Psychological reasons for online dating
People instinctively understand this when choosing their profile photo so Toma and Hancock (2010) took photographs of internet daters, then judges compared these to the real profile photos.Although less physically attractive people were the most likely to choose a self-enhancing photo, overall the differences were tiny.
On average people are looking for someone about the same as themselves.Although opposites don’t tend to attract, by its nature internet dating does encourage diverse matches.The authors argue that it is changing the face of marriage by bring together types of people who previously never would have met.For many, but not all internet daters, the aim is to meet someone new in the flesh. (2008) found that 51% of people had made a face-to-face date within one week and one month of receiving replies to their online overtures. It’s only after this stage is complete that people can get to know each other.This first meeting is often treated by internet daters as the final part of the screening process (Whitty & Carr, 2006). Despite all the positive things the research has to say about internet dating, there’s no doubt that it can be unsatisfying and aversive. (2008) reported that they spent 7 times as long screening other people’s profiles and sending emails than they did interacting face-to-face on real dates.
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Indeed there are now many dating sites aimed at narrower demographics such as sports fans, Jewish people or those with particular medical conditions.