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Cow Theory in Dating

I once watched a movie with the typical narrative of a playboy and his platonic female friend falling in love with each other. What further piqued my interest was the introduction of a theory coined within the community of livestock experts. The Old Cow Theory, that through experiments suggests that bulls will prefer mating with a new cow than an old one no matter what measures are taken to make the old cow appear “new.” In the movie, the protagonist uses this theory in correlation with human males to depict their desire for fresh new partners to further spread their seed. And when you consider this idea it makes plenty of sense and resonates with what many women have experienced. So, if such a relatable situation occurs in basic nature from our sources of nutrients and protein can we really question the course that our interactions with the opposite sex typically take?

To me the answer is simple, yes, we can question and in fact refuse to accept such a theory as acceptable for our relationships. I say this because men aren’t the only ones who upgrade from partner to partner, women do it too! And as a matter of fact, the current set up in our society shows that we are opting for fluidity and openness within our relationships. With many couples opting to wait longer to marry, allow side satisfaction, and label avoidance, this theory does not stand up to the 2017 dating frame.

Consider your own dating habits in our app centered lives. Typically, less than 1/5 of our matches turn into conversations and another 1/5 of those conversations lead to meeting up. Now, see how I said “meeting up” and not “date”, it wasn’t a simple synonym usage but rather a reflection of our reality where dates are a label too “formal” to place on someone who could turn out to be a dud. That said, any further interactions post first successful meeting always bring a nice little baggage with them. Things like, “I still know nothing from this person because I met them online, or I know too much because I stalked their entire internet life.” Also, “who else are they seeing, are they still on the app, should I still be on it?” And the fateful, “when will this end, will someone ghost or will we actually part ways with a proper conversation?” These questions can arise as soon as you even just have the person’s picture show up on your feed, and they will haunt you for the length of your interactions.


But with all the overthinking comes the realization that slowly creeps in reminding you that there are plenty more matches out there and that if that one turns out to be a dud you can always “upgrade” to the next. Within this respect I would say that the cow theory may very well still be prominent among farm cattle but it certainly has no real place in the dating world until it takes a real look at the flexibility women have achieved in this theory.

Valentina is a business student with an open mind for all things creative and innovative. She knows the real-life struggles but maintains an idealist view. She can easily be entertained on a spectrum of Gossip Girl to House of Cards with Portlandia in between.
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