Dating websites do not work
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.
No online personality test can predict with any more certainty how a person will react to life stresses than a real-life encounter and may even be worse.
At least when you are talking to a person in real time, your conversation can take you to places that might provide you with relevant data about how they will adapt to future stresses.
Consequently, you may be less likely to commit to the people who you do decide to follow up on because you know there are hundreds of others out there, should this match prove flawed.
Finkel and his co-authors also caution against the false belief that there is a perfect match for you out there in the online universe.
To find out how best to use online services, we first have to examine their strengths and weaknesses.
Finkel and his collaborators critique the three main areas in which online dating services claim to be superior to the offline, or old-fashioned, way of meeting people in person.
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.
The growth of social media encourages internet-based connections with the people we know and love and the people we would like to get to know and love.
We are busier than ever at work, our jobs require that we either travel or move to new cities, and as a result, we don’t have the luxury to rely on finding a partner through connections with family or friends.
Matching Online dating services pride themselves on having developed complex formulas, or algorithms, that will diagnose you and then apply this diagnosis to helping you find the perfect match uniquely qualified to be your ideal romantic partner.
However, even if they could come through on their claims (which I’ll examine in a minute), think about the logic of this process.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.There is no way that an online personality test can predict how you, or your potential partners, will mature over time.