OCT 30 2014
I penned this article as a direct response to the recent, “Zero-Sum Game: Women Guard Sex, Men Guard Commitment, No One Wins” by Lauren Martin.
Ms. Martin recently wrote about dating from an interesting viewpoint: It is a zero-sum game, a give-or-take relationship, in which someone always loses. And, it would seem that women always lose because men have a lot from which to choose when in the dating scenario. Well, I beg to differ.
My feminist self would like to speak of equality, but I would be a dreamer to believe such equality exists. So, my economist self would like to bring logic to the rescue in the case of women and reality.
A zero-sum game is one where, if you and I are two players, any individual who loses or gains would be equivalent so that if we sum up our payoffs, the net result would be zero. Now suppose, in a very realistic sense, that we date many people throughout our lives and there was an equal probability of winning and losing.
In such a situation, where we can assume to date an indefinite number of people, our expected gains and losses would sum up to zero. If this is true, why would we date anyone in the first place? In this case, shouldn’t we be simply indifferent to dating, given that the payoff (zero) is equivalent to when we were not dating?
Incidentally, we would not just be indifferent, but rather, against dating. Why? Because although we may win and lose the same amount, the losses hurt more than the gains. That’s classic prospect theory for you. Getting a chocolate may make you happy, but losing a chocolate would make you really, really sad (assuming you like chocolates).
So, in a dating-game situation, where we have equal probabilities of winning and losing, the potential losses hurt me more than the potential gains. My probabilistic emotional state, then, looks negative, so I would never play such a game.
There is one case, however, when you would want to date: when you expect your personal probability of winning to be more than 50 percent.
Similarly, the other person would also only date when he or she expects a higher probability of winning than 50 percent. People would, therefore, self-select and date only if they think there’s a stronger than 50 percent chance of relationship success.
The exception is people who consistently play with weak opponents, this not being a judgment on the people themselves, but on their expertise in the game being played.
The zero-sum game — we are aware — has negative long-run payoffs and there is no incentive to play. (Of course, the payoffs are negative on an average emotional level, so if you don’t care about the emotional aspect, you might not even consider dating).
But, people do date and play this game — are they all illogical? There are two ways to answer this: Firstly, people start with a bias about themselves having a higher probability of winning.
After an extent of experience (the length and depth required depends on the person), the people would realize that playing a zero-sum dating game is not worthwhile.
The assumptions on which this game is based do not cover the entire scope of events. Yes, dating may be a zero-sum game; love, however, is not. For two people in love, their jointly maximized utility would be higher than the sum of their individual utilities from when they were alone.
So, if a happy me falls in love with a happy you, we would each be individually super happy. This is definitely not a zero-sum game. Rather, it is a rare situation where everybody gains. In such a situation, dating makes sense.
If we rule out love, there is one more crucial aspect we must factor in: Why do we view men as sexually-driven beings and women as the emotional ones? The two aspects are not mutually exclusive. Yes, one could say that women seek commitment; it is purely instinct for women to seek a mate for her children.
A guy who cannot commit is a guy who cannot give security to a woman’s future children. There is nothing fiercer than a mother’s love, not even a lover’s love.
It should be no shock if a female seeks commitment from the breadwinner of the family, which is traditionally male. But, we forget an important part of the argument: Men, too, are naturally designed to look out for women whom they want to mother their children.
With the shifting roles and these pervasive needs, the solution for women is simple: You have the potential to simultaneously be breadwinners and caretakers. Men shouldn’t be chosen out of necessity, but rather, out of choice. Able men should value you.
It is time to stop playing the victimized role. Be an empowered, independent woman, and the game, lady, is yours.
Although it most definitely has had some low points, I think I’m going to go ahead and call 2018 my favorite year in terms of celeb relationships. I mean, from Grandavidson to Jailey to Shia and FKA Twigs, new couples are popping up left and right. And now there’s another one on the rise! A recent Instagram post suggested that Nicki Minaj may be dating Lewis Hamilton. (Elite Daily has reached out to both of their representatives for comment.)
OK, some backstory. When Minaj appeared on The Ellen Show earlier this month, she made some very candid comments on her love life. She explained that she’s been enjoying dating two dudes at once.
“There is a new boy, but he and I have kind of fell back a little bit,” Minaj told DeGeneres. And that’s not all! In addition to the new boy, she’s also got a “newer” boy who has “been around for a couple weeks now.”
I have no official intel on whether or not Formula One star Lewis Hamilton is the new boy, the newer boy or possibly even another even newer boy. But it looks like the two are definitely getting serious about each other.
Rumors started swirling earlier this month when the two were spotted together at New York Fashion Week. That was our first clue that they might be an item, though admittedly, it’s not a great hint. I mean, they could’ve just been friends who just so happen to share a strong interest in fashion!
This next clue is what has me convinced that the two have to be more than friends.
Minaj posted a selfie of herself and Lewis looking very sexy riding around in a race car in the desert while Cosmopolitan reports the pair are on vacation in Dubai. She captioned the post, “🇹🇹🇬🇩 Caribbean tingz what I on. Me & Lewis gettin paper like what ink dry on. #Versace ”
Attending a fashion show with a male friend? OK, I get that. But attending fashion shows and riding around the desert in his race car while on vacation across the world together? Seems a little more than friendly to me.
If Hamilton really is in a relationship with Minaj, let’s all be clear on one thing: He should be treating her like the self-proclaimed queen that she is. And that means giving her some sweet, sweet loving at least three times a night. I mean, remember the line in her song, “Barbie Dreams,” that literally goes, “if he can’t f*ck three times a night, peace”? Yeah, that’s not a joke.While she wouldn’t expect that frequency from a live-in boyfriend, she does demand it from a boyfriend she doesn’t regularly see. “If you see someone once or twice a week, then, yeah, three times a night,” she told DeGeneres. “When I see you, [it’s] three times a night! If you can’t hang, goodbye! I’m not wasting my time.”
She clearly hasn’t said goodbye to Hamilton yet, so it looks like he’s doing something right.
While we have no idea how serious the pair are, Minaj made it pretty clear during her appearance on Ellen that she’s not really looking to be tied down right now. “I went from a six-year [relationship] to a 12-year [relationship] to a two-year [relationship] and then I was just ready to chill and relax,” she told Degeneres. “I didn’t know who I was minus a man. I’m finally learning who I am and I love myself. Everything I do now isn’t about pleasing some man and that makes me feel so empowered. I can come and go as I please.”
Whether or not she does end up officially dating him, I really hope she maintains that same feeling of empowerment because, duh, she’s a queen.
Maintained Matthew Leffler