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Valuing Effort

Published by Priyanka on

A friend of mine has been in a the market for a while and has just not been able to find anyone remotely interesting. Knowing the sort of women he has been with or fancied in the past (only counting the ones while he was sober), I think he has a type – the quirky and wannabe quirky. You might be quick to judge here and say oh, if she is “wannabe” quirky, then that’s definitely not cool. I couldn’t disagree more with you on this one as I believe, if someone’s trying to be interesting, it’s far better than someone who is neither quirky nor trying. Either they don’t realise they have potential or they’re too lazy to care.

Imagine a “quirkiness potential by how hard one tries” matrix. Its not hard to guess, majority of the market belongs to the lovely quadrant in red (see image below) that I’d like to lovingly call “mosranna” (curd rice). These are the type of people who go in and out of dates with an arranged marriage interview “guide” book like bots and are the worst to encounter in the market.


When all you see in the marriage market are the “red ones”, it’s normal to lose faith in the arranged marriage system. You start getting desperate to have this one thing checked off your bucket list and be married already, but you know what, you are looking for a life partner and not a piece of paper to spit your gum into. So, take it easy yo.

After having seen the worst, it’s probably too much to hope for the really cool variety and so maybe you would either settle for kinda cool or wannabe cool right? 

How does one find this variety, you ask? 

By avoiding small talk. 

Yes, Bangalore’s traffic is terrible, San Francisco is too expensive, nobody cares about your job is or what you ate for dinner.

In a recent article, one of my all time favourite behavioural economists, Dan Ariely, talks about how avoiding small talk has the upside of better quality of interaction and creation of significantly superior relationships. What does avoiding small talk mean in a date with a complete strange that has been set up by your parents or some auntie like me? For instance, asking someone about their best Tinder date stories. 

While this might seem inappropriate at many levels, it’s a high risk, high pay off type of move. What’s important to note is the reaction of the person who is posed with this question. If they got perplexed, it’s alright because that’s expected. But if they got seriously offended for being asked such out of syllabus questions, well, too bad. Suppose your quirkiness is received positively, you will definitely have one hell of a date if not a proposal at the end of it because this person was either from the kinda cool or the wannabe cool quadrant. 

Now what you make of it is really up to you, I won’t be the judge here.

Like any decision made in the absence of much information, we will need to rely on instinct and extrapolation to tilt one way or another. If you haven’t seen a spike already, why don’t you stir one up yourself the next around?