Skip to main content

Game Theory and Dating

The dating world can get pretty confusing. Trying to read people, pick up on the cues and make the right decisions is usually not easy. An example of a tricky situation is the following. Imagine you are going on a date with a person you are into tonight at 8pm. You are excited and a little nervous, you are picking out your outfit when the person calls you and cancels on you. This is not a crazy situation, it happens quite often and let us say the person had a good excuse. You are definitely not happy because you have been blown off, but you are facing a dilemma. This person has shown a lot of interest before, so do you just pretend this never happened and move forward with the person, or do you refuse to try and make it work with them.


Even if you do not realize it you are playing a game. Your two strategies are to either be “nice” or be “nasty”. If you are nasty, you are justified because the person cancelled on you last minute, but if you like them, you might not have another chance with them. If you are nice, you just say that these things happen and that they are only human, but you don’t want this to be a door for them to always cancel on you and not take you into consideration. Not so surprisingly, being nice is the best, most effective long-term strategy for both players. The plan is to start by cooperating (being nice), until the other person defects, then you also defect. You are basically just copying what the other person did the last round. If they go back to being nice, you forgive them and do the same the next round. As much as we know love and dating cannot be fully represented in a simple two players, two strategies game, following this strategy will be very helpful in many situations.


Leave a Reply

Blogging Calendar

September 2018
« Aug   Oct »