A recent survey of 19,000 people who married between 20 found that 35 percent of these new couples met online, with about half of those meeting through an online dating site (Cacioppo et al., 2013).
How can these sites help you find romance, and what pitfalls should you be aware of?
One study of online daters found that most viewed each other as similar, and liked each other less, after than before their offline dates (Norton et al., 2007).
The sites can put too much focus on physical attractiveness.
In the quest to find romance, more of us have turned to online dating.
This suggests that online dating sites don’t facilitate slowly finding love the way that we often do offline. As mentioned earlier, those who are introverted or shy may find online dating more palatable than other ways of looking for love. I've had more than a few claim to love physical fitness and healthy eating, only to confess upon meeting, at which point it becomes obvious, that they actually do neither.
But this also creates pressure quickly to turn your online connection into something romantic, rather than letting romantic feelings develop more slowly.
When you meet someone in the context of an online dating site, the stage is set to look for an immediate romantic connection— and to abandon the effort if there’s no spark.
Having no choices can lead to misery, but too many options can overwhelm and lead you to worry that you’ve chosen wrong.
You can feel confident in your decision about which car to buy when there are only three under consideration, but if there are hundreds, you’ll constantly second-guess yourself and wonder if you could have done better.