A very personal approach about finding a partner
"personal" because of the sophistication problem. Sophisticated stretegies are very risky and can be a great way to fool oneself to rationalize the most stupid decisions. beaware!
1) "so-so" relationships are mediocore and bad. (see detailed sources for that at the end) I am not looking for these (except for the short-term to manage day to day emotionally)
2) goal = really good relationship.
3) skewed bets strategy. Crucial for finding a mate.
3.1) payoff is skewed. cost of a cheap try is uncomparable to value of finding something good.
3.2) must keep bettting costs low. You are not hanging out for weeks with every possible mate. You make a quick check, maybe an enjoyable date and think whether there is a chance for the really impressive thing. If you get dragged into every bet you cannot accumulate bets. and the betting costs get heeavy on your budget (energy time etc.)
3.3) Be humanistic with the people you gamble about. The innocent girl in the station should not suffer because of your sophisticated gambles. Do not make others suffer in the process. Eventually, you will find the process much more successful and joyful when being considerate.
3.4) "If you look for rare and moving elephants you should always carry a gun" (Beloved Warren Buffet). checking for a rer opportunity involves the mindset of being able to move the wheel 180 degrees and pul the engine fast when an opportunity arises. If you see something with a good probability for a lifetime success you should be able to pursue it strongly at any time with needing ltos of preperation "the right time for dating" etc. etc. You can even do maximum effort to find someone who feels to be a really good bet.
3.5) It is so expected that finding a good match requires lots of checking. Because there is a lot of personal variability tastes and different valuing of different qualities. there are mates who will value your qualities much more than others, and those are the folks you should look for. If you look for getting your "self"s worth.
This try a lot is a strategy that is irrationaly underrated in dating. I know many that could have get good things just by rying enough. So many just do not invest in trying. It is either because they forget about skewness, ignoring a bet that is less than 50% chance. Or because of paying dearly for every gamble, which in exhausting.
4) Looking for the really good thing (aka "no cap strategy") means that it may take a long time to find. It implies one must have short-term solutions/alternatives in terms of emotional social needs and maybe sexuality. If you feel desperate you 1: feel bad, AND 2: you tend to get dragged into mediocre relationships. Must have social network enough to keep "above the water".
Note. 1: all we have in real life here and now is the short-term, so working out short-term solutions is highly important. 2: In western soceities most spent long years without a "serious" mate, so short-term tricks etc. are crucial to have a good life.
So-so relationships are bad. because:
you lose the option of getting a really good relationship.
according to a happiness research that tracked people over many years, the average married person is not much happier than the single in the long run. But there is a subgroup of really happy marriages that make people happy for the really long term. Such kind of marriage you should be looking for, not the one that is hardly better than being single.
Getting stuck in a bad relationship and divorcing is much worse for happiness than what the averegae marriage is making happy. I am not sure it is worthwhile on balance. Moreover, looking at the long term data I realized that the overall expected value of marriage in happiness terms is slightly negative. When one starts a gamble (i.e. a relationship, whihc is always kind of gamble) he shoulod look for positive expected value when all possible eventualities are summed up.
a relationship involves investing quite a bit. I am strongly against investing energy etc. for getting almost the same overally. I am only for good deals. Against all kind of mediocre deals where you are struggling to convince yourself it is worthy.
1) John Gottman made extremely intereting research on relationships. His idea is that somehow there are a few very simple positive dynamics that make good relationships work. He manage to predict with 90% accuracy which couples will remain together 15 years in advance!!!!!, a prediciton that was based on analyzing a 15 minutes chat between the couple.
His stuff is surely worth reading, and using. One may even try to think about his relationships via Gottman glasses, maybe knowing more in advance can help avoid much painful mistakes.
2) The book "Simple Heuristics that make us smart" contains a chapter descussing the optimal rules for mate searching. I have not studied this chapter seriousely, but the book it good, and the idea of a rule of thumb in mate finding is appalling.