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“The idea that persistence pays off makes sense to me, as the online-dating world has a wider choice set of potential mates to choose from,” he told me in an email.“The greater choice set pays dividends to people who are willing to be persistent in trying to find a mate.”Of the study as a whole, he said: “I think its conclusions are robust and its methodologies are sound.”Yet what also emerges from the data is a far more depressing idea of “leagues” than many joking friends would suppose.But people do not seem universally locked into them—and they can occasionally find success escaping from theirs.

can give us significant insight about who they are interested in.”The team combined all that data by using the Page Rank algorithm, the same software that helps inform Google’s search results.

It found that—insofar as dating “leagues” are not different tiers of hotness, but a single ascending hierarchy of desirability—then they do seem to exist in the data.

They glance at you, maybe even smile for a second, then carry on with their conversation.

You feel the room shrink, your heart rate quicken, your face go red: You’re crushing on this stranger, Wait a second, you counter: Do dating “leagues” even exist? But you’re not alone in trying to escape yours: “Three-quarters, or more, of people are dating aspirationally,” she says.

Her advice: People should note those extremely low reply rates and send out more greetings.

Michael Rosenfeld, a professor of sociology at Stanford University who was not connected to this study, agreed that persistence was a good strategy.

is coded as female, so that’s why Asian women get so much market power and Asian men get so little,” she told me.

“For black men and women, it’s the opposite.”But “what we are seeing is overwhelmingly the effect of white preferences,” she cautioned.

We at All Home Connections have a little tip: we did the research, and turns out that when it comes to online dating success, it’s not who you are—it’s where you live.

How’d we determine which states are best and worst for online dating?

“This site is predominantly white, 70 percent white.