I find this thread very interesting, but like @Marduk
and @Emerging Buddhist
, I think the biggest portion of this is not numbers and statistics but rather knowing yourself.
After my divorce from exH, I took 4 1/2 years off to get over the divorce and get my head on straight. I learned how to distinguish abusive from assertive, how to maintain my own self-worth, and how to identify a healthy relationship. I also learned about myself and what IS and IS NOT a good fit for me. I learned my Myers-Briggs personality type. I learned my love languages. I went to support groups (after marriage and surviving an abusive partner). I journaled A LOT!!
With Dear Hubby, I knew that I needed a man of peace and calm. I knew I was an INFP and needed someone near enough to that personality that relating wouldn't be a constant struggle. I knew I tended to like red-heads. I knew I loved children and the lovely chaos they bring into a household. I knew I was spiritual and tended toward Christianity, but I wasn't close-minded to other paths. I knew I needed someone at least as intelligent as I am...and if he was more intelligent that was more of an attraction. I knew I loved the person in their mind and heart, and then I grew to love their exterior...and that gender didn't matter. I knew I wanted someone with values and morals which were similar to mine. I knew I wanted someone who was a geek. I knew I wanted a guy who was into something but not so into it that they'd ignore me. I knew I liked various kinds of coffee (I'm a coffee snob), reading, writing, hiking, dog shows, playing in the snow, movies, and science fiction. This is a LOT to know!!
When I knew all that...I began trying to date. My OLD attempts just did not work, because I am not a "meat market" kind of person. It's not how I operate! So I did things I always wanted to do, and met folks who enjoyed the same things I did. That method worked a lot better for me, because even if we didn't click romantically, I met some amazing people.
Having met and married Dear Hubby, I clearly still had a lot to learn, and due to his grace and loyalty, I did learn what commitment truly means, and what transparent honestly looks like in a relationship, and what long-term love is like (it's an action ... not a feeling). I learned that True Love is real and that you very literally can love someone more every day. So from Dear Hubby, I grew even more in my understanding of what I want and do not want, what I would prefer and not prefer.
When Dear Hubby died, I sincerely thought he had ruined me for all other men. After all, it's not like lightening strikes twice. Furthermore, we had the blessing of the kind of love most people hope for and never find. So I was ready, willing, and able to have been grateful for the time I had with him. The end. But then I met Beloved Hubby.
I knew of him from here on TAM. I knew he was one of the good ones, a decent person, but beyond that I didn't think of him at all. But once we started to talk just a little, I recognized him. My soul recognized his soul. I knew very quickly knew that he was a person of interest, and he checked all the must-haves and didn't have one of the can't-haves. Then over time I learned more about him and got to know him even better, he had most of my prefer-to-haves and didn't have my prefer-not-to-haves. The one and only thing that is a little different about EB than my previous relationships is that he's only 5'8" tall (my others were very big, barrel-chested, mountain man types), and what I've found by being open to that difference is that we fit together SOOOOOOO much better, it's humorous! I now think maybe I should have liked the broad-shouldered smaller guys all along! [NOTE TO SELF: I myself am only 4'10" and built strongly--I don't blow over in the wind.]
In conclusion, I think that finding another love has so much more to do with YOU than it does with "them." I knew my own self and knew what would compliment me. I knew I would be 100% happy all by myself. I knew I had the ability to love, and love well. I enjoying loving and sharing life, but that is all stuff about myself that I developed and worked at: how to be vulnerably honest, how to respectfully disagree, how to catch my own anger and stop before I am hurtful, how to recognize rightful authority, how to serve in a relationship (not expect to be served), how understand differences are okay, how to control myself and not them... All these things are about ME being a kind, compassionate, loving person, not "them" being "the One" or "a perfect match." EB is not perfect nor am I, but we are growing and choosing to grow together.