You’re chatting with a gorgeous guy on Tinder.
Not only is he super-hot, but he’s let you know in no uncertain terms how attractive he finds you.
Without intending it, your conversation has gotten a bit dirty.
Sexual innuendos, double entendres, and suggestions that would normally have you blushing to the tips of your ears.
Then he sends you this message:
“I’m located fairly close to you. Think you’d want to come over and have some fun? ;-)”
Here’s my question to you:
What factors would influence your reply?
How attractive he is? How long you’ve known him? Your moral code? Whether a hookup would affect your chances of having a relationship with him?
It turns out that there’s another factor involved.
A factor that NO ONE except for a handful of researchers at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Observation and Research in Sexuality and Gender Matters Lab considered. (That was a mouthful).
How Technology is Changing Dating
Online dating apps are changing the way we date.
Not simply because there are now so many options out there, but because of the technology itself.
The way apps are designed prioritizes certain features over others. For most apps, the three features that matter most are appearance, age, and geographic location. If you’re bad at taking selfies, honest about your age, and live in an out-of-the-way area, you can find your pickings quite slim indeed.
Which is a problem, because those three attributes say nothing about your quality as a mate.
Most people are more attractive in person than they are in a photo. Many of you can pass as much younger than your biological age. And most of you would be willing to hop in a car and drive a longer distance if it meant striking up a relationship with someone promising.
There’s another surprising way in which technology could be shooting you in the foot:
By destroying the sense of urgency.
The Urgency Principle
Researchers presented a version of the scenario you read a moment ago to a group of men.
Unbeknownst to them, the researchers tweaked one thing…
Some of the men contemplated their potential lover’s proposition from a phone with 100% battery.
Others got propositioned on a phone with 20% battery left.
And still others had to decide whether they wanted to accept the offer of a hookup on just 5% battery.
The researchers found that the lower the battery life, the more likely these men were to say yes to a hookup.
In marketing, this is known as the urgency principle.
If you make people an offer and give them a short time window in which to accept it (or the offer will disappear for good), they’re more likely to accept the offer.
The urgency principle applies to dating, too.
Imagine you’ve been flirting with a guy at work. One morning, you find out he’s going to be transferred to another office in 4 weeks’ time. Do you make your move now, or do nothing and let the chance slip away forever?
Urgency is a time-tested way of forcing people to make a decision.
Too Many Options
It’s only human to enjoy having options.
If we don’t have to commit to something, we won’t. We’ll mull over our choices. We’ll enjoy the delicious sense of infinite possibilities.
Which explains why so many folks act flaky on online dating apps. They prefer scrolling through their options rather than committing to the time and effort it takes to build a relationship.
The urgency principle can help.
If a man knows that he’s got a limited window in which to make his move, he’s more likely to make it.
Here are some ways you can put the urgency principle to use in your own life.
#1. Limit your availability.
If you’re going to use an online dating app, set a time limit. Do it for a month or two. Add a note to your profile saying that you’re only going to be on the app for a short time. Put serious time and energy into it. Then, when the time is up, deactivate your profile and take a break.
That way, if a man is on the fence about contacting you, he knows he’s only got a limited amount of time to do so.
#2. Don’t be exclusive until he is.
Unless a man has asked you to be exclusive, you should continue to meet new people. Knowing he doesn’t have an exclusive claim on your time gives him a greater sense of urgency. If he doesn’t make his mind up about you soon, you might meet someone else.
#3. If it’s not going anywhere, end it.
If you’ve been casually seeing a guy for a month or two and nothing is happening despite your best efforts, let him know that it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Because your goal is to find someone for lasting love, you’re going to move on.
It’s your job to make the best use of your time and energy. The urgency principle helps you do that.
It weeds out the guys who are wasting your time. As you know, a man who thinks he can keep seeing you indefinitely without making any commitment will do exactly that!
Always on your side,