Mate Value and Slow Love
For the uninitiated, “mate value” (also known as “sexual market value“) means, essentially, how many options you have in the relationship marketplace.
A man who is 6 feet tall, has a Masters degree, and makes six figures will have high mate value.
A man who is 5 feet tall, has a high school education, and makes 25k/year will have low mate value.
This does not remotely mean that the high mate value guy is a better man or a better husband; all it means is that he’s going to have far more dating options.
In general, people marry partners with similar mate values. In other words, you won’t see too many thin, rich, young debutantes marrying 55-year-old paunchy plumbers.
You won’t see too many thin, rich, young debutantes marrying 55-year-old paunchy plumbers.
Per a recent New York Times article by John Tierney, “It seems logical for people with high mate value to insist on comparable partners, and there’s some evidence that they do. By observing singles pursuing one another at online dating sites and in speed-dating experiments, researchers have found that people tend to end up with those of similar mate value.
That pattern also occurs in married couples: Attractive, well-educated, high-earning people tend to marry people like themselves. In fact, economists say that this growing trend of “assortative mating” is a major cause of income inequality, because a household with two high earners makes so much more money than a household with two low earners (or only one earner).”
So, is this like a modern caste system, where we are resigned to stay within our stations? Not exactly.
In a study of couples that was published online this month in Psychological Science, researchers interviewed all sorts of couples – people who’d been married for 50 years and those who just started dating. “After being videotaped talking about their relationships, all were rated for physical attractiveness by a group of judges who viewed each partner separately. When the ratings for partners were compared, there was a clear pattern based on how long the people had known one another before they had begun dating.”
Are you ready for this?
“If they’d begun going out within a month of meeting, then they tended to be equally attractive physically. But if they’d been acquaintances for a long time, or if they’d been friends before becoming lovers, then someone hot was more liable to end up with someone not so hot.”
Get a job working with those same people you pass up on Tinder and you may just discover the love of your life – all because you took the time to get to know him.
This supplies credence to what we already observe in real-life. Sure, in online dating, you’re going to make snap judgments based on superficial attractiveness.
But get a job working with those same people you pass up on Tinder and you may just discover the love of your life – all because you took the time to get to know him.
Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.