Paul’s Poetry Corner: Weepy
Free Advice: Think First

How wide a spousal pool?

On a BBC quiz show, I heard that the median distance between spousal birthplaces rose sharply after the invention of the bicycle. I had previously heard the same was true of the automobile in the U.S. But my best Internet search efforts yielded no proof.

The most scientific study I could find was of spousal birth distance in the Netherlands. “The increase in the distance between the birthplaces of brides and grooms in nineteenth century Holland increased significantly at a rate of approximately 300 meters per decade, from about 4 kilometers in 1829 to 7 kilometers in 1922. Thus over time brides and grooms came more often from different municipalities, and the distance between the municipalities increased.”

I would think the Internet would increase the acceptable physical distances in the dating pool, but research indicates that proximity is a major factor in online dating sites. I know my daughter only met her spouse when he widened his area of interest.

Of course Internet Dating is about the person’s current location. And yet, while I couldn’t find the answer to my actual question, I did discover that the typical adult lives only 18 miles from his or her mother (true of both my daughters, but not true of my wife and I when our parents were alive).


Robert E. Malchman

I remember hearing somewhere that it was the railroad that expanded the marriage pool, and hence distance. As for my wife and me, we were born 3300 miles apart, but were living 4 1/2 miles apart when we met through the internet. So equally credit the airplane and the World Wide Web for our being together.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)