Valentine’s Day may seal the deal, or end it, if you’re in the market for a mate
New partners should choose their Valentine’s Day plans wisely, says UBC economist Marina Adshade, author of the new book The Love Market.
How does the barter economy of sex and love work?
But the market for sex and love is a barter economy. When money can’t be used, we can only trade with someone who is selling what we want to buy – and buying what we have to sell. In markets for sex and love, because there is no currency, we are all buyers and we are all sellers. That’s why these markets are so horribly inefficient.
Any Valentine’s Day advice for singles in this competitive love and sex marketplace?
I have some advice for those in a new relationship. The weeks after Valentine’s Day are among the most popular times of the year for relationships to end. One of the reasons is that we often use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to judge our partner’s level of commitment.
Giving your new love a gift card might seem like a good choice, but you may find yourself single at the end of the month unless you demonstrate a willingness to invest time and effort in finding a gift or planning a date. This way you send a clear signal to your partner that you are committed to continuing the relationship.
Is online dating effective?
Searching for love online is more efficient because with so many singles available, you are much more likely to meet someone who is both selling what you want to buy and buying what you have to sell.
But that doesn’t mean it requires less time and energy. Anyone who has searched on that market knows it can be all-consuming. However, because of the larger market, you are much more likely to find someone who has all the qualities you are searching for in a mate. You are less likely to settle.
Prof. Marina Adshade of UBC’s Vancouver School of Economics is the creator of the popular course, The Economics of Sex and Love. She is author of The Love Market, published on February 4. Learn more at marinaadshade.com.