New York-based hedge fund Tyro Partners has produced a detailed thesis on the intersection of technology and dating in the 21st century.
The Dating Market: Thesis Overview opens by arguing that most of the academic research into relationships makes use of models produced over 50 years ago, and that times have changed significantly.
Since 1990, the rise of online dating has seen many traditional ways of meeting decline in popularity. Stanford data shows almost 40% of new couples met online in 2017. This figure could be closer to 75% according to the Tyro authors, who say many of those claiming to have met in bars and clubs are likely “liars”.
The analysis then turns to how using apps to date impacts the “market” dynamics in heterosexual pairing, applying concepts similar to those found in sexual economics theory.
In 2019, there is less social stigma and physical danger associated with dating than has traditionally been the case.
Further, “The cost of instantly searching for potential mates is now effectively zero”, “the number of available potential mates is now effectively infinite” and “the social costs of rejecting a potential mate are now likewise effectively zero”.
These changes have led to new behaviours emerging, such as ghosting. One noteworthy claim was that not being on dating apps may make someone more desperate, as they have fewer partner options versus someone with infinite possibilities to date.
The analysis brings up historic OkCupid data which shows men judge the attractiveness of women in a normal distribution, while women tend to find most men unattractive.
There are also charts on the sex recession, divorce rates, partnership rates and smartphone penetration.
Find the report here.