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She fitted none of his top criteria — “He said he liked baseball, grilling and political activism,” she recalls.
“At the time, I was a vegetarian and knew nothing about baseball and cared very little for politics” — but they fell in love and were married less than two years later.
Social scientists have confirmed what most singletons have known for years: Online dating is a crapshoot. But the sites also reduce daters into two-dimensional profiles and often overwhelms them with potential choices. It gives opportunities to singles who otherwise wouldn’t have them,” says Eli J.
A new analysis of 400 academic studies explores whether online dating represents a dramatic shift in the way people seek mates (it does) and whether it is ultimately a good thing for daters (eh . Some sites claim to have developed scientific algorithms that can help people find soul mates, an assertion the study’s five authors say is not possible and could be damaging. Finkel, an associate professor of social psychology at Northwestern University and the study’s lead author.
But the bigger problem is that no profile can transmit the full essence of a human being.
“You get people online who think they know what they want in a partner, but that’s not going to dovetail with what actually inspires their attraction when they meet a flesh-and-blood person,” Finkel says.
For a few years, online dating seemed like the bastion of the geeky and desperate, but the stigma passed. couples who formed relationships between 20, 22 percent of them met online, one academic study found.
The nearly 200-page report, published Monday in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, found that the main advantage that dating Web sites offer singles is access to a huge pool of potential partners.
“The problem is that the way online dating is implemented undermines some amount of its goodness.” People have always needed help looking for love.
And you’re less likely to commit to that option,” Finkel says.
“It’s like, ‘Eh, there’s something better out there,’ or ‘I’m overloaded.’ ” The online dating industry’s reliance on profiles is what Finkel calls its “first original sin.” People naturally try to present a polished version of themselves, often stretching the truth on matters such as age, weight and height.
When people exchanged e-mails for three weeks before meeting, the study says, they had a stronger attraction to their date in person, but if the correspondence went on for six weeks, the attraction level fell when they met.