The crazy roller coaster, which is my career in dating, took a rather exciting turn last month, when I was head-hunted by Time Out Group to spearhead their increasing involvement in the world of dating.
One of my first jobs in my new role was to work with the magazine's global editorial team, to create a worldwide dating survey and then analyse all the answers we got back. Over 11,000 people worldwide responded to the Time Out Global Dating Survey. You can check out all the big headlines here, but for me, it was the random facts which made me chuckle as I compared the way people in different cities date.
1. We All Think We're Hotter Than Our Dates
Time Out asked survey respondents to rate both themselves and their average dates, out of 10. The international readers were incredibly self-assured. Rather than punching above their weight, on average daters scored themselves as 7.3 out of 10, and their dates just 6.5 out of 10. But if everyone is dating someone less attractive than him or herself ...
2. Hong Kong Men are the Biggest Players
One of the questions on the survey was about how many people respondents dated at once. Even in cities like New York and London, where apps like Tinder have made it increasingly easy to get a date, people answered relatively conservatively. The average in most cities was under 3, with one stand-out exception. The average man in Hong Kong, according to the survey results, dates up to 4 women at a time.
3. Three is the Magic Number
As long as I can remember, there's been a mythical rule about third dates and sex. The survey results didn't really dispel that rumour - the global average is 3.53, which obviously considers more conservative cultures too. However for me, the interesting number '3' was in the comments by a Chinese man who answered the survey. 'Marriage is talked about on date number three' he explained, matter of factly.
4. LA Men are the Most Needy
The survey asked respondents how soon you need to become exclusive to just one partner. The global answer was an average of 6 dates, however in LA the results were noticeably different between men and women. Whilst LA women will wait to almost the 8th date for exclusivity, LA men desire it after just 4 dates. Does that mean it's a city full of disappointed men?
5. London Women are Easier than New Yorkers
I don't know about you, but when it comes to sex, I've always assumed New York women were more liberal than Londoners. Yes, it's an impression predominantly created by the character Samantha in Sex in the City, and her regular sex marathons, but I certainly assumed reality mirrored fiction. Not so - according to the survey results, New York women wait a whole extra date to broach the subject of sex in their city than Londoners do (Date 4.61 vs 3.57).
What do you think? Do the results speak for your city? Let me know what you think below.
To see the results in full, go to timeout.com/dating-2015/
Illustrations by Ryan Chapman and Time Out Digital Ltd.
Follow Charly Lester on Twitter: www.twitter.com/30dates