changing tactics ignites the sacred fires. And the sparks are what made the stars, Miss Pants. So: Order him to paint your toenails.

This letter is from the E. Jean archive.

Right and left legs of the world’s fastest man may perform differently — ScienceDaily

World champion sprinter Usain Bolt may have an asymmetrical running gait, according to data recently presented by researchers from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

While not noticeable to the naked eye, Bolt’s potential asymmetry emerged after SMU researchers assessed the running mechanics of the world’s fastest man.

The analysis thus far suggests that Bolt’s mechanics may vary between his left leg to his right, said Andrew Udofa, a biomechanics researcher in the SMU Locomotor Performance Laboratory.

The existence of an unexpected and potentially significant asymmetry in the fastest human runner ever would help scientists better understand the basis of maximal running speeds. Running experts generally assume asymmetry impairs performance and slows runners down.

“Our observations raise the immediate scientific question of whether a lack of symmetry represents a personal mechanical optimization that makes Bolt the fastest sprinter ever or exists for reasons yet to be identified,” said Udofa, a member of the research team.

The SMU Locomotor Lab, led by Peter Weyand, focuses on the mechanical basis of human performance. The group includes physicist and engineer Laurence Ryan, an expert in force and motion analysis, and doctoral researcher Udofa.

The intriguing possibility of Bolt’s asymmetry emerged after the SMU researchers decided to assess his pattern of ground-force application — literally how hard and fast each foot hits the ground. To do so they measured the “impulse” for each foot.

Impulse is a combination of the amount of force applied to the ground multiplied by the time of foot-ground contact.

“The manner in which Bolt achieves his impulses seems to vary from leg to leg,” Udofa said. “Both the timing and magnitude of force application differed between legs in the steps we have analyzed so far.”

Impulse matters because that’s what determines a runner’s time in the air between steps.

“If a runner has a smaller impulse, they don’t get as much aerial time,” Weyand said. “Our previous published research has shown greater ground forces delivered in shorter periods of foot-ground contact are necessary to achieve faster speeds. This is true in part because aerial times do not differ between fast and slow runners at their top speeds. Consequently, the combination of greater ground forces and shorter contact times is characteristic of the world’s fastest sprinters.”

The researchers didn’t test Bolt in the SMU lab. Instead, they used a new motion-based method to assess the patterns of ground-force application. They analyzed Bolt and other elite runners using existing high-speed race footage available from NBC Universal Sports and viewable here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGh7SqVI_w8. The runners were competing in the 2011 Diamond League race at the World Athletics Championships in Monaco.

Udofa analyzed 20 of Bolt’s steps from the Monaco race, averaging data from 10 left and 10 right.

The researchers relied upon foot-ground contact time, aerial time, running velocity and body mass to determine the ground reaction forces using the new method, called the “two-mass” model of running mechanics.

Runners typically run on a force-instrumented treadmill or force plates for research examining running ground-reaction forces. However, the two-mass model method provides a tool that enables motion-based assessments of ground reaction forces without direct force measurements.

“There are new avenues of research the model may make possible because direct-force measurements are not required,” Weyand said. “These include investigations of the importance of symmetry for sprinting performance. The two-mass model may facilitate the acquisition of data from outside the lab to help us better address these kinds of questions.”

Udofa presented the findings at the 35th International Conference on Biomechanics in Sport in Cologne, Germany. His presentation, “Ground Reaction Forces During Competitive Track Events: A Motion Based Assessment Method,” was delivered June 18.

Two-mass model relies on basic motion data

SMU researchers developed the concise two-mass model as a simplified way to predict the entire pattern of force on the ground — from impact to toe-off — with very basic motion data.

The model integrates classic physics and human anatomy to link the motion of individual runners to their patterns of force on the ground.

It provides accurate predictions of the ground force vs. time patterns throughout each instant of the contact period, regardless of limb mechanics, foot-strike type or running speed.

The two-mass model is substantially less complex than other scientific models that explain patterns of ground force application during running. Most existing models are more elaborate in relying on 14 or more variables, many of which are less clearly linked to the human body.

“The two-mass model provides us with a new tool for assessing the crucial early portion of foot-ground contact that is so important for sprinting performance,” said Udofa. “The model advances our ability to assess the impact-phase force and time relationships from motion data only.”