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The Internet Technology

The Problem With Internet Dating's Frictionless Market 453

Hugh Pickens writes "Peter Ludlow writes in the Atlantic that the internet has turned the dating marketplace into a frictionless market that puts together buyer and seller without transaction costs. And that's a bad thing. 'Finding a partner used to be expensive, and the market was inefficient. If you lived in a large city, there were always people looking for partners, but the problem was how to find them.' But one advantage of inefficient dating markets is that in times of scarcity we sometimes take chances on things we wouldn't otherwise try while in times of plenty, we take the path of least resistance (someone who appears compatible) and we forgo difficult and prima facie implausible pairings. Another problem with frictionless online markets (PDF) is that assume we know what we are looking for. But sometimes we simply don't know what we are looking for until we stumble across it in a search for something else, says Ludlow. 'The result is often unexpected and beautiful. So it is with relationships; compatibility is a terrible idea in selecting a partner,' concludes Ludlow. 'We often make our greatest discoveries and acquire our greatest treasures when local scarcity compels us to be open to new and better things.'"
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The Problem With Internet Dating's Frictionless Market

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:29PM (#42526221)
    sigh, yeah, I miss all the pussy I got on AOL.
  • Re:Settle? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:38PM (#42526311)
    Not quite. The author suggested that finding a masterpiece is difficult when we are distracted by a sea of merely pleasant art pieces. Sure, you'll find someone compatible when it's easy to match constraints, but you will not have the opportunity to discover someone different than what you were superficially looking for.
  • by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:49PM (#42526449) Journal

    Dating sites come with a bunch of filters. Find me a well education intelligent white catholic girl (hey, I'm atheist but catholic girls' schools seem to produce my sort of woman) who's a good cook, likes to dance, can put up with 4 hours of computer gaming on non-dance nights and has a slim or athletic build.

    Or skip the dating site and find yourself with an interesting person that has few of those attributes but is great to spend time with. Bonus if it's a girl and she fancies you.

    That said, I'm still reluctant to ask out the intelligent female dancer that's about my age and fancies me, purely because we have the same dress size. Sadly I appear to be sufficiently superficial to want someone slimmer than I am.

  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @09:00PM (#42526559)
    POF and OK Cupid are about the only two actually free widely-available services I've run across. What did you use? The Freemium ones are bad, xdating even has in their TOS that they'll fabricate profiles and communications "for entertainment value" and any female you'd be interested in is a fraud.
  • by broohaha ( 5295 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @09:11PM (#42526673) Homepage

    Exactly what this guy says [], as well. From the article:

    I don’t know if the editors of The Atlantic have found a goldmine of reader interest in the topic or if they are just irritated by their kids being online all the time, but once again we read in their pages that the Internet is destroying the good life. In 2008 Google was making us stupid; last year Facebook was making us lonely (it isn’t); and now online dating is “threatening monogamy.”

  • Re:One question (Score:4, Informative)

    by radtea ( 464814 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:17PM (#42527241)

    If divorce rates are increasing (which I suspect they are),

    There's this amazing thing called a "search engine" that you can type "queries" into. If you'd spent two minutes doing that you'd have found that what you "suspect" is wrong. Divorce rates have been flat for decades, and may even be decreasing a bit (can be tricky to tell because divorce rates drop in poor economies.)

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:02PM (#42527537)

    Well for evidence an article from a reputable newspaper would do (my very brief search didn't find anything). Besides, you're now arguing that the marriage is failing, not as part of a deliberate scheme, but because the woman has no commitment, which is a much weaker claim.

    As for "the woman doesn't re-marry (which would end the child support)", and 'cuddling under the table' comment from your first post, this appears to be false []. The woman's relationship status does not affect child support. You could be talking about alimony, but that's something completely different (and probably harder to get after a short term marriage).

    In short your comment is factually inaccurate and has a chauvinist tone, it should be pummelled.

  • Re:One question (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheSeatOfMyPants ( 2645007 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @03:06AM (#42529025) Journal

    What women want is as varied as what men want, and the vast majority of us born after 1965 have no interest in a guy's money. Just like men, what hat we look for financially speaking varies all over the place depending on our own abilities & future plans. We're not in an era where women plan to stay home for the rest of their lives tending kids anymore, you know...

    There are no "types" of feminism that are about "trashing men" -- and secure, non-sexist modern guys have no problem dating feminists. There's certainly countless guys & feminist women like that in my area, and contrary to whatever weird stereotypes you're going on, most feminist women get particularly attractive & successful guys. Funny thing, all of the anti-feminist, sexist guys I've known were also the "desperate" sorts that considered themselves the "nice guy" because they were passive-aggressive but not overtly abusive, and victimized because women supposedly "all" women want handsome rich buff dudes.

    As far as divorce, that's statistically much harder on whichever spouse makes far less money, which is almost always the woman. It's extremely rare for someone to pay more in alimony than they keep for themselves, and child support rarely covers the actual expenses of raising the child -- that's assuming that alimony/child support are paid, of course, when in a significant percentage of cases they aren't. The one thing that is far worse for women when it comes to divorce is that they're far more likely than guys are to be attacked or killed by their soon-to-be-ex as a result. (Happened a year or so to a woman in my town, in fact; an elementary school teacher was shot to death by her husband while walking back to her car after seeing the lawyer.)

    To be blunt, the people with an ax to grind are the ones that speak up, and tend to hang out with others that share their views -- folks without a grudge feel no need to mention it. The resentful crowd interprets everyone else's silence as meaning they have no experience, rather than that the person had a positive or neutral one. My father, ex-stepfather, Dad's GF's ex-husband, my paternal & maternal grandfathers, and my maternal uncle don't have a horror story about their divorces, which is how I know that it leads to them seeing no reason to bring the divorce up or hang with guys likely to rant on the topic.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?