When you're young and single, the whole world is your oyster, filled with any number of Prince Charmings. There's the complete freedom to explore options and date according to your own standards.
However, a new study has found that as we age, our standards might drop.
According to a study conducted by the QUT, the older online daters get, the more likely they are to date someone with a lower level of education than themselves.
Specifically, people see education as an economic advantage, so what dates are really wondering is whether or not a person will be compatible with their needs and able to provide for the relationship.
Behavioral economists Stephen Whyte and Professor Benno Torgler came to this conclusion after analyzing 41,000 Australians' (ages 18 to 80) online dating interactions.
Their findings revealed that as the people with more education aged, they tended to care less about their date matching their level of intellect.
As people with more education aged, they cared less about their date matching their level of intellect.
Whyte explains choosing a partner is one of the biggest psychological AND economic decisions in a person's life, stating people usually look for partners with similar traits like age, attractiveness, personality, culture, religion, race and, of course, education.
However, online dating has radically shaken up the usual mating process. For example, both older women and younger men are more likely to contact a person with less education than themselves.
Go on, cougars. Get down with your bad selves.
The internet has completely changed how people choose dating partners to find love... Cyber dating permits multiple partner choices in real time, which allows for a significantly greater available choice of potential mates. This increased pool means greater opportunity for selection of partners with lower, similar or even higher levels of certain characteristics.
In other words, the internet expands the pool of potential lovers substantially, leaving more mature daters open to shopping around and trying on different dates they may not have run into or sought out otherwise.
Whyte also noted that the allure of online dating comes from how easy it is to find both short-term and long-term romantic (or, dare I say, spicy) relationships, but there needs to be more research into the moving variables of how and why people choose one another.
If you ask me, who CARES how much schooling your date has? But then again, I'm not a scientist or anything.