It’s no accident that many of your pals are all over dating websites. Couples who meet online and get to know each other through chat and email have a good chance of turning a first date into a second, according to 2005 University of Bath research. Online dating draws users for a variety of reasons, ranging from busy schedules to a lack of dating diversity.
Dating Someone Different
Those who turn to online dating have a better chance of meeting potential partners who share their values, but differ in other ways, such as in age or educational level, according to a 2009 study led by a University of Oxford researcher and published in Interpersona: An International Journal on Personal Relationships. Internet dating may work well for you if your schedule or the area where you live precludes you from meeting a wide variety of people. If your faith is of great importance to you, you might consider joining a website emphasizing your religion. When an important value like religion is the standard on a website, you can devote your energy elsewhere, like considering whether a potential match plans on having children one day, likes outdoor adventures, or enjoys reading as a pastime.
Shopping for a Significant Other
Some may choose online dating because it can provide a sense of “shopping” for potential partners that is difficult to match in face-to-face interactions. There is a crossover between the consumer mentality and the dating mentality, according to research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. While a greater sense of selection can be desirable, it is also important to make sure you give dating profiles a careful look. Based on some sites sheer volume of profiles, you may be tempted to quickly reject a potential match for differences that could prove insignificant, such as not liking your favorite style of music or eating a different type of cuisine.
Navigating Busy Schedules
Those who stay on-the-go might turn to the Internet because it is the only way dating seems to fit in their lives. It can, however, be difficult for very busy people to translate online interactions into substantial dating experiences. If you’re considering online dating in light of your hectic schedule, ask yourself whether you’ll be willing and able to carve out time for someone if you do make a connection. Be aware that if your would-be sweetheart took to online dating for similar reasons, you may have quite a challenge aligning your small windows of free time.
Disinhibition and Disclosure
You may feel compelled to try online dating if you find it difficult to express yourself freely in person. Many people more readily disclose information about themselves online because they feel disinhibited, according to research published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. If this is part of your reason for considering online dating, make sure that you don’t allow feeling more open to lead to the disclosure of personal information before you know another person well.
No matter what dating website or service you try, you should always exercise caution. Don't give out personal details until you know the other person. If and when you arrange to meet an online match, pick a busy, public place.
- University of Bath - Press Release - 14 February 2005
- Journal of Social and Personal Relationships: Relationshopping: Investigating the Market Metaphor in Online Dating
- Psychology Today: 11 Types of Men Drawn to Internet Dating
- Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking: The Online Disinhibition Effect