But for the fact he was sitting alone at a trendy Back Bay bar one Thursday evening last month — a partly sipped beer before him, an empty seat beside — there was little indication the man in the V-neck and fashionably styled hair was waiting for a date. For Noah, a year-old orchestral percussionist who plays professionally in California and studies in Boston, the date would be the second of the day, his sixth of the week, and — according to color-coded Google calendar he used to keep his dates straight — his 21st of the month.
Despite what this might bring to mind, Noah explained in an interview before his date arrived, he is not a womanizer. Rather, he is on a frenetic, numbers-driven campaign to find a soul mate. He has developed an approach built exclusively on efficiency and the goal of meeting as many women as possible until one day, he hopes, he finds the right one. The pursuit has led him to two dates a day on most days, one in the morning for coffee and another in the evening for drinks.
To save time, he sent stock messages he had composed ahead of time, rather than agonizing over writing original ones, and he has an official first-date uniform to avoid any dithering over what to wear.
Many might recoil at such a coldly mathematical approach; Noah himself has been reluctant to tell his dates about it, and he spoke to the Globe only on the condition that his last name not be published, for fear of how prospective employers might react. But a more traditional approach, he said, proved largely unsuccessful.
Even with what would seem a virtually limitless pool of possible dates at their fingertips, single heterosexual men who are actively dating reported meeting just 2. The number was 5.
Growing up in California, he had never been particularly good with girls, nor had he been much for casual dating. A stroll down the sidewalk could quickly turn into an exercise in efficiency, as he attempted to calculate the least number of steps required to make it from Point A to Point B. If meeting the perfect person was his goal, he decided, then his best chance was to meet as many people as he could.
He quickly set about implementing a dating strategy based on volume. Rosenfeld, the Stanford sociologist, said that strategy is both smart and perfectly reasonable. Noah says that once he started thinking in those terms, he began lining up more dates than he ever had before. Playing it straight are cara and dean dating games matches came so fast that he eventually had to devote two daily sessions to communicating with them all.
Of the 50 or so people he began matching with and messaging in a given week, he would receive maybe 16 replies. Of those, six or seven would turn into first dates. Before long, he had so many that he once shoehorned three into a single hour period. Day and night, he found himself in a bar or restaurant, working his way through those first-date conversation staples of hometowns and alma maters and careers.
As the weeks passed, he grew increasingly comfortable.