I did my own research on people and chatted online within a site to see if we had things in common.If we had a few things in common, we exchanged numbers, texted for a while, eventually spoke on the phone and if things felt right, we’d meet in a public place to talk. I am currently with a man I met online and we have been together for two years! But there is always the thought that if this doesn’t work out, how long will it take either of us to jump right back online to find the next possible love connection?Having fallen under this spell myself…”Oh, he’s nice but I’m sure there’s something better on the next page…” Click. Digital technology and smartphones in particular have transformed many aspects of our society, including how people seek out and establish romantic relationships.When we first studied online dating habits in 2005, most Americans had little exposure to online dating or to the people who used it, and they tended to view it as a subpar way of meeting people.Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.Last November 2013 I saw his profile on a dating site.
With the rise of the digital age, it is no surprise that people have flocked to the Internet as a way to take control of their dating lives and find their “soul-mate.” But is online dating essentially different than conventional dating, and does it promote better romantic outcomes? Communicating online can foster intimacy and affection between strangers, but it can also lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment when potential partners meet in real life.To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.Online dating has jumped among adults under age 25 as well as those in their late 50s and early 60s.Although many dating sites tout the superiority of partner matching through the use of “scientific algorithms,” the authors find that there is little evidence that these algorithms can predict whether people are good matches or will have chemistry with one another.The authors’ overarching assessment of online dating sites is that scientifically, they just don’t measure up.The share of 18- to 24-year-olds who use online dating has roughly tripled from 10% in 2013 to 27% today.Online dating use among 55- to 64-year-olds has also risen substantially since the last Pew Research Center survey on the topic.As online dating matures, however, it is likely that more and more people will avail themselves of these services, and if development — and use — of these sites is guided by rigorous psychological science, they may become a more promising way for people to meet their perfect partners. Finkel discuss the science behind online dating at the 24th APS Annual Convention.About the Authors I agree wholeheartedly that so-called scientific dating sites are totally off-base.They are an expensive rip-off for many women over 45.Speaking as someone who was recently “commoditized” by who I thought was a wonderful man I met on a dating site, I find that the types of people who use these services are looking at the wrong metrics when they seek out a prospective love interest.