Combing dating websites for that perfect love match can be very frustrating, and a group of US psychology professors released a report last week explaining why there is no substitute for meeting face to face.
“Online dating is a terrific addition for singles to meet. That said, there are two problems,” report author Eli Finkel, an associate professor of psychology at Northwestern University, said in an interview.
First, poring over seemingly endless lists of profiles of people you do not know, as on Match.com, did not reveal much about them. Second, it “overloads people and they end up shutting down”, Finkel said.
He compared it to shopping at “supermarkets of love” and said psychological research showed people presented with too many choices often tended to make lazy and poor decisions. The study’s authors also questioned the algorithms employed by sites such as eHarmony.com to match people based on their interests or personality – comparing them to having an estate agent of love.
While the algorithm may reduce the number of potential partners from thousands to a few, they had never met and may be as incompatible as two people meeting at random, Finkel said.