How to Date a Vampire
Hunting for the vampire of your dreams can be a real pain in the neck. How do you find the right creature of the night? Don’t let your search for the love of your (un)life be in vein–Dr. Glen Whitman explores the economics of finding a partner and gives you the bloody truth about dating. Stake your claim. Find your soul(less) mate.
- Here’s a podcast on what vampires can teach us about economics: http://freakonomics.com/2014/10/30/what-can-vampires-teach-us-about-economics-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/
- Here’s a blog on the economics of dating: http://studentsforliberty.org/blog/2014/08/04/the-economics-of-sex-beyond-supply-and-demand/
- Here’s a piece on the supply and demand of dating: http://www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2006/04/the-economics-of-dating-part-ii-supply-and-demand/
How to Date a Vampire
Buffy and Angel. Sookie and Bill. Elena and Stefan. And, of course, Bella and Edward. And, uh—Jacob.
In a dating market this competitive, human women who want to date vampires need to think strategically. Lucky for you, I’m an economist, and I’m here to help.
Just a few key insights from economics can help you land the vampire mate of your dreams—or nightmares.
Let’s say you just met a vampire named Arnold. He’s reasonably good-looking, he’s nice, but a little on the broody side, even for a vampire. If you start dating him now, you could be taking yourself off the market way too soon. If you held out just a little while longer, maybe you’d find your Edward. Then again, if you turn Arnold down and keep looking, you could end up searching for years without meeting anyone better. You might end up wistfully wishing you’d snapped up Arnold when you had the chance! What’s a girl to do?
Economic theory says that your best mating strategy is to figure out your reservation level of romantic satisfaction. In other words, what is the lowest quality vampire dude, based on your preferences, that you should still date? Think of it as the “left-swipe factor.”
How high, or low, should your limit be? There are several key factors you should take into consideration.
First, how satisfied are you with being single? The happier you are alone, the longer you can hold out for a higher-quality vampire…so, raise your reservation level.
Second: How much time, money and energy does it take to continue hunting for a mate? Are there lots of vampires in your hometown, or only a few? Do they congregate at a fang-banger bar, or do you have to hang out in sketchy places like graveyards, sewers, dungeons, and, worst of all, high schools? The harder the search, the more you should drop your reservation level.
Third, and most importantly, how unusual are your preferences? There may be creatures of the night who rank low on other girls’ scales, but high on yours. Maybe you’re secretly aroused by accents from long-dead languages—or maybe you like that Civil War era grizzled look that most girls shun. Meanwhile, some vampires might dig on your spicy, A-positive blood, or your penchant for steampunk fashion. If you like an unusual trait, or possess one, your odds of finding an undead lover who hasn’t already been snapped up increase. That means you can raise your reservation level.
Instead of looking for “the one” this Halloween, focus on the set: the group of people who meet or exceed your reservation level of romantic satisfaction.
So get out there and stake your claim! Happy hunting, ladies.