If you think escaping the love quest loop is a numbers game, think again
Imagine yourself as a matchmaker with female clients, denoted by the set [A, B, C, D], and male clients, denoted by the set [a, b, c, d]. You are tasked to arrange 4 stable es of the maidens listed in order of preference, and each woman similarly ranks the men. A marriage ( M ) is deemed stable when there are no dissatisfied pairs. For the couples a-D and b-C, if man D prefers woman b (the wife of another man) AND woman b also favors man D to C, both marriages will soon collapse. A duo is only unstable if both D and b choose to forgo their current mates for each other. If man D admires woman b, but she does not reciprocate, no dissatisfied pair is created – unrequited extramarital affection will still result in stable sets .
In the pair a-A, man a is delighted because woman A is his optimal wife. However, woman A may still pursue better options, such as men d or c. If both d and c would be more satisfied with A than their existing partners, A will prioritize d. Yet if man d is uninterested but man c is happy to oblige, c-A will emerge as a new stable pair
Men will propose to their next most desired mate at each subsequent iteration. Ladies accepting bids have the opportunity to “up-change” for a better partner, making this a greedy algorithm for women. This female-serving feature is not a flaw in the program, but a factor that reflects reality: the proportion of male-to-female is on Tinder, and the Bumble app only permits women to message first (sorry, gentlemen) . Participants that are in less “demand” in the aggregate market (frequently positioned at the lower range of other suitors’ lists) will have to endure more reiterations before exiting the loop of possible rejection. As comedian Matt Moore sardonically puts it: “It’s a new way to get rejected – Mathematics!” .
Is online dating a numbers game?
Algorithms such as the Elo-score and Gale-Shapley theory have expedited matchmaking with a sizable pool of potential partners. If that is the case, will using brute force to pursue a large volume of accounts yield more matches? The virtual world is the domain for dating app users. Yet, the ultimate goal for Tinder and its ilk is to turn online matches into messages, followed by first dates and perhaps even marriages-to transform swipes into real relationships . Dating algorithms track phone chat room no registration norwegian number exchanges and planned rendezvous to identify users who genuinely want connections to materialize. To quash flippant swipers, the system even limits right swipes to 100 per day and begins to recycle profiles when the “like” button is abused .
Although online dating is stereotyped to be populated with superficial users, people with targeted pursuits are in fact the biggest beneficiaries. According to Stanford sociologist, Michael Rosenfeld, middle-aged and LGBTQ+ singles experience more hardships finding compatible counterparts offline. Rosenfeld’s data found middle-aged users to dominate online dating platforms and that 67% of gay relationships were initiated online (compared to 22% for heterosexual couples) . Online courtship, bounded only by the reaches of the Internet, has expanded the selection of prospective mates for people in the thinnest dating markets.
Strategies to optimize online dating algorithms
Dating, even if augmented with mathematical algorithms, is not a numbers game. As the Gale-Shapley theory demonstrates, the best options are elected upfront when we swipe left and right through the computer-generated list. This implies that the next choice will always be inferior to the one just presented. As a user’s list of potential partners dwindles with excessive swiping behavior, matchmakers like Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid will begin to recycle selections . Senior research fellow in biological anthropology at the Kinsey Institute and chief scientific adviser for Match Helen Fisher argues that cognitive overload from the ease of online wooing hampers the formation of actual relationships: “the brain is not well built to choose between hundreds or thousands of alternatives.” According to her findings, users should avoid building a cache of likes and limit swipes at the threshold of nine matches – the highest number of decisions the average human brain is equipped to process at one time .