Would you ever date an economist?
A quick google search would be sufficient to throw out an array of jokes that would for sure tickle your funny bone.
If you indeed are in a dilemma, whether you should pursue an economist, be prepared that an economist is highly unlikely to resist applying professionally learned principles there, too. They just are always on the job.
After all, they do not call it a “meet market” for nothing. The dating world is, in fact, its own market with complex economic judgments taking place all the time. Surprisingly though, many of the economic principles might look home in the dating world. I could not stop but wonder how an economist might behave during a date.
The playing hard game
Most certainly, they will“play hard to get”. One of the most basic rules of economics is “Restrict your supply” because an economist understands that the lesser the supply, the higher the demand. However, the caveat is that demand is elastic i.e. it must be worthwhile to wait for the supply, to be appreciated. They are likely to balance their availability— both emotionally and physically, to differentiate themselves from the others, thereby gain control over their value.
“It’s natural to yearn for the feeling, that we have earned exclusive access to our lover’s affections.
How to establish monopoly in the dating world?
Once you gain confidence, the market changes from homogeneous to one-handful competitors. It is equally important to establish a monopoly.
But playing it cool can also be a turn-off— because they won’t know that you are worth the extra cost until you’ve differentiated yourself from others.
To establish a monopoly, it is necessary for the buyers to know that the commodity is worth investing in. However, how does one prove their worth to another human? 🤔
You discount some immediate benefits like profits, revenue, or volume to avail future payoffs. There are hardly a few other than economists who understands this better. Drawing parallels, to appear promising for a commitment, and economists might choose not to date frequently initially. Of course, they might be excited about the new relationship, but they decide to be less available. If it works out, they might manage to woo you for life. 😛
~ Thomas Hobbes, the 17th-century political philosopher, posited that we essentially believe we are only as valuable as how others perceive us.
Adapting to varying demand
We are prey to the opinions and demands of the market. As the demand for products keeps varying, the demand for a specific typecast of people keeps fluctuating depending on the trend at that particular time. Today, for example, girls prefer men to be tall, muscular, and well-built and so are in high demand. However, a few centuries back, girls preferred men to be short & stout, as stout meant wealthy. Economists fully understand this and choose the right partner based on what the partner’s preference is. This simply ensures natural compatibility thereby ensuring a relatively close-knit relationship.
When things do start getting serious, it is natural that economists will consider what his/her partner brings on to the table besides love. Having in mind the key factor in a relationship is ‘Security’, and security in a relationship is all about support. You must be able to lean on each other during distress and pain. As much as a person can shower you with love, they realize that it is important for them to understand you when you have had a long day at work or going through something emotional. A sign of security is sustainable longevity, vulnerability, and trust. Rest assured, this might possibly be one of the most primitive expectations of an economist in their relationship.
‘Better sorry than regret’
Take the fund manager approach for example.
“With each risk coming by, hedge aggressively with some and conservative with others. If you get burnt on the risky trades, you’ll still have your safe-harbors keeping you afloat”
Once you hit the jackpot, before pursuing it for life, it is always safe to evaluate the relationship. Let me break it down further – do not dwell on the great times you’ve possibly had with someone when deciding on the future of a relationship. One needs to think about how many good times are there potentially to look forward to. Will it be more than what one gets by pursuing another direction instead?
In a crude way, this might be how an economist reviews a relationship. They know that sunk costs are to be excluded from future decisions because the cost will remain the same regardless of the outcome.
Sacrificing liquidity, one gets a better return on investment. After committing, economists might be glad to give up some of their freedoms (liquidity) to maintain harmony and sturdiness in their relationship (Return on Investment).
The husband might not mind missing a camping trip with his friends knowing that it will make the wife happy. Conversely, the wife might not mind being fine with her husband’s camping trip, as she knows he will come back replenished and focus more on the family. Such minor trade-offs ensure that both husband and wife feel appreciated for who they are as people. And economists might be ready to do this.
Fortunately or unfortunately, if you were not able to pursue someone you felt attractive looking, you might actually be better off. If you invest in an underlying asset: sacrifice superficial looks for quality of underlying personality. As cliché as it gets, looks depreciate over time and tend to be overvalued in the short-run. Warmth and kindness, on the other hand, are just the opposite. If you come across an economist who stays true to his profession, he/she might live by this cliché.
No offense guys, the purpose is not to state that dating is a one-time transaction or that humans are commodities. In real life, a consumer-to-good match in the market is not a metaphor for human-to-human matches. Nor is this an attempt to glorify economists. A profession does not automatically mean homogeneity. This was just an attempt to pull out some basic human behavior being similar to economic principles.
Ref: The Romantic Economist by William Nicolson. In this book, he sets out to apply the rules of economics to his shaky love life