Dating Demographics

I’ve spent a few years treading water in online dating, swimming through speed dating events, and holding my breath at the local “meet markets.”  When I really felt lonely, I could line up  five or six dates a week. But the more dates I went on, the more frustrated I became with the type of women I was meeting. I just didn’t click with any of them.

Some were hot, but uninteresting –  most of them watched  too much TV. Others were interesting, but I found them physically unattractive. Studies show that when we seek a lover, we tend to seek someone very similar to ourselves. 1

 Once I found this out, I began to ask myself a very serious question: “Would I date myself?”

 Initially,  that answer was a resounding no. And that bothered me. So I spent a lot of time pushing myself outside my comfort zones to become someone I would date. Practically a year later, I was pretty damn pleased with who I was. In fact, I kept thinking I wish I could clone a  lady version of myself. As narcissistic as this sounds, I was actually seeking someone who had similar interest and passions, rather than an actual clone.

 A few years ago, prior to my real self-improvement path, I quickly read through “Models,” Mark Manson’s book. 2  He discusses a thing called demographics,  or how our interests, beliefs and behaviors limit our dating market. I read that chapter twice. I loved the concept, and started doing additional research. Both the matching hypothesis (the reason that we choose mates) and the assortment effect  which illustrates that “Likes Attract Likes.”

 Or, as I  refer to it, You Attract What You Are.

 Countless studies show that we tend to seek individuals that match our values, beliefs, physical attractiveness, socio-economic status, and life goals. Sometimes we actually seek individuals who are better suited to help us achieve our professional or personal goals. Maybe that’s marrying a politician to boost one’s social status, dating someone more attractive, or finding a woman with more money. A woman may date a less attractive man if he is wealthy and of a higher status. Some people are willing to compensate certain qualities of their partners in the pursuit of  what’s important to them.

 All social interactions are contextual, and so is meeting women. How you are going to interact with her is going to depend on whether you’re in a coffee shop on the weekend, at a business convention, at a house party, or walking your dog. The context in which you live and interact with others shapes what you find attractive.

There is a range of attractiveness that you deem worthy of dating on a long-term basis, and in a good way, those demographics limit the types of women you surround yourself with. If you’re a software engineer who  doesn’t enjoy  live music and spends his free time coding algorithms, then you’re going to have a hard time attracting and maintaining a relationship with a woman that enjoys expressing her body through dancing and attends  concerts.

If this software engineer found himself at the local meet market, he might attract  some women who like to dance with pick-up lines, physical appearance or checklist behavior.But eventually the friction of his interest being different then hers will lead him to become less attracted to her, and  vice-versa. If there’s too much friction, the level of attraction between the two parties will sink. If there’s no attraction, there’s no motivation to continue the relationship.

 So I began to wonder: what exactly causes friction? And how do our interests, values, and culture impact our dating economy?

 To make this easier, I am going to break this down into a series of posts.

 

  1. This is Assortative mating – which is a fancy way of saying we seek partners with similar genetics, values, and character traits more so than people who are not similar.
  2. Book: Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson. Mark is one of my favorite writers. Check out his blog too.

Kyle Benson

Kyle is a healthy relationship coach fascinated with the science of love & relationships. He loves helping couples revitalize relationships in the bedroom and out. Salsa dancer. Traveler. Power lifter. Learn more here.
Dating Demographics
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