The Psychology Behind Online Dating

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online dating

Online dating is more popular than ever! But have you ever wondered about the psychology behind it? You may be surprised to hear what really goes on under the surface…

Traditional Dating Vs. Dating Online

Pre-Internet

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Human matchmakers even date back to the Bible! Before you could date online, professional matchmakers, parents or priests typically made the matches.

Online Date Sites

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The evolution of online romance includes the use of online personal advertisement sites, algorithm-based matching sites and smartphones-based dating applications.

Examples:

  • Match – launched 2005
  • eHarmony- 2000
  • Zoosk/Tinder – 2008

Attitudes Towards Dating Online

At the turn of the millennium, college students had more negative than positive attitudes. By 2005, Pew Internet & American Life Project found that internet users were split on their opinions.

  • 59% of all internet users now agree that dating online is a good way to meet people. That’s a 15-point increase form 2005
  • Internet daters more likely to be sociable, have high self-esteem, and be low in dating anxiety.
  • 21% of internet users agree that people who use online date sites are desperate. That’s an 8-point decline from 2005!
  • 53% of internet users agree that dating online also allows people to find better matches because there are no more options.

Prevalence Of Online Romance

In 2011, Match.com said 1 in 5 relationships start online. Finding a date online is especially common among those with a minority sexual orientation, those who have recently moved or experienced a breakup, and people who work long hours.

A 2009 study found that 22% of heterosexual couples who met between 2007 and 2009 did so online.

  • 1 in 5 adults ages 25-34 years old have dated online.
  • 45-54 year olds are just as likely to date online as are 18-24 year olds.

Lying & Deception In Online Romance

Over 50% of online daters have felt that someone else seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile. Moreover, 28% of online daters have felt harassed or were made uncomfortable.

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Crafting The Ideal Online Dating Profile

Fudging the truth still happens! One study found both men and women reported being slightly taller than the national averge and women reported weighing from 5 to 23 pounds less than the national average.

What makes a great photo (and more responses) for women? Eye-contact with a flirty face. Men do best when they look away from the camera and don’t smile.

Photos associated with the longest online conversations include:

  • Animals
  • Travel photos
  • Avoid photos in bed and alcohol

Another study found that 60% of online daters lied about weight, 48% about their height, and 19% about their age.

  • 1 in 5 online daters have asked someone else to help them with their profile, a friendly assist never hurts!