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Bees in love, surrounded by honey and money

It’s funny how often advice seeking takes the form, “Oh man, I don’t know how to convey XYZ,” and the person you’re asking replies, “How about literally ‘XYZ’?” And you’re like, “Huh. Yeah, wow, I am a genius, thanks!”

There’s probably a lesson there for relationships but I mention it because it happened to me [1] when I was agonizing about what to say about an article about us on DatingNews.com: “The Beeminder App Keeps Singles on Track With Their Personal Goals”. What I want to say is that the folks at DatingNews.com asked me a bunch of great questions and turned my answers into a really good, heartfelt article. Also they were super nice!

And it’s absolutely true that if you’re in the market for a life partner, Beeminder could make an especially huge difference to the whole rest of your life.

How? Well, all the ways you can beemind yourself into a better catch go without saying. I’ll say one anyway, since we have a recent blog post about it with its own list of 15 things to consider beeminding for peak athleticism. Athletes are attractive, we hear. If that’s not where you’re at, you might like some of our massive number of weight loss posts. My favorite one for a general audience is probably “Primum Non Amplifico”. [2] Or just beemind exciting new hobbies or reading books. Intelligence is even more attractive.

But all of that is about you. What about actually beeminding finding love? That is absolutely a thing as well. We recommend taking inspiration from one of the most amazing Beeminder users of all time who made a whole dating journal in the Beeminder Forum.

To head off the natural question of why a nerdy woman who dates men needs a Beeminder goal — don’t men throw themselves at her? — one answer is that it works better to apply your own filters and initiate contact. But even if you’re happy with a more passive approach, you still have to pick from that flood of incoming messages and actually reply for a date to happen. It’s eminently beemindable! And of course a typical experience for men on dating sites is getting zero incoming messages but it’s the same story: you have to keep sending messages. Scott Alexander popularized the term micromarriage for a related concept, as a motivational tool:

If you go to a party, and you don’t meet anyone interesting there, it’s tempting to get discouraged. If you try again and again, with identical results, it’s tempting to give up. […] Instead, think of yourself as getting 500 micromarriages each time (or whatever you decide the real number is, with the understanding that you should update your estimate at some rate conditional on success or failure). All you need to do is go to a thousand parties and you have a 50-50 chance of meeting the right person! Maybe that number would sound more encouraging if it was lower — but it took me twenty years of trying, so I couldn’t have been getting more than a few hundred micromarriages a day, and I wasn’t slacking off.

Scott continues, after talking about recently getting married himself:

Twenty years and exactly one million micromarriages later, I have yet to find any better advice. Gather your micromarriages while ye may, for time is still a-flying. Do annoying things, expect them to fail, and increment a little counter in your head each time, to prevent yourself from going insane. Then do more annoying things. Teach a juggling class. Join a weird transhumanist compound. Go to one of Aella’s weird parties. There is no royal road. I’m not claiming to have super useful advice here, just to be able to say from the end of a long and very rocky path that it does eventually pay off.

Of course our point is that you can do much better than incrementing a counter in your head. You can increment a counter on a Beeminder graph.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the classic example from Nick Winter’s book, The Motivation Hacker, in which he describes beeminding romantic gestures to his girlfriend. They’ve since gotten married and created THREE WHOLE HUMANS together. We are exceedingly proud.

Honey for your honey

Once you try Beeminder and transform your life and find True Love and all that jazz, maybe you would like to introduce your honey to your (other) partner in awesomeness? (That’s us!)

You could introduce them to us by telling them about your goals. Nine out of ten nerds think it’s sweet to beemind doing things for your partner. You could even add them as a supporter on goals that are important to you, and they’ll get emailed when you derail.

For the people who like to poke all the buttons, gift them some honey to get started with and let them dive in! The page for sending honeygrams got all dressed up for the season of love.

If you put an email address in the “To” field instead of a Beeminder username, that person will be notified, we’ll help get them set up, and then transfer the honey to them. If they fail to get set up, you keep your honey. Or if they happen to already have a Beeminder account, the honey will transfer to them instantly.

Honey for your honey! If you send them H$5, you can say “the first derail is on me”.

You can of course also gift honey to your loved ones who already use Beeminder. Or any friends or siblings who seem like they need some Beeminder-like help in the dating game? If that’s not too forward…

If you’re not up to speed on the honey money thing, see our previous blog post about it. (The short version is that honey money is Beeminder credit, good for premium plans and, if you choose, derailments. You can also exchange it with Manifold’s currency, mana.) And if you’re ready to start spreading the love around, go ahead and click on this fancy coin:


PS: In other Valentine’s Day news, and speaking of Aella’s weird parties, we’re proud to say Beeminder is a sponsor of the wild work of art that was Bet on Love: The Prediction Market Dating Show.



[1] Thanks yet again to Robert Perce for the rubber-ducking there.

[2] And my favorite for an utterly whack-a-doodle audience is probably “Alliterative Alimentation” about my convoluted diet scheme which today is the 2nd anniversary of (and which Bethany, in an immense outpouring of love, has been doing with me in solidarity the last two months).