Economics of dating relationships

The price of a Toshiba increases, you start thinking of buying a Dell.

This also implies indifference to goods that are very good (or perfect) substitutes for each other.

But, really, is a blue-eyed, brown-haired, barrel-chested man so different from a green-eyed, brown-haired, barrel-chested man who is so different from a blue-eyed, blonde-haired, medium-chested man? Coming to terms with just how unremarkable we are physically and superficially implies two things relevant to the economic analysis of dating and relationships. Though the idiom is cliché, the logic behind it makes economic sense, especially if you check your ego and realize that you are not anywhere so unique that there is no substitute for you. Two, if you or your potential partner is ultimately substitutable, then there is elasticity to consider in going after the potential partner you want. Though this will be elaborated upon more fully in a later post, it does not take ridiculous economic jargon to realize that you should be able to pick a category of things you want (say, computers) and make an ordered list of the products within that category according to which (computer) you prefer over another: I want (1) a Mac Book Pro over (2) a Toshiba Satellite over (3) a Dell Inspiron over (4) a freaking e-Machine.

Substitutability allows that while I really want a Mac Book Pro, if my budget only allows for the Toshiba, Dell, and stupid e-Machine, I can really go either way between a Toshiba and Dell while an abacus and typewriter substitute quite nicely for the stupid, stupid e-Machine.

So, in the case of substitute goods, for one, technically, it is not necessary to consider substitutes as existing in only one purchasing category.

Related to the example used here, a computer itself can be substituted by something completely different; say, a typewriter.

So, regarding dating and relationships, thinking of substitutability in terms of within a purchasing category disallows any superfluous consideration of saying a man is a substitute for a woman or a braying donkey is a substitute for either man or woman.

(Gross.) If you are wanting a man or a woman, his or her substitute will be another man or woman.

The point about substitutability involves thinking about price and value.

If I am attracted to you or you to me, it is only because of what we see, hear, and smell. But you cannot profess to personify me, nor I you, just yet. Your judgment is limited to (realistically) three of your five senses. (Alternatively stated, our “uniqueness” largely derives from our personalities, personal histories, etc.

Again, these are things that you literally initially cannot know about your other partner and vice-versa.) This should not be too controversial an assumption.

There will be other instances in this blog where the subject is explained further.

However, also understand that I do aim to restrict economic discussion to what would be relevant to a theory of dating and building relationships.

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