First off, we are essentially estimating our own value (which may or may not be accurate), Adshade notes.
At the same time we are estimating others’ value, and whether they are likely to respond - or whether they are “out of our league.” Then we are weighing interested suitors against the “opportunity costs” that there may be other, ‘better’ options still out there.
There are also competing economic theories at work.
Are you looking for someone relatively similar in qualities like income and education (“market theory”)?
Or are you looking for someone sufficiently different from yourself, that you both gain from the union (“economic trade theory”)?
After all, they don’t call it a “meet market” for nothing.“When you are becoming serious, you need to consider what your partner is bringing to the table besides love and a good time.