10 Tips for Using Online Dating Sites More Effectively from Online Dating Study
I happened to see a brief Scientific American article called Why Online Dating Doesn’t Work by Christie Nicholson and thought you might find the actual results of the study interesting and helpful for your own online dating experiences.
Quick Tips and Summary from the Study
- While the algorithms for finding potential partners used by online dating websites may not be the most effective, the possibilities for finding the right person are improved since there are so many people available to choose from.
- Avoiding over-browsing people’s profiles and meeting potential partners face-to-face sooner, rather than later, can help in finding the right person for a romantic relationship.
Online Dating Study Findings
Here are some of the major findings from a recent study: Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science in the March, 2012 issue of the Psychological Science in the Public Interest journal (Volume 13 – 2012):
- Online dating has huge potential to improve the process of finding a committed, emotionally satisfying romantic relationship.
- In some ways online dating is superior to conventional off-line dating, but not in others.
Benefits of Online Dating:
- Online dating offers access to possible partners for people who might otherwise lack it.
- Being able to meet online first has the potential to foster greater attraction upon a first meeting.
- Matching algorithms can help by excluding people who would possibly be poor relationship partners.
Non-Benefits of Online Dating:
- Many aspects of online dating do not appear to improve romantic outcomes and might even weaken them.
- Emphasizing profiles can be negative because people view potential partners they find attractive online differently than those they find attractive when meeting face-to-face. Comparing many profiles side-by-side makes this even worse.
- Browsing many profiles promotes judgmental, assessment-oriented evaluations and can overwhelm users.
- Communication via online dating sites only increases attraction to a potential partner if it’s for a short time (a few weeks or less) and can even decrease attraction if possibly unrealistic expectations aren’t confirmed when meeting face-to-face.
- It’s unlikely that any matching algorithm based upon data collected before people have met each other can be effective at identifying partners who are compatible for a long-term relationship.
Most Promising Feature of Online Dating
- The most promising feature of online dating is probably the access it provides to large numbers of potential dating partners.
10 Tips for Using Online Dating Sites More Effectively:
- While having many choices of potential partners is a good thing, you should limit yourself to a manageable set of candidates within a specific time period.
- Avoid an overemphasis on contacting those users who are most consensually desirable “on paper.”
- Try to imagine what you might do to have an enjoyable interaction with the person.
- Be open-minded to considering potential partners who may not fulfill all of your desired criteria.
- Avoid developing overly high or specific expectations regarding partners before meeting face-to-face.
- Prioritize particular criteria in potential partners.
- Craft your profile carefully, highlight qualities about yourself that differs from the standard profiles, and log into the dating site frequently.
- You should avoid overdoing online communications—the sooner two people meet face-to-face, the more likely they are to benefit from earlier online dating communications.
- View online communication as an opportunity to try interacting with potential partners who may be outside of your comfort zone—partners you might not otherwise come into contact with.
- Before investing a lot of money to join some matching sites, consider that the researchers are not optimistic that mathematical matching algorithms can be especially effective at finding compatible partners.
Ways to Improve the Effectiveness of Online Dating Sites in the Future
- Netflix-type post-date ratings which would: 1) encourage honesty since dishonest self-descriptions would quickly be reported by other users and 2) provide more information about potential partners.
- Enhancing opportunities for interaction through the use of video, avatars, virtual environments, and social networks. The closer online dating communications are to live interaction, the more useful they’ll be.
- While online dating provides many more possible romantic matches than off-line dating, heavy profile browsing can have downsides and compatibility algorithms may not be especially effective.
- Online dating works best in that you have many more choices of possible partners and can quickly lead to face-to-face meetings, where you can get a better sense of their romantic potential. It’s more and more likely in the future that people will meet romantic partners online first.
One Last Tip
- KnowYourMan.com can help with evaluating your possible dating matches, once you’ve narrowed them down to a handful of choices.
What are your tips for using online dating sites to find the right partner for a committed, emotionally satisfying romantic relationship? Let us know your online dating tips, strategies, and secrets…