The Diminishing Marginal Utility of Serial Dating
The Law Of Diminishing Marginal Utility states that as consumption increases, the happiness (or utility) derived from each additional unit of consumption declines.
To illustrate, let’s think about hamburgers. The Law states that the total happiness you derive from the first hamburger is necessarily less than the total happiness you derive from the second, third and so on. The marginal utility, that is, the change in the amount of happiness between the first and the second decreases with each additional burger.
There’s nothing like the first bite into your medium-rare wagyu beef burger, but by the tenth you don’t even taste what you’re eating. You miss the special sauce, just looking at the pickle makes you angry and you definitely have no desire to stomach an 11th - no matter how magical it promises to be.
Now, let’s talk about serial dating.
Serial dating is loosely defined as going on too many dates. While that number differs for everybody, the symptoms are the same: zero romantic anticipation, needing to check their profile several times because you forget who they are or what you talked about, scheduling dates near each other so that you can make two in one evening.. the list gets wackier and wackier.
And like the overfull Hamburglar, you go through the motions of dating, feel sick and miss out on the person in front of you.
So what should you do? Stop dating and become a vegetarian? How do you bring the fun back into the experience?
The answer is time.
If the time between your last pile of hamburgers and the next (single) one is sufficiently long, the joy derived from its consumption can return to (or exceed) previous levels. By not ordering a second, third and fourth you can fully enjoy both the experience and the memory of the single one.
The same holds true for dating. Instead of diving headfirst and going on a slew of dates, take a step back.
First, be grounded in what you’re looking for - beyond hotness, age and height. Think about values, interests and personality.
Second, make sure your date also wants the same type of relationship. A simple “seeking LTR” or “looking for something casual” in your profile can make a world of difference in the quality of your matches.
Finally, don’t schedule a bunch of dates in front of the one you’re really excited about. Instead, give yourself a chance to look forward to the one date; reignite the lost art of anticipation.
By limiting yourself to quality, you may have fewer dates but the ones you have will bring you greater happiness.
A lot of times, we see dating as a means to an end. However, to be blunt, that isn’t how life works. The journey, your dating journey, should also bring you joy and fulfillment along the way. Keep that Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility at bay and bring the fun back into finding your match.
After all, there’s nothing like a good first date to bring you back.
We love helping serial daters date more efficiently and to continue to enjoy hamburgers (or vegeburgers).
To learn more, get in touch!