As it turns out, both senders and repliers felt that they learned more in the process and were happier with the interaction.Think for yourself how much more you would enjoy learning about the sexual fantasies of a potential romantic partner, relative to the number of brothers and sisters they have -- and how much more you might learn about yourself if you had to describe your own sexual fantasies in return.His answer: “not hot” people “reframe what is important to them” and focus on non-physical qualities, like humor.

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Or maybe you could create a list of topics that are not up for discussion.

By forcing people to step out of their comfort zone and risk tipping the relationship equilibria, we might ultimately gain more.

We picked apart emails sent between online daters, expecting to be dissecting the juicy details of first introductions.

However, we instead found that people gravitate toward boring equilibrium at all costs.

"If you're [an unattractive] woman, you start valuing short men who are bald with bad teeth," says Ariely.

"I mean, you just say, 'These are really wonderful features: I like hairy chests, I like bald head.' You basically change what you like and that actually helps you adjust."Ariely also talked about the "Ikea effect," whereby we tend to overvalue the things we ourselves make—and we tend to think others will value them highly as well. "I have two wonderful kids, I love them dearly, I think they’re amazing.

Online dating is "an incredibly unsatisfying experience," says Duke behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely, the author of "Predictably Irrational." In fact, his research has found that each date you set up using online services requires an average of six hours of searching for people and emailing with them.

"I mean, imagine that you basically had to drive six hours, three hours each way to have coffee with somebody, and, you know, coffee usually ends up with just coffee." Part of the problem, according to Ariely, is the search criteria that dating sites use.

This is what economists call a bad equilibrium -- it is a strategy that all the players in the game can easily adopt and converge on, but it does not produce a desirable outcome for anyone.