September 16th, 2012 by Nina Atwood
Online dating web sites constitute a billion dollar industry, and the big sites – Match.com, eHarmony, and others – will tell you that they possess secret algorithms that increases your odds of finding the right person. But now a large study published by the Association for Psychological Science reveals what’s really happening. Among their findings:
1. Dating sites give you greater access to more potential partners, but the act of browsing and comparing large numbers of profiles can create a mindset of commoditizing potential partners and reduce the willingness to commit to any one person.
2. Communicating online works well in the short run, but is detrimental if carried on for too long. It can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment when potential partners meet in real life.
3. Although many dating sites claim superior results matching partners through the use of “scientific algorithms,” there is little evidence that these algorithms can predict whether people are good matches or will have chemistry with one another. The authors of the study found that utilizing these matching schemes via online dating sites produces no better results than trying to figure it out on your own.
What this means is that online dating is very useful if you want to conveniently increase the number of choices you have. But it’s not worth the extra money to pay for match-making services, whether via online computerized algorithms, or whether via your local matchmaker. You’re better off figuring out for yourself what kind of partner you seek, meeting lots of new people (online, real world, and/or both), and dating for discovery.
I’ve been touting these principles for years, and summarize them in my newest book, Internet Dating for the Savvy Single, which shows you step-by-step how to use online dating for maximum benefit and minimum risk. It’s only $0.99 – get it today on Amazon.com.