Way back when, in the days of yore, Valentine’s cards were handed out willy-nilly. You received a card from many of your classmates and reciprocated as such. However, what happened when there was that special someone across the room that you really wanted to give a valentine to, but likely didn’t share this interest? What if this person failed to give you one back? This is where game theory comes into play.
Give the love interest a valentine
Don’t give the loves interest a valentine
Your Pseudo-lovers moves:
Give you a valentine
Don’t give you a valentine
You both give each other a valentine: A fleeting moment of bliss
You give her a card and she fails to reciprocate: A year of embarrassment and shame
You don’t give her a card and she gives you one: You feel guilty and like you made a mistake
Neither of you give each other cards: No guilt or embarrassment is felt
Obviously, the best outcome for you is to attain the moment of bliss by exchanging cards. However, as she likely doesn’t share these feelings, you know her best move is to not give you a card (saves paper). Based on her likelihood of playing this move, you know it is in your best interest to not give her a card and save yourself the embarrassment.