Some of those qualities might be age or attractiveness - and some are financial."Indeed, just go on popular dating sites such as Match.com, and one of the criteria for winnowing down potential matches is annual income.

You can look for someone who makes ,000 a year, or ,000, or 0,000. Well, in one study published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, which crunched data from a popular Chinese online-dating website, male profiles with the highest income levels got 10 times more visits than the lowest.

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Wait too long for an ideal person, and you could miss out on quality matches, who will eventually be snapped up themselves.

There are also competing economic theories at work.

At the same time we are estimating others' value, and whether they are likely to respond - or whether they are "out of our league."Then we are weighing interested suitors against the "opportunity costs" that there may be other, 'better' options still out there.

And we make these judgments against the backdrop that we are all, sadly, depreciating assets.

Another study, co-authored by famed behavioral economist Dan Ariely, uncovered similar online-dating preferences."Men and women prefer a high-income partners over low-income partners," the authors wrote in the journal Quantitative Marketing and Economics.

"This income preference is more pronounced for women."The takeaway: As much as we like to think we are beyond the days of Jane Austen, when suitors were evaluated largely based on how much money they brought in - the famous Mr. " - money can be critical in our romantic lives."Someone's income will almost always factor into the equation," says Douglas Kobak, a financial planner in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania."When you are becoming serious, you need to consider what your partner is bringing to the table besides love and a good time.

He doesn’t exist, and if he did, someone else might have found him by now.” Instead, Oyer imagines the dating game as being more like finding a job.

In economics, workers are looking for firms to hire them, and firms are seeking workers, too.

He’s the author of the book, Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating. Can you just maybe describe what the concept is and how you’ve applied it to this idea of looking for a life partner?