Little online dating site
(The researchers were required not to identify the site as a condition of conducting the research.) Specifically, the study analyzes some 15 million two-way exchanges between heterosexual users on the site.
Bruch and Newman use these data points to assess the roles of age, gender, race, and proximity in heterosexual dating markets.
Race shapes dating and interaction patterns as well.
White men tended to message younger black women compared to the white women they interacted with.
Interestingly, the younger age cohorts had higher ratios of men to women, but those ratios tilted the other way as age increased (something I found in my own analysis of the demography of singles).
This is likely because women marry or find partners younger.
At a time when people can literally search the globe for love, more often than not they end up connecting to a boy or girl who is almost “next door.” City Lab editorial fellow Nicole Javorsky contributed research and editorial assistance to this article.
Across the four cities and all submarkets, more than 40 percent of online daters did try to connect with others outside their age group, though with far less likelihood of having their messages returned.
“Women’s first marriages are at a younger age on average than men’s, which takes more women than men out of younger dating markets,” the authors write.
For instance, there were two men for every woman in the youngest cohorts in Chicago and Seattle.
Although the internet was supposed to conquer the constraints of geography, proximity still matters in dating, as it does in clusters of talent and industry.
It shapes the landscape of our potential romantic relationships.
Her background in economics helps her use the numbers game in her favor.