Against online dating
But while it’s tempting to shave off a couple of pounds or add a couple of inches, studies show that online dating profiles are, fundamentally, quite honest.
Gwendolyn Seidman, writing in Psychology Today, explains it well: “Online daters realize that while, on the one hand, they want to make the best possible impression in their profile, on the other hand, if they do want to pursue an offline relationship, they can’t begin it with outright falsehoods that will quickly be revealed for what they are.” That’s not to say every profile is the gospel truth, of course. Ok Cupid has found, for example, that men and women more or less uniformly add two inches to their height.
They’ve “given rise to a pick-and-choose shopping behavior that prioritizes looks more than ever before.” In reality, how someone looks in a couple of pictures is no indicator of whether you’ll be attracted to them.
That point was driven home for me during a small publicity stunt Ok Cupid ran to promote a blind dating app; we called it Love Is Blind Day.
Ok Cupid creates something like 30,000 first dates every day, and complaints about dangerous meetings are extremely rare.
Additionally, dating sites have taken steps to respond to concerns.It’s an all-too-common trope: Online dating has made casual sex easy but relationships hard.One somewhat hysterical Vanity Fair article recently claimed that sites like Tinder have brought on a “dating apocalypse,” with young men and women meeting online, getting together for sex, then never talking again.Once upon a time, online daters were mocked as lonely losers, or worse. Today, at least 40 million Americans are looking for love on the Web. Like sex, love and attraction, online dating is an object of fascination and confusion.Some commentators credit it with helping singles feel more secure and confident, while others blame it for “ruining romance,” “killing commitment” and contributing to the rise of the hook-up culture. While women generally prefer men around their own age, men are most attracted to 20-year-olds, period.
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But those who stuck around had much deeper and more productive conversations than normal.