I don’t remember much from my high school economics class, but I do recall that the basic principles of supply and demand follow an inverse relationship: if supply is high, demand will be low; if supply is low, demand will be high.

Is this true of love, dating, and attraction? If it were so easy to understand and find The One, maybe people wouldn't be so interested in its existence and implications. The truth is, however, that we’re living at a time in which divorces outnumber marriages and the number of hook-ups a person has surpasses the number of days in his longest relationship. Real relationships—committed, meaningful, and lengthy—seem to be few and far between, and this lack of connection makes me wonder: is this why I’m in love with love?

I’m searching for it all the time, evaluating potential mates at work, in workshops, through friends, and even online with strangers whose only provable commonality with me is that they have access to the internet. Some might say my relationship with love is head over heels, infatuated, and obsessed. When I find someone who’s interested in me, I’m quick to make a judgment—either I know there is absolutely no chemistry, or I jump ahead and imagine what our future might be like. It’s all or nothing, the possibility of The One or no possibility at all. Rarely do I travel the middle road, dating folks to find out more about them; rather than waiting for or forcing a spark on one, two, or three dates, I want immediacy, to glimpse that there is already a magical spark there, ready for time to fan it into a fire. That, to me, is chemistry. That, to me, is a hint of some greater potential.

This automaticity of a connection that I seek is symptomatic of my hopeless romantic side—whether it’s desperation or relentlessness that drives my pursuit, I can’t tell. I certainly hope it’s the latter, though, and I’ve got my justifications based in economics:

1. Given that most of the world follows heterosexuality as its norm, my “supply” of gay men is lower than the supply of straight women I might delve into as a heterosexual.

2. Given that homosexuality is not usually a marked trait (that is, visible to others) via physical characteristic, dress, or non-stigmatized behavior (heterosexuals holding hands vs. homosexuals holding hands), the gay men that I know for sure are gay is in even lower supply.

Add to that the appeal and perpetuation of the Alpha White Gay Male stereotype (in its in-shape Abercrombie and Fitch or in-style D&G options), and that leaves me—a gay Asian male—as a hopeless romantic, demandingly sifting through a low supply of out gay men who are more likely to find non-minorities attractive anyway. Great. Just my luck.

Any economics majors with insight on how to break the system?

Creative Commons License