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The crowd was surprisingly diverse — although everyone we met was a college-educated working professional, a wide range of interests, ethnicities, and sexual orientations was represented.
Van Gelderen presented academic research on love, and the causes of attraction and bonding, to a group of 10 people running businesses such as dating websites, introduction services and events companies.The ideas may not be put into practice and van Gelderen is not involved with feasibility studies but he says his research takes ideas usually confined within university walls into the realm of business where they can be applied. Sasha Madarasz, owner of Two's Company, an Auckland-based introduction company that arranges around 100 dates a week, says working with van Gelderen and reading his research has been useful.She was impressed by findings that people tended to bond better if they accomplished a task together and has suggested that her clients try an activity such as dancing or taking a cooking class together.Another body of research showing that repeated exposure to a person creates feelings of trust and safety backs up her view that hopeful lovebirds should always go on more than one date.Van Gelderen, who lectures in the university's Department of Management and International Business, acknowledges that some of the research could be abused because it deals with emotions and people who could be vulnerable, but he says it is not simply about commercialising aspects of life that shouldn't be commercialised.
However, "This surplus of women is not just 'perceived' but very, very real," Birger writes.