The pitfalls of internet dating

A bit over a decade ago, online dating was viewed by many as the last resort for those who hadn’t found a relationship the “normal” way.

These days, it is often the first option for someone looking for romance, not the last.

According to some estimates, there are over 8,000 online dating sites worldwide, and over 2,500 in the US alone.

Yes, that’s just the number of different it’s no wonder that many people find online dating overwhelming!

Before online dating existed, finding a compatible fit was far less clinical; you’d meet someone in real life, and if you enjoyed their company you might decide to on another date, maybe more.

You would at least talk to someone before you’d go anywhere near finding out what their pet preferences were …

Some sites take this to an extreme degree and let you go nuts specifying the attributes you want: professional background, religion, salary, ethnicity, personal habits, even pet preferences!

Instead of meeting people in a fun social environment first, and using all the social tools we have to figure out if you like somebody’s company, technology arrived to help you make a decision about someone without ever even needing to meet them in person.

Online dating certainly is a grab bag of experiences. I like to start with the negatives so we can end on a high note. The solution: Stick to people in your league/level from their looks, age, occupation, location — it will increase your chances.

On the one hand, you hear horror stories of psychos and unsolicited d*** pics, and on the other hand, you personally know several couples who have met and married over the thing. You’re never reminded of the fallibility of human kind as you are when you are online dating. And don’t put stock into anything or anyone until you’ve met. The paradox of choice teaches us that the more options we have, the unhappier we are and the more paralyzed we become to choose. Sure there are lots of people online and the grass can always feel greener for another date.

They found that just over 84,440 people in the UK fit the average person’s requirements, from an adult population of 47 million. In other words, applying the average person’s filters when it comes to finding a compatible partner gives you less than a 1 in 500 chance of being successful.

And it gets worse the more prescriptive you are about your requirements.

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I have this problem whenever I try to buy a nice cheese. If there were three choices, I’d be like, cool, I found cheese. Practice the idea that you’re just meeting people to know if they qualify for second place, not for life partner status. The solution: Check the options on the service you’re using.

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