Most People Try Dating Out of Their League

If we were given a survey about ourselves, most of us would probably think we were more special than we were. We'd think we were richer. We'd think we were funnier. We'd think we were better looking. And maybe because of this false confidence, we tend to shoot our shots and go for partners out of our league. 

Sometimes this works. Most of the time, it doesn't.

This summer, a study published in Science Advances said that online daters are constantly going for people better than them. In fact, they spend most of their time contacting people out of their league.

Researchers looked at thousands of messages between straight men and women on a popular, free online dating platform, and they saw that most daters tended to contact people 25% more desirable than them. 

Online daters spent most of their time being ambitious, but sometimes they went for people similar in desirability. However, people rarely dated down, which also means that those pursuing people at the top were not successful. The study's author, Dr. Elizabeth Bruch of the University of Michigan, said that men were the ones who were the most aspirational.

Men mostly initiate contact on dating websites, and they tend to go for the same women, which signals that those women are the most desirable. Women tend to rarely respond to messages they get, and the researchers used their response rates to determine what males were deemed the most attractive.