There sure is a lot of buzzing about online dating these days. The water-cooler which was once a glorious place to waste a few minutes of a very long day is now ruined with profile speak. Heck, you can’t even peacefully grind your teeth in the 10 items or less line without being subjected to a fascinating conversation about choosing the right “user name”.
According to the commercials, featuring the most attractive people (models), with the whitest teeth you’ve ever seen (caps), there’s a hot model with perfect gums that practices your exact religion, subscribes to your favorite reading materials (Wow! They read too!), and is just waiting for you to jump online and find them. And if for some reason, you two don’t hit it off, there are 100 more just like them.
So does all this dental work live up to its promise? Are people really falling in love left and right like an episode of the Love Boat on ecstasy?
According to a recent study*, what online dating has accomplished is a platform where “romantic browsing triggers” happen. Instead of considering a potential partner on specific characteristics that would align with your true ideals, speedy decisions are made, based upon finding, “the best” profile, which of course includes a picture. This study found that when folks were faced with many profiles (up to 90), they made faster decisions, and wrote potentials off quicker, instead of weighing important information. These hasty decisions demonstrated that people forgot what they were really looking for in a mate. In contrast, those who had to select from say four people, considered real options, and complex information for a potential partner. This same study also found that going on a REAL date was more productive in truly getting to know someone, than just online chatting.
The morale of the study? Take time to smell the rose. Focusing on what you want, going out on a date, and then deciding what comes next. We at It’s Just Lunch® are proud of our 20 years of dating success stories. No user names, no photos, ...ever. Just lunch with someone specifically matched to your interests and values.
*Finkel, E. J., Eastwick, P. W., Karney, B. R., Reis, H. T., & Sprecher, S. (2012). Online dating: A critical analysis from the perspective of psychological science. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13(1), 3–66.