In the time-line of matchmaking, Internet dating is the newcomer in helping people find their partner. From Match.com to eHarmony to specialized sites such as ChristianSingles.com, the overall experience is the same: a user provides personal information to enable them to search the site's database for other individuals that fit similar criteria.
Sound like an ideal way to find your match? Well, this approach to finding a date can be enjoyable as long as you don't set your expectations too high.
According to a new study of 4,002 people, researchers at Michigan State University found that couples who met online are less likely to get married and more likely to break up than couples that meet through traditional means (face-to-face, through friends).
According to the study, fewer than one half of online daters seek to further relationships into marriage. It's more about casual dating and friendship, says Aditi Paul, who conducted the study. (Resource: Online Daters Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places)
The downside and upside to online dating lies in the fact that it is a huge dating pool. Online dating has expanded our world to include possible dates with people whom we would normally never encounter. It has shrunk neighborhoods, cities and even work circles.
This is what psychologists refer to as the paradox of choice. In short, having many options makes the decision to pick one harder. It leads to second guessing your choice as to if it is the right one for you or if there is in fact a better one available. Many options lead to higher expectations for “the one,” meaning you aren’t willing to settle or work with someone who fails to meet all requirements on the checklist.
The truth of the matter is that no one will hit all of your preferences. Relationships aren’t about finding the person who fits your criteria for the one. It’s about finding the one that fits your values, traits and personality. Its about finding the person you will grow with and can relish shared moments with.
Stop looking at the options and start looking at the person. Until you narrow your focus on the one across the table from you, you will never see the true person they are.
Internet dating is a shot in the dark, but dating is a numbers game. While your chances of meeting Mr./Mrs. The One may be slightly less than those who ask out their favorite barista, you still experience some of the great side effects of dating.
By putting yourself out there, even online, you gain more courage to try other ways of meeting people.