Matchmaking and Reversing The Paradox of Choice

A Book-Inspired Blog

How Divine Intervention handles serial-dating mentality and the notion of quality VS. quantity

American psychologist Barry Schwartz powerfully sums up the challenge we face when choosing a romantic partner in today’s world in his 2004 novel The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less.
 paradox-of-choice-datingThe whole idea behind Schwartz’s book is that people assume that more choices gives one more freedom to make decisions which then lead to greater welfare. This idea is flawed—especially when it comes to dating—and Schwartz suggests we should opt for being “satisficers” making good enough choices, which will lead to happier lives, as opposed to being “maximizers” who need to exhaust all choices before making a decision. In addition, Schwartz claims maximizers are usually left feeling doubtful about their choice even after having made one.   

As matchmakers at Divine Intervention, our job is to reverse the paralysis current and prospective clients experience during the matchmaking and early-stage dating process.
Paralysis—one of the core concepts of The Paradox of Choice.

Too many choices leads a person into feeling paralyzed and unable to make a decision to go exclusive with someone and stop seeing other people. Dating apps and online platforms have enabled hundreds of thousands of people within close proximity to meet; but because of all the options out there, people are afraid to stop dating around altogether, in fear they might miss out on meeting the right person.
A classic example of The Paradox of Choice is when our team does date feedback follow up to see how our client enjoyed the date we set them up on and hear a statement like this:

“I really loved meeting John, he is just about everything I am looking for; however, I would still like to continue to meet your next match for me.” 
paradox-of-choice-datingIn this example, our client is demonstrating symptoms of a maximizer and is fairly satisfied, but doubtful in making a firm decision to stop meeting other people. She is solely hanging onto the fact that there are other bachelor(s) out there to be met, and so she will move onto the next one with the idea that said next match will be “perfect.” Perfection doesn’t exist; however, maximizers believe that if there are so many choices out there, then they need not to settle for anything but perfection. This process is exhausting and disappointment lurking around the corner.

Three ways Divine Intervention aims to reverse the Paradox of Choice for their clients: 

  • Providing a low-volume, finite amount of introductions of higher quality to clients
  • Providing a long-term membership (up to a year) for time to get to know their matches without the burnout and without feeling the need to dismiss and move onto the next match quickly
  • Guiding clients out of the maximizer mentality by educating them on their patterns and deciding collectively to make a shift in thinking towards “less is more” when it comes to dating, and that it’s not always just a “numbers game” 

Tired and exhausted from dating dozens (or hundreds) of people and feeling like you’re just a number? Call us today for a consultation and find out how we help you do dating differently.
Want to know more on The Paradox of Choice? Check out Barry Schwartz’s Ted Talk here