“Priced Out”


I have a friend name Donna who is a relatively attractive and petite professional woman in her late twenties. On a scale of 1 to 10, she’s a high 6. She has the girl next door look. Donna recently told me about two guys that were in to her who she was considering dating. According to Donna, these are their attributes:

Guy #1 (Jim):
• In his mid-late twenties (one year younger than Donna)
• A dentist with his own practice (financially stable)
• Fun and great conversation (He took her hiking and to a fair on their date and she really enjoyed it and said he was good company)
• Similarity in lifestyles (they both work standard hours in the day and are free on evenings and weekends)
• Shared interests and cultural backgrounds
• Expressive and open (Donna said he was a breath of fresh air as most guys in her culture based on her experience are not expressive and open)
• Nice body and in shape
• Unattractive face

Guy #2 (Sam):
• Physically attractive face and body
• Preferred culture (a culture that Donna prefers to date which is not her own)
• Volunteers at a drug rehab facility
• Is in his early thirties (5 years older than Donna) and lives with a roommate
• Tattooed all over (because it’s not acceptable in her’s/mother’s culture)
• House he lives in is messy
• Has three jobs works at night in nightclubs (doesn’t have a lifestyle compatible with Donna’s, plus it’s hard for them to see each other)
• Came from a tough background involving drugs and guns (makes it harder for them to relate to each other)
• Has a child from a previous relationship

Donna is more attracted to Sam although Jim has more “long term” benefits. Donna mentioned to me in a nutshell that she would rather spend time trying to get Sam to conform lifestyle wise than to settle with Jim, even though she admitted that it’s possible that Jim could please her sexually if given the chance. The reason being is that facial attractiveness is a big premium to her.
Her dilemma is twofold: First, her preference for physical attractiveness in the short term as a measure for long-term stability, and second the reason she attracts guys like Sam and Jim in the first place—Donna is “priced out” or rather priced herself out of the market.

Investopedia defines “Priced Out” as “[t]he state of being able to invest in a particular market or purchase a particular product or service. When someone is ‘Priced Out’…[their] choices are to simply remain out of the market, to wait for the market to become more affordable…[or], if possible, to consider a different market…[someone] who was priced out of the luxury car market could look at economy cars instead.”

In this instance, it is referring to the fact that essentially Donna’s Dating Market Price (DMP), the price she considers herself, is not equivalent to her Dating Market Value (DMV), or the price the Dating Market (DM) is willing to pay to obtain Donna as a mate. The price that the market is willing to pay reflects the type of guys who have decided to ask Donna out on a date.

Both men and women usually go for people within a point and a half of their DMP, one because a woman who is a 2 knows that a guy who is a 8 is not usually going to take her seriously, and two since women tend to have more dimensions to their criteria for men (see Bateman’s Principle) are essentially more picky and are thus effectively artificially inflating their DMP.

The market will work to sort this inefficiency out by sending guys Donna’s way who don’t hold all of the characteristics in her criteria causing her to “settle” or “hold out”. In Donna’s ideal scenario, she told me, she wishes she could couple the attractiveness of Sam with the lifestyle and morals of Jim. But there is a reason for that—guys with those characteristics have access to a larger pool of women and since men are takers/beggars (see Coolidge effect), they would be able to have a longer Time To Market (TTM) than Donna’s.

The higher a person’s market value the longer their TTM because they have more options and don’t have to settle. This means that a guy with all of those characteristics are probably looking for and/or dating a woman who are greater than 6.5 which is about what Donna is. Donna has probably priced herself at a 7.5, but since she’s really a 6.5, guys who are as low as 5.5 are gonna hit on her.
With time and age, her MV will erode and if enough guys who are 5s will hit on her, she’ll settle when a 6 comes along. But for right now, it seems she’s pitching for an 8.

Donna should’ve just gave me the pussy on the side and took Jim as her boyfriend! Oh well, I’ll have to wait till after she hits the wall to get some roast beef n’ cheddar. Alas, I’ll be on the sidelines writing about her misadventures in the meantime.

Oh, one more thing I forgot to tell you: