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In a recent comprehensive analysis, Northwestern University psychologist Eli Finkel and collaborators claim that online dating sites not only don’t improve, but may even hurt those seeking happiness in their relationships.
It was natural enough that online dating services would develop and evolve over the past two decades.
Unfortunately, when it comes to online dating, there is no safety in numbers.
Because you’re not meeting actual people, but instead examining their profiles, you’re not going through the normal give-and-take that occurs when people meet and talk for the first time.
Some feature might pop out at you (particularly appearance) that causes you to think “Next?
” When you make a decision about who to establish communication with, it may not be a particularly well-informed one.
Online dating sites help fill the gap that our busy lives have created in our search for connection.
Online dating services are not only convenient, but they also have the apparent advantage of using systematic methods to match us with the partner of a lifetime.
People develop in myriad ways throughout their lives, in response to changes within themselves over time and changes in their life circumstances.
The decision-making processes we go through when we’re examining online profiles are also different than those we use in offline situations.
As you flip through those profiles, you’re not necessarily pausing and studying each one as carefully as you would a real person.
Their diagnostic tests seem to key in on the fundamental essence of our personalities, ensuring that we’ll be paired with the one person in the world whose fundamental essence will resonate to ours.
They also promise to improve the odds of our finding that person by providing us with access to large numbers of potential romantic partners; more than we would ever meet on our own.
As Finkel and his colleagues state, you may make “lazy, ill-informed decisions” because you’re selecting from such a large group of potential matches.