I want my soulmate NOW! Fast!

Despite all the enlightenment we have provided here already – finding The One can be a messy, arduous and possibly slow process. For the busy singles of today; is there any way of speeding it up, or even delegating part of it?  – This story may ring familiar.

Noah is a senior government advisor working 11 hour days. While he enjoys being part of the inner circle around his country’s head of government, he dreads not having time for dates. He had intended to marry by the age of 30. Now, aged 35, he is starting to worry. He has high demands for the type of woman he wants to marry, such as a success level similar to his. Either way, there will be little time for dates during the next year too. Elections are looming and a crisis has weakened the country. Noah’s job gets irresistibly interesting and important just at a time when the prospect of (not) settling down gives him sleepless nights.

Noah gives up and embraces the uncoolness of signing up with a traditional dating advisor. While he does not enjoy the soul-baring during the initial meetings with the advisor, he does appreciate that a part of the effort is now delegated. Actual dates are pre-selected with insight, and Noah learns more on fewer dates. Within a year, he finds his significant other, a cute and successful health trust CEO, just a year younger than himself.

The idea is as old as human interaction: intermediators or middlemen. (Traders, bargainers, heralds, other communicators…and matchmakers). They can work well in any ‘market’. Some recent Nobel prize winners have shown they can do wonders in the labor market.  The middlemen’s role is to specialize in the search, and the sounding of a partner to an extent. They help bridge the information deficit between the searching parties. And because they are specialized, they develop expertise in doing this, they can do it faster, and with a wider reach.

There is one condition: there need to be many of them who compete with each other. This ensures that they try to be ever better and ever more productive.

Dating agencies improve everyone’s luck simply because every client improves every other client’s luck by being there. Every individual search effort is multiplied through the agency and benefits others. The economists who found this out even suggested the state subsidize ‘computerized dating agencies’ (the article predates online dating) for the benefit of all!