Online dating websites such as Match, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish and OkCupid have completely transformed the way that men and women all over the world find partners and enter into committed relationships. In 2015, 59% of people said that online dating was a good way to meet new people, and it is believed that about one-third of married couples today met in an online setting. So what’s the craze with this online dating trend and what effect does it have on relationships?
Match made in heaven.
Dating apps match users together based on a number of different criteria. For example, eHarmony uses a 29 Dimensions of Compatibility test which asks users to answer questions related to emotional temperament, cognitive mode, physicality, key experiences, values, and beliefs, just to name a few. Once the information has been collected, an algorithm is used to find the best matches based on the user’s answers. What does this mean for relationships? In the pre-online dating world, single women and men had to take their chances with potential mates and get to know them over a series of in-person dates.
Assuming that the algorithms work correctly, these apps have the potential to take all of the guessing out of dating. Users know that they will be paired with someone who shares similar values, has a compatible emotional state, and is within the desired age range and geographical location. Perhaps that’s why research shows that online dating leads to a higher level of marital satisfaction and a lower divorce rate!
Because dating apps serve to increase access to all of the fish in the sea, men and women have become more selective when it comes to choosing a partner. Why would a cat lover feel the need to settle down with a man who prefers dogs when she could easily hop online and filter out potential partners based on this exact preference? Because there is so much opportunity to handpick exactly what you’re looking for, single men and women don’t feel the pressure to settle in a relationship with someone they feel is not a perfect match.
In general, online dating has made it much easier for single men and women to find partners and enter into relationships. There’s no question that swiping through an online dating app in your spare time is more convenient than going out and working up the nerve to talk to someone.
The added convenience that comes with online dating creates a social environment in which people can enter into relationships faster and more often. Social media has also made it possible for single men and women to be introduced to many friends of friends virtually that they may never have had the chance to meet in person.
How do many online romances begin? Through a private message exchanged on an online dating site. This means that many relationships cultivated through online dating websites are beginning with the two partners communicating and getting to know each other on a more private level. Research has shown that this type of communication can lead to higher levels of intimacy and attraction once the conversation moves offline.
Over the last decade, perceptions toward online dating have become more favorable and more adults have turned to these websites to find a match. Because of this steady rise, it’s safe to say that online dating will continue to be a powerful force in the world of love and relationships for many years to come.