New Research Suggests Online Dating Websites Don’t Lead To Healthier Relationships

Couples who meet online don’t tend to be any happier with their love lives than those who meet in traditional offline settings. That’s the conclusion of a new research report by LoveLearnings, where the authors sorted through various research studies in an attempt to find out whether internet dating produces healthier, happier, and more committed romantic relationships.

For those who have used dating websites like PlentyOfFish or in the past, this may come as no surprise, since finding and meeting your soulmate on one of these websites can quickly begin to seem like an unrealistic objective. But many sites, such as eHarmony, claim to offer “matchmaking algorithms” that are “scientifically designed” pair you off with compatible singles based on a variety of attributes and qualities.

As it turns out, those surveys and matchmaking algorithms don’t stand up well when put under the microscope. “To date, there is no compelling evidence that any online dating matching algorithm actually works,” says Eli Finkel, professor of social psychology at Northwestern University and one of the researchers cited in the report.

Another problem with online dating as a whole? Too much choice.

As counterintuitive as it may seem at first, the researchers suggest that online dating offers so much choice in potential partners that it can actually be detrimental to overall outcomes. This is often referred to as “tyranny of choice.” The problem is that, when humans are offered a variety of choice, they tend to have more difficulty choosing the best option. “When there is something better out there, you can’t help trying to find it,” says Nick Puamgarten, quoted in the new research paper. “You fall prey to the tyranny of choice-the idea that people, when faced with too many options, find it harder to make a selection.”

Other downsides of online dating include price (depending on the website, price ranges from free to $100+ per month), dishonest users who create fake profiles, and a host of privacy issues.

It’s not all bad news, though: the study does recognize that internet dating websites offer a new and less intimidating place to meet singles of the opposite sex (especially sites that charge a monthly subscription fee, which acts as a natural filter against less committed folks). For those who hate the nightclub scene, or who simply aren’t able to meet other singles by traditional offline means, online dating makes a lot of sense.

Most relationship experts acknowledge the benefits offered by internet dating websites, and see them as a useful tool for some people. However, as outlined in the recent research, meeting someone online doesn’t make it any more likely that you’ll fall in love and live happily ever after.

Christians Online Dating Guide

When utilizing any type of online dating website, Christians must have priorities with their first priority in being a Christian and your relationship with God. God will provide guidance in seeking the perfect Christian mate but one must find the perfect online dating website for this important venture.

God’s plan for all his children is to have someone special to share their life with. One wants to ensure that the online dating website they choose is specifically for single Christians. The world of the internet has numerous temptations for not only Christians but also non-believers and one who is dedicated to God must be able to triumph over these temptations. A true Christian’s duty is to associate themselves with a genuine Christian dating website.

Seek god’s advice before enlisting the dating services of an online dating website. One must have high standards in seeking a Christian mate. There are numerous factors to consider when embarking on this journey. Are you willing to meet someone who is considered a “baby Christian”? Are you willing to date people outside of your religious denomination? These are only a few of the questions one must ask themselves before embarking on the services of an online dating website.

It would be wise before meeting a Christian from the online website to find out their goals in dating and if they match ones personal goals they have set for themselves. The ultimate goal of Christian dating is to find a spouse while maintaining the foundation of God within the relationship and ultimately marriage.

Unbelievably, dating people from an online dating website is not much different in comparison to meeting other Christian’s offline. The same specifics are present and just as important when on the dating scene.

Online Dating – Potential Dangers and Disasters

You’ve just clicked the last box in the long list of procedures to join XYZ online dating service, confident that everything you put in your profile was exactly as you wanted. You double checked, didn’t you?

Oops, you accidentally left in some key information that will make you readily identifiable to all your friends, family and co-workers. Now everybody will know about your absolute sheer desperation to find a partner.

Or worse! You put on your profile a photograph of yourself, half-plastered with alcohol at the last Christmas party, lipstick smeared across your cheeks (I haven’t mentioned any gender here, so whatever pictures you have in your mind are entirely your input).

So, you see. This is a potential minefield…and we haven’t even been out on our first date yet, have we?

But don’t despair or feel that the cat is out of the bag. You can always go back to the profile and change the details/remove the photos/delete your entire account if you are scared enough.

But let’s be serious here for a moment. In the following paragraphs I’m going to go through the three most apparent “dangers” of Internet dating.

The Stalker

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I will put this horrible creature at the top of the list. We have all heard the horrifying stories that have often ended in tragedy. Even murder. Quite often these terrible events have come after encounters on the more “adult-oriented” sites. Perhaps a threesome has become a deadly game filled with jealousy and hatred, after what seemed to be such a cool idea at the time.

Even on a more mundane level, there are nutters out there who have harassed poor women (and men) to the point of psychological breakdown. Yep, it happens.

But, there are ways to avoid this. These guidelines, by no means a definitive list, are especially relevant for women and may help you in a tricky situation.

  1. Never put direct contact details in a profile. Most dating sites will not allow this anyway, as long as their screening procedures are up to standard.
  2. Make sure your first meetings are in well-patronized areas, like a food-court in a shopping mall, or some other busy place. That way, if the man/woman turns out to be less than what you hoped for, you can blend into the crowd before slipping away.
  3. If you feel nervous, take along someone you know and trust well and have them observe you from a distance. You won’t believe how much more confident this makes some women feel.
  4. Don’t give your phone number to your new online friend until you feel it is safe to do so. When is this? Certainly not after date number one.
  5. This may sound drastic, but keep some form of protection (in addition to condoms!) in your handbag (mace, capsicum spray, a very loud alarm device) in case you find yourself alone and in an intimidating environment. In the same vein, go and get some self-defense lessons – it will keep you fit and desirable as well as give you valuable knowledge about groin attacks and the like!

The Don Juan Crook

These are men, nine times out of ten, and there are more and more stories of these guys emerging every day.

This is where a super-charmer convinces their new date/partner that they are world-famous, super successful and know all the celebrities. For some reason or other, all their funds are tied up in something, and they cannot get their hands on ready cash for day-to-day living, or for some other “sure-fire” investment.

Before you know it. Mr or Mrs Gullible Internet Dater have handed over their bank account details, credit cards, or even packed the rolls of cash into the suitcase before driving Don Juan to the airport and kissing him good-bye as he boards the plane for Rio!

How do you avoid these crooks? It can be difficult for lonely folks, especially widows and widowers (beware the female black spider!), so the best advice here is to enlist a friend or two to give you an absolutely candid appraisal of your new-found Prince/Princess Charming.

The Dishonest Dating Site with Fake Members

This problem had a bit of press in Australia recently. I won’t name the actual site, but the owners were punished by the courts and made to apologize to their members.

Sadly, it can be hard to spot the fake profiles, sometimes answering you via sophisticated software programs, or even by real people paid to pretend they are someone else (backpackers in Australia, for instance).

If you aren’t careful, these pseudo-daters can waste a lot of your valuable time and money.

The best way to avoid being scammed in this way is to ask specific questions that only a real person would know the answers to. For example, ask about current events in your local area. If they can’t or won’t answer, you might be dealing with a robot!

However, in my opinion, Internet dating is a great option in today’s fast-paced world. People are time poor, and lack the freedom to socialize they way it used to be in the “good old days’.

Online daters just need to be alert to the potential dangers, and take the appropriate steps to minimize the damage.

Happy dating!