This course covers the nuts and bolts of online dating and explains how to move through the process from start to finish. By the end of the course you'll be able to engage in online dating in an effective manner. No prior knowledge of the subject is required -- all you need is a willingness to date other people and be open to forming a meaningful relationship. You'll learn how to:
The strategies you will learn are supported by scientific research and operate according to basic economic principles. Additional resources are available in supplementary materials.
The course is organized in a series of easy-to-follow video lectures that conveniently last only a few minutes each and include plenty of examples. The entire course takes a few hours to complete, but then it's up to you to apply what you've learned -- and practice makes perfect. The instructor is available to provide feedback and advice to help you answer these questions:
Online dating takes a lot of patience, benefit of the doubt, and self-reflection. But the key to doing it effectively is to detach from the outcomes and try to learn what you can from the process itself. Once that happens, you’ll find it to be a remarkably rewarding experience.
Introduction to the course -- the basics of how to make online dating an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Online dating can be more efficient than dating people you meet randomly.
Rejection isn't a rejection of "me" -- it's a rejection of "me + you". Stakes are low, so no need to worry.
Be wary of dating websites that charge for subscriptions.
A quiz on Section 1: Basic Principles
Asymmetric information and adverse selection -- why online dating is like a taco truck.
Signaling and screening mechanisms -- why insurance policies and dating are similar.
Take your date to an expensive restaurant and you won't look like a used car salesman.
A quiz on Section 2: Economics of Online Dating
Create a username and headline that gets positive attention
Examples of good and bad photos for dating profiles and ads
Be specific not vague; use examples
How to stand out from the crowd
Negativity will turn people away
If you can't fix it, feature it -- be honest about the important stuff
Make sure to advertise yourself well by proofreading your profile and correcting any errors
A series of random examples taken from Craig's List around the country, slightly edited to render them anonymous
A quiz on basic principles for writing effective profiles and ads
The fallacy of "the One"
The fallacy of "your type"
Using the strategy of elimination by aspects
The strategy of satisficing
How to construct an initial message to someone whose profile you find interesting
Avoiding those who are not psychologically ready for dating
Avoiding financial scammers who use online dating websites
Some people may think they are willing and able to date, but they aren't
Date many simultaneously, not one person at a time
What's important when dating people from other cultures
Not as frequent as people like to think, but sometimes the odds are in your favor
A quiz on going on an actual date
Thanks, and a few final pieces of advice.
Links to some brief but entertaining readings if you're interested in learning more.
I am the first member of my family to go to college and have three degrees in political science -- a bachelor's and a master's from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a PhD from the University of Hawai'i. I did my dissertation research in Vietnam -- for which I had to learn Vietnamese well enough to converse in the language without an interpreter -- and I've also traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma. My latest area of interest is the politics and history of the Middle East, and I've been traveled to Egypt four times since 2009. Much of what I teach involves the application of economic principles to everyday behavior.
I have fifteen years of full-time teaching experience at the university level and regularly publish literature in scholarly journals on teaching and learning.