Why Dating Sucks


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Continuing the discussion from Wonder what this will do to the divorce rate …:

    @Groaner said:

    @antiquarian said:
    The two most popular sites are free with extra fees for advanced features (AKA freemium).

    I've used a couple freemium sites and a couple paid sites, and ironically, the freemium sites tended to be better because they didn't put silly limitations on the number of matches you could view per day. I'm tempted to try serious big-bucks matchmaking, but the cynic in me thinks it may simply prove to be a more efficient means of extracting money.

    You'd have more success with it using it as a means of extracting money. Here's the problem. There's a set of traits (A) that make people attractive and a set of traits (R) that make people suitable for long-term relationships. The two sets are not equal, but they do overlap. Ideally, everyone would like a partner with traits from both sets, but in real life it doesn't always work out that way, and not just because people with traits from both sets are more likely to marry early and stay married.

    The first issue is that Set A is usually readily apparent by definition. Set R, on the other hand, isn't as easy to detect, and some people are very good about pretending to have traits from that set.

    The above assumes that people are even looking for Set R. In the past, say 50 years ago, there were strong social pressures for people to find suitable partners and marry early. Now, it's a common (if not conscious) strategy to select for Set A first and hope that Set R comes along for a ride. Sometimes it works, but more often the result is a series of failed relationships or the spreadsheet guy.

    tl;dr: That Princeton alum was right.



  • @antiquarian said:

    The two sets are not equal, but they do overlap. Ideally, everyone would like a partner with traits from both sets, but in real life it doesn't always work out that way, and not just because people with traits from both sets are more likely to marry early and stay married.

    So, tl;dr:


    Filed under: actually there should also be a threshold on both ends



  • This is one of the more interesting dating pop psychology theories I've read. I like that it's gender-neutral, as opposed to certain subtly misogynistic and overtly misogynistic works out there.

    @antiquarian said:

    The first issue is that Set A is usually readily apparent by definition. Set R, on the other hand, isn't as easy to detect, and some people are very good about pretending to have traits from that set.

    Undoubtedly, it requires far more effort to vet the R's, but there are some tricks I've seen. A couple of my friends have a rule that if they take a lady out to dinner, whether or not she offers to pay her own way is one of the big deciding factors about moving forward.

    @antiquarian said:

    50 years ago

    Lots of people I know like to give advice as if it still were those days, but you're right. These days, motives are much more hedonistic.

    @antiquarian said:

    spreadsheet guy

    I like this guy. He might not be getting any action anytime soon, but damn it, he's proved his point!

    @antiquarian said:

    That Princeton alum was right.

    While university is a great opportunity, I'd argue that most 18-23 year olds probably aren't the best judges of potential future life partners.



  • @Groaner said:

    While university is a great opportunity, I'd argue that most 18-23 year olds probably aren't the best judges of potential future life partners.

    Do they get better with age though?

    I think a lot of people have latched onto the myth of enduring love, like it's something that just keeps you going forever, instead of it being something that you have to work at to keep going. IOW, if you just keep on with your life after getting married and don't put positive mental effort into your relationship and your feelings for your partner, you're taking stuff for granted, and it's going to go down hill.

    This is colored by personal experience, and I suspect that previous marriages weren't overall better off, just social norms and legal stuff didn't make it as easy to split.

    But damn, so much of TV and movies and whatever makes me glad I got married when I was 22 and haven't had to worry about dating for a long time. My wife feels the same way, or so she tells me.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Do they get better with age though?

    Hard to say. I know a few people (myself included) who in general made some pretty dumb decisions at that age.

    @boomzilla said:

    But damn, so much of TV and movies and whatever makes me glad I got married when I was 22 and haven't had to worry about dating for a long time. My wife feels the same way, or so she tells me.

    While Hollywood is Hollywood, the real experience isn't exactly pleasant, either.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Groaner said:

    This is one of the more interesting dating pop psychology theories I've read. I like that it's gender-neutral, as opposed to certain subtly misogynistic and overtly misogynistic works out there.

    From what I've observed, both genders can be equally bad at choosing partners. So I'm just calling it like I see it.

    @Groaner said:

    While university is a great opportunity, I'd argue that most 18-23 year olds probably aren't the best judges of potential future life partners.

    They don't necessarily get any better as they get older.

    @Groaner said:

    Hard to say. I know a few people (myself included) who in general made some pretty dumb decisions at that age.

    I know a few people who have continued to make dumb decisions well into their 40s and 50s.


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