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A study in 2008 by Lenton and Barbara Fasolo of the London School of Economics and Political Science indicates that participants often misjudge how the number of options available to them will affect their feelings.
Participants presented with a broad array of potential partners more closely aligned with their anticipated ideal did not experience greater emotional satisfaction than when presented with fewer options.
They make split-second decisions on matters of the heart, creating a pool of information on one of the more ineffable yet vital questions of our time—how we select our mates.
The concept of rapid-fire dating has gained tremendous popularity, spreading to cities all over the world.
As you might imagine, I did not find the love of my life.
I made some beginner’s mistakes; however, I am not alone in having struggled with speed dating.
In essence, heuristics are ingrained rules of thumb that allow us to save effort by ignoring some of the information available to us when we evaluate our options.
In spite of maxims about so many fish in the sea, for example, recent research tells us that the heart prefers a smaller pond.
Additionally, in speed-dating events where the characteristics of the daters varied much more, most participants did not follow up with any of their matches.
Results observed in the world of online dating support this finding.
Start-up companies now meet with investors, pregnant couples interact with doulas, and homeless dogs court potential owners, all using the speed-dating format.
Some years ago I caved to my curiosity and tried it out myself. When the little buzzer went off after three minutes, I often found myself still trying to explain to my bedazzled dating partner why my last name has four syllables (it is Dutch).