Can’t Find “The One”? Blame Easy Dating Apps

Can’t Find “The One”? Blame Easy Dating Apps

(Link): Can’t Find “The One”? Blame Easy Dating Apps

Dating apps have made it easier than ever to find a partner. Paradoxically, the ease of finding matches means some remain perpetually single.

January 8, 2022
by Scotty Hendricks

Dating can be drudgery. The trouble of finding someone to date, going to a restaurant for a quasi-job interview, having to scrutinize everything they say for red flags like you’re trying to root out a communist agent, and then having to decide if the whole experience was enjoyable enough to do it again might make a person want to stay single forever.

Dating apps were supposed to make this easier by simplifying the first part: finding the potential mate.

With the swipe of a finger, you can search through eligible bachelors and bachelorettes all over the globe.

However, a forthcoming study in the American Economic Journal: Microeconomics suggests that the ease of using dating apps can, and does, cause some people to think that “the one” is merely one more swipe away — so they never actually go on a date.

Dating: easier than ever, but not simpler
Despite the ease of using dating apps, many people who use them never actually meet up with anybody they match with. One survey suggests this may be as many as one-third of users.

[Based on a recent study, it was found that]
But things break down when the model assumes that not everyone using dating apps is fully rational. (Imagine that!) Under this scenario, even something as simple as making people less than perfect at predicting other people’s behavior can cause the market to fail.

While those with the most pizzazz (who can match with nearly anyone) and the least pizzazz (who will accept just about anyone who accepts them) still behave close to fully rationally, those in the middle begin to behave over-optimistically.

In other words, they reject partners that a rational agent would accept, believing that someone better is just around the corner.

When people do not behave rationally, the model shows that some people are stuck looking for a partner for a very long time. In certain models, some agents with middling pizzazz never accepted or never were accepted by anyone and remained single in perpetuity.

The situation worsens as the variable for “search friction” (that is, how difficult it is to find another date) is decreased.

As the risk of not finding a match falls, people are more willing to reject the matches they have in favor of holding out for the next, possibly better one.

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Dating can be drudgery. The trouble of finding someone to date, going to a restaurant for a quasi-job interview, having to scrutinize everything they say for red flags like you’re trying to root out a communist agent, and then having to decide if the whole experience was enjoyable enough to do it again might make a person want to stay single forever.

Dating apps were supposed to make this easier by simplifying the first part: finding the potential mate. With the swipe of a finger, you can search through eligible bachelors and bachelorettes all over the globe.

However, a forthcoming study in the American Economic Journal: Microeconomics suggests that the ease of using dating apps can, and does, cause some people to think that “the one” is merely one more swipe away — so they never actually go on a date.

Dating: easier than ever, but not simpler
Despite the ease of using dating apps, many people who use them never actually meet up with anybody they match with. One survey suggests this may be as many as one-third of users.

In an attempt to explain why this happens, two Israeli professors, Yair Antler and Benjamin Bachi, ran new tests on existing models of matching behavior that removed an all-too-common assumption in economics: that people are always rational.

The simple version of the model assumes that a group of agents exist in a market looking for matches. Each is given a certain number deemed “pizzazz.”

This is the overall desirability of a person; some have it in spades and others, not so much.

…But things break down when the model assumes that not everyone using dating apps is fully rational. (Imagine that!) Under this scenario, even something as simple as making people less than perfect at predicting other people’s behavior can cause the market to fail.

While those with the most pizzazz (who can match with nearly anyone) and the least pizzazz (who will accept just about anyone who accepts them) still behave close to fully rationally, those in the middle begin to behave over-optimistically. In other words, they reject partners that a rational agent would accept, believing that someone better is just around the corner.

When people do not behave rationally, the model shows that some people are stuck looking for a partner for a very long time.

In certain models, some agents with middling pizzazz never accepted or never were accepted by anyone and remained single in perpetuity. The situation worsens as the variable for “search friction” (that is, how difficult it is to find another date) is decreased.

As the risk of not finding a match falls, people are more willing to reject the matches they have in favor of holding out for the next, possibly better one.

The authors write:

“Our agents falsely believe that ‘top’ agents are achievable. When the technology improves and allows potential partners to meet more frequently, their willingness to wait for a top agent increases and they become more selective. Eventually, agents become too selective and reject agents of their own caliber or lower. For similar reasons, they are rejected by agents of their own caliber or higher. As a result, they search indefinitely and never marry.”

Essentially, as dating apps make it easier to find a new match, people become ever more choosy and likelier to reject those they do match with.  …


Related:

(Link):  Stop Telling Your Single Friends to Try Dating Sites and Dating Apps – Please

(Link): Men with ‘Golden Penis Syndrome’ Are Ruining Sex and Dating for Women

(Link):  ‘I Hate Dating Apps So Much!’ By Heather Havrilesky

(Link): Serial Killer Who Lured Victims on Dating Apps for Sex Is Caught Through Sting Operation, Sentenced to 160 Years

(Link): 25 Women Reveal Their Biggest Dating Profile Dealbreakers

(Link): People Using Tinder and Other Dating Apps Are ‘More Likely to Develop Eating Disorders, Take Laxatives or Use Steroids’ To Get Bodies Like ‘Unrealistic’ Celebrities

(Link):   Dude Writes to Miss Manners Advice Columnist: “Miss Manners: No one Ever Replies to Me on Dating Sites”

(Link):  FTC Warns of Increase in Romance Scams, Especially Targeting Older Adults 

(Link):  Loneliness: Coping With the Gap Where Friends Used to Be by Olivia Laing

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