Optimizing for optimizers Dating sites have a clear favorite in the battle of "only the best will do" vs "letting good enough be good enough." Whether it's how sexy someone is or how much money they make, lots of people climb on the treadmill of always wanting someone better so they can then run after someone who's better than better.
And the sites are designed for this; they are designed for those called maximizers or optimizers by behavioral economists rather than the satisficers.
And please note, the confidentiality of all clinical communications have been strictly protected in the illustrations discussed.] ------------------------ Online dating sites are not really dating sites, they are meeting sites.
They provide an online destination for a technologically-mediated simulation of something people have always done: meet and flirt.
They're set up to keep you coming back for more no matter how much you may already have.
You post some attractive pictures—who cares they're a few years old by now—, answer a few survey questions, signal likes and dislikes, and craft a profile that reveals something of who you are, as well as something of who you want others to think you are.
Next thing you know you connect or are matched with someone whose online info elicits a little spark; it gives you a little dopamine squirt.
They'd be like a restaurant efficiently serving such nutritious meals that once having eaten there you would never have to eat anywhere ever again.
Instead, these sites are really good at harnessing (exploiting?
Here's one short clinical story: His route to NYC started as the only child of a moderately depressed single-mother in a small college town followed by a good education at his home town school and then a high-value graduate degree.