Sociology and dating
This could also, perhaps, be tied to the Pygmalion effect. The best way to ameliorate this situation, it seems, would be to bring additional people into the picture.
And yet some of the healthiest relationships I know are between people whose tastes are vastly different.The classical sociologist Erving Goffman is often affiliated with the same symbolic interactionist school as Mead, although others would argue he’s a bit difficult to sort.Unfortunately, I don’t have any of his books immediately on hand, and I want to get this written while it’s all fresh in my mind, but one of his major theories is a dramaturgical approach that breaks social life down into a front stage and back stage.In the case of Ok Cupid, we are expected to present our best, most desirable self on the “front stage” of our profile.“Doing Gender” by Candace West and Don Zimmerman describes the process of, well, doing gender, referencing Goffman in its definition of gender as “a routine, methodological and recurring accomplishment” and an “emergent factor of social situations”(126):“Gender, in contrast [to sex], is the activity of managing situated conduct in light of normative conceptions of attitudes and activities appropriate for one’s sex category.
Gender activities emerge from and bolster claims to membership in a sex category.” (127)—you can find people all along every spectrum, from heterosexual to homosexual, monogamous to polygamous, virginal to kinky, and everywhere in between—yet for some reason, at least in my experience as a heterosexual woman, it seems to reinforce and even amplify gender in dating.
Nearly-identical tastes seem to be most problematic in moments where small differences between those tastes become evident.