It was the night before Valentine’s Day when my friend Sophie FaceTimed me on her walk home from (yet another) mediocre Hinge date: “I just didn’t feel that spark,” she said breathlessly. “I feel like I’m just waiting for [my person] to knock on the door and be like, ‘hey I’m here. I’m your guy.’” Clearly; the chocolate hearts and bodega roses had gotten to her. “What is it that you’re looking for, exactly?” I asked, trying to identify the source of said missing spark. “That’s the problem,” she deduced. “I’ll know it’s my guy when I see him.” And in that moment, I had to wonder: When did dating become so preclusive?
Before the era of gym selfies and generic, monosyllabic Hinge prompts, there was an emphasis on really getting to know someone. The school of thought was ‘never judge a book by its cover’—and at the very least, you’d allow a potential suitor to buy you a drink before sending them to the island of misfit dates. Yet today, it seems, that the oversaturated, digital dating market has decimated our ability to hop on a good stock when we see one. The dating app boom has led to a collective, ‘grass is always greener’ mentality—giving us access to every fish in the sea—while cultivating an impending sense of doom that we’ll never find “the one.” (Or worse; we’ll eventually be forced to "settle”). But in a time where the dump-to-date ratio is higher than ever, it’s worth asking: How much does “settling” have to do with “settling down”?
And thanks to Sex and The City’s resident lawyer, Miranda Hobbs, there’s a hypothesis that aims to answer that exact question: The Taxi Cab Theory.