Mate Value and Slow Love

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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.

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Comments:

  1. 21
    Jan

    In regards to the comments – I dated the attractive Alpha Male and that didn’t turn out so well so I decided to go for a less attractive man that was very into me.   The challenge is their is no attraction and chemistry which makes the sex life difficult.   Although I’m with a   good friend who adores me and treats me better than any attractive Alpha that I previously dated and was married to who cheated,   their are still challenges that one will face in the relationship they are just different.   I guess it comes down to what you value more and etc.

    1. 21.1
      Sum Guy

      I always wonder about these terms Alpha Male, what characteristics that to you make you think he is that.     I’ve seen a lot of Alpha by Attitude, what we used to call arrogant a**holes growing up.   Rare is the Alpha by Ability.   And don’t conflate ability with money, a slick fast talker can take your money, that just makes him a good con man.

      Or is it just Alpha = assertive in bed?

      Yet if you are into the quasi-fictitious Alpha. Beta thing, there is more to types than that.   I’ve read about Omega (I think that’s even meeker than Beta) and Sigma.   Now the Sigma seems more what I think of as Alpha by Ability.

  2. 22
    Lisa

    Interesting conversation, it isn’t my experience that men age better than women, believe me,   I’ve gone out with dozens that do not, matter of fact the majority don’t.    Yes, men get Cellulite.   I’m aging far better than most men and women I’m around. I take care of myself.   Men in a certain social circle might just take care of themselves better?    Genetics has a role in this.

    The University of TN did a study and found that more attractive men are less satisfied in marriage.   So, those in demand men that have the looks and bank account, education that might be more handsome than the other men,   statistically won’t be as happy in a long term committed relationship.    I don’t date the top 5% like most women go after, that leaves me with the other 95% that get looked over.   Dates wasn’t ever a problem.   Yes, I dated 10’s with 6 figure income and education. Other studies have been done about attraction factors and found that men and women seek similar or above their attraction level.   The more attractive seek the more attractive.   I see the reason for that,   I’ve had experiences with it.    Looks though is not top on my list.   Intelligence, balanced, adventurous, communicative, compatible,   have

    Other studies have been done about attraction factors and found that men and women seek similar or above their attraction level.   The more attractive seek the more attractive.   I see the reason for that,   I’ve had experiences with it.    Looks though is not top on my list.   Intelligence, balanced, adventurous, communicative, compatible,   and have an attachment  style of secure or possibly slight anxious to secure.   I won’t get involved with a man that has avoidant attachment style no matter what he looks like,   how successful, or compatible we are.   Toxic for me…   There is so much in the psychology of dating and mating.   Much of it happens without our awareness.    The point for me is, when the right one comes along, it falls into place,  if one is paying attention,   and looks become secondary.    I don’t wear make-up ( just mascara ) all over my face, so when I go out you get what you see.    Very good points. Great conversation.

     

  3. 23
    Marika

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m not into this instant gratification culture. I’m online dating as, like EMK says, it’s the easiest and most efficient way to meet people in 2016, but I kinda wish there was a site called ‘Friends First’ or something, where you meet people with no expectations of if it turning into anything, no pressure to have sex immediately and just get to know them in an easy-going friendly way. My two long-term relationships prior to joining the single online dating world (one of which turned into a marriage) were with people I met socially who I would never have considered dating had I not first gotten to know them as friends/work mates. But what’s the solution? Online dating doesn’t really lend itself to the slow love phenomena. I’m only half way through Finding the One Online, though, so maybe I have a lot more to learn about how to make it work better!

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