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Study: Online Dating Makes People "Picky" and "Unrealistic" 630

New submitter garthsundem writes with this tale of digital love: "A newly published meta-analysis of over 400 studies of online dating (PDF) shows both its popularity (second only to meeting through friends) and its impact. More online daters report seeking a 'soulmate' online, and do so by searching through the wealth of available profiles. Unfortunately soul-searchers focus on faults, both in viewing profiles and then also once dating in person, leading to quick exits when relationships inevitably get complicated."
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Study: Online Dating Makes People "Picky" and "Unrealistic"

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  • Re:Study shows... (Score:5, Informative)

    by ShavedOrangutan ( 1930630 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @11:04AM (#38966771)
    1. eHarmony is more than 50% female. A lot more, from my observation. (I married one of my eHarmony matches!)

    2. It changes a lot when you're over 30. Women realize there's no such thing as Prince Charming and it's time to settle for someone who treats them well and isn't going to leave.

    3. It depends a lot on where you live. I lived in a small farming town for a while and most of the young women moved to the larger cities to pursue careers and never came back. Most of the men stayed. The ratio was awful.
  • Save your money (Score:5, Informative)

    by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @11:19AM (#38966949)

    Save your money. Online dating is for poorly socialized basement dwellers.

    Want to meet somebody nice? Try going out into the real world, and outside your comfort zone. Travel. Study something new. Change jobs. Move to another country. Then you'll meet lots of people; some may be date material, some will become lifelong friends, and a few will be special enough to share your life with. And that person, odds-on, will look nothing like what you imagined your partner to look like in your mind's eye.

    Me? On a whim, I quit my job, moved to the other side of the world with nothing but the clothes on my back and my savings, and decided to start afresh. Six years later, I'm happily settled down with my lovely and very sweet, Spanish fiancee, only a few short years after I thought I'd be single forever.

    It's what pickup nerds call "inner game". Work on growing as a person and being a balanced individual, and eventually everything else will fall into place.

    Get out there, be bold, and have the courage to do something new and different. Don't waste your time on seedy websites.

  • Re:Picky (Score:4, Informative)

    by SemperUbi ( 673908 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @11:19AM (#38966951)
    I disagree. It takes a while for people to learn their own nature, what works best for them, and what they really want. 'Adapting to' a mate means knowing how to take the measure of a person, knowing how to tell when the 'fit' is right -- whether for a life together, or just for coffee. You're not born knowing that; you have to learn from experience. And it gets much easier with age. Neuroplasticity is a lifelong phenomenon [stanford.edu].
  • Re:Study shows... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @11:31AM (#38967133)

    I have my doubts about #1.
    #2 and #3 are true. Here's a couple more:

    1. Pursuant to point #2. Yes there are more women over 30yrs old looking and easy. But they usually come with baggage, divorces and kids.
    2. When you're over 30 you might have expected your dating range to move up with you +/- a few years. I found it hasn't. The top bracket moves up, but strangely enough, the lower age bracket stays where it's always been. In fact, I now have many more 19-23yr olds hitting on me than when I was in that age bracket. It can be a lot of fun but honestly the illusion is shattered when they open their mouths. For the most part you quickly realize that they're just dumb kids and it's unnatractive.

    On a rare occasion though, you do meet that girl in the younger age bracket that's gorgeous and doesn't immediately turn you off with stupidity and those are dating material.

  • by smellsofbikes ( 890263 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @12:30PM (#38967969) Journal

    It is no doubt sexist but girls who reach puberty are very attractive to a large age range of men. Boys of the same age, only to Catholic priests.

    Not to disagree with many other excellent points in your post, but I was reading a book a while back about reproductive strategies in different animal/plant/bacterial species, and one thing it mentioned was that with humans, men are looking for 25-year-olds. Heterosexual men look for 25 year old women, homosexual men look for 25 year old men. They'll settle for stuff on either side of that point, but that's roughly the high point on the desire curve. In contrast, women look for partners who are a few years older than them, whether hetero or homosexual. This isn't the case at all with most other animals, because they generally don't experience menopause, so there's much less age selectivity towards females; whatever switch controls hetero or homosexuality appears to just change which sex you're interested in rather than your attractiveness filter for that sex.

  • Bitter much? (Score:5, Informative)

    by raehl ( 609729 ) <raehl311@yahoo. c o m> on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @12:56PM (#38968307) Homepage

    Most people try online dating because they have exhausted the pool of potential partners in their work/social circles and prefer the online environment over forced social situations like bars.

    I've done the online dating thing, and help some friends do the online dating thing, so here's some thoughts/advice:

    Most profiles on the major websites are in fact real profiles of women who would like to date. The ones that are spam are also pretty easy to detect.

    Most women don't care about salary. They DO care about drive. So if you make poop for cash because you're an under-compensated social worker, no problem. If you make poop for cash because your life plan is "bartender", that might be an issue.

    Approach is key. Men on online dating sites tend to be indiscriminate, sending lots of messages to lots of women. This means women tend to get lots of messages from lots of men - but lots of poor, unspecific messages. For success, less is more. Pick a FEW profiles of people you find interesting, and take the time to write them something specific and interesting. Understand that 2/3rds of the time, you're not going to get a reply even from real people for various reasons.... they never read your message because there's too much crap in their inbox from all the indiscriminate men, they procrastinate, or something about you just isn't interesting to them.

    There are other tricks. Start having your friends take pictures of you when you're out doing whatever, and post pics of you doing things to your profile. Talk about what you do and why you like doing it... or what you plan to do and what you're doing to get there.

    Overall, you want to come across as looking for the right person, not just looking for any person.

    And, certainly, if you approach dating with the same jaded attitude you display here (women are just after money!) you're not going to have much success. Approach dating as a fun activity in-and-of-itself and you might also find someone you really like on accident.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.