people who use online dating websites seek partners who are out of their
league, said a study Wednesday based on heterosexuals in four big US
men and women pursued partners about 25 percent more 'desirable' than
themselves," said the report in the journal Science Advances.
anyone reached out to people who ranked significantly lower than
desirability was determined using a ranking algorithm based on how many
messages they received from other popular users on a dating site in New
York, Seattle, Boston and Chicago.
you are contacted by people who are themselves desirable, then you are
presumably more desirable yourself," said the study.
this PageRank algorithm, which is employed by web search engines,
researchers could establish a person's "league," which they
scientifically coined "hierarchies of desirability."
some at the pinnacle of the dating game, the flurry of messages from
would-be suitors was dizzying.
most popular individual in our four cities, a 30-year-old woman living
in New York, received 1,504 messages during the period of observation,
equivalent to one message every 30 min, day and night, for the entire
month," said the study.
researchers did not reveal the end to this lady's love story, they did
find that the majority of daters on the site tended to reach out to
people who were ranked higher than themselves.
also tended to send lengthier messages to people deemed higher on the
most cases, these long-shots fell short.
there is a big gap in desirability between online daters, "there is a
pronounced drop in the probability of reply," said the report.
only in Seattle were there signs that long letters were more successful
than short messages at getting a potential mate to respond.
have probably been pining for unattainable love interests since the dawn
taking a scientific look at the phenomenon gives cause for hope,
according to lead author Elizabeth Bruch, a sociologist at the
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
think a common complaint when people use online dating websites is they
feel like they never get any replies," she said.
can be dispiriting. But even though the response rate is low, our
analysis shows that 21 percent of people who engage in this aspirational
behavior do get replies from a mate who is out of their league, so
perseverance pays off."