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“The idea that persistence pays off makes sense to me, as the online-dating world has a wider choice set of potential mates to choose from,” he told me in an email.“The greater choice set pays dividends to people who are willing to be persistent in trying to find a mate.”Of the study as a whole, he said: “I think its conclusions are robust and its methodologies are sound.”Yet what also emerges from the data is a far more depressing idea of “leagues” than many joking friends would suppose.Most people seem to know their position on the hierarchy because they most contact people who rank the same.“The most common behavior for both men and women is to contact members of the opposite sex who on average have roughly the same ranking as themselves,” Bruch and her colleagues write.The longest messages in the study were sent by Seattle men, the study says,“and only Seattle men experience a payoff to writing longer messages.” - Women’s prospects dim not only as they age, but as they achieve the highest level of education.A more educated man is almost always more desirable, on average: Men with postgraduate degrees outperform men with bachelor’s degrees; men with bachelor’s degrees beat high-school graduates.“But for women, an undergraduate degree is most desirable,” the study says.It’s not just that older men are considered most desirable in New York.“New York is a special case for men,” Bruch told me.
Across all four cities, men and women generally tended to send longer messages to people who were more desirable than them. But the only place it paid off—and the only people for whom it worked with statistically significant success—were men in Seattle.
“Postgraduate education is associated with decreased desirability among women.”positive language when messaging more desirable women.
They may have stumbled upon this strategy through trial and error because “in all four cities, men experience slightly lower reply rates when they write more positively worded messages.”desirable than they are.
“There’s so much folk wisdom about dating and courtship, and very little scientific evidence,” she told me recently.
“My research comes out of realizing that with these large-scale data sets, we can shed light on a lot of these old dating aphorisms.” Bruch and her colleagues analyzed thousands of messages exchanged on a “popular, free online-dating service” between more than 186,000 straight men and women.