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3 Disadvantages of Online Dating

Online dating has been growing exponentially in popularity, but it still has its drawbacks

3 disadvantages of online dating

From overwhelming lists of profiles to worrying about whether her pictures match her appearance in person, online dating provides a unique set of concerns for its users. Here are three common ones you should be conscious of, according to a study by the Association for Psychological Science entitled: Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science:

1. Most people possess a disconnect when it comes to the qualities they say they want in a partner versus what they are actually attracted to on a more subconscious and/or instinctual level

The difference between the qualities you say you want in a girlfriend and what actually attracts you to someone may be a flaw in the nature of online dating, according to the study.

Your perception of a woman based on her profile might not matter once you meet in person.

“It is difficult for an online dater to know whether he or she will like a potential partner based on knowledge of the partner’s searchable traits and interests, just as it is difficult for someone to know whether or not he or she will like a meal based on knowledge of the ingredients and nutritional content,” the study said. “Qualities like sense of humor and rapport are difficult to evaluate from a profile.”

2. The abundance of choices in online dating may actually detract from its purpose of getting people into relationships

Supermarket shoppers (in a different study) were presented with a display of jam that contained either six or 24 flavors. Shoppers were 10 times more likely to buy a jar from the smaller display (30 percent versus 3 percent).

The same principle seems to apply to online dating. The bigger the sample size of partners, the more “cognitively overwhelmed” the user becomes.

“Participants were more prone to memory confabulations, misremembering characteristics as present in a particular profile when they were in fact absent, when browsing 20 rather than 4 online dating profiles,” according to researchers.

The abundance of potential partners on an online dating site can also lead to a constant second guessing. Even when you’re on a date, you can’t help wondering if you could have found a higher quality woman among all those profiles. As a result, you might end up going on many first dates rather than allowing one relationship to blossom.

So try to avoid binge profile viewing.

3. When you meet a woman online, it’s better to meet her in person as soon as possible

This fact isn’t necessarily a drawback, but it means your online dating interactions have an expiration date, as it were.

You can create a genuine sense of intimacy fairly quickly with a woman you meet online, according to a study; however, the longer you spend messaging a woman back and forth without meeting her in person, the more distorted your perceptions of each other can become.

Communicating online is limited to words and pictures, and your mind tends to fill in certain blanks when you’re processing messages women send you.

Meeting a potential romantic partner off an online dating site sooner (65 percent of online daters in one sample met in person within one week of meeting online) leaves your imagination less time to form an image and back-story about the other person that turns out to be inaccurate, potentially shaping your perception of that person in a negative way.

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About Luke Harold Luke Harold is a journalist who has written for publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Orange County Register.


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