Saturday, November 7, 2020

Dating online - worth it?

More and more people are looking for the other half on the Internet. Researchers are explaining how to do this so as not to make mistakes and avoid disappointment.
Monika, a 40-year-old journalist, started using dating portals after a painful divorce. Although she was busy filling out personality tests, she still found narcissistic or primitive men. Usually after the first exchange of e-mails she cut off contact. When her son opened her account on Tinder, she made an appointment with the pilot and the head of an American company. The men, though fantastic, did not hide the fact that they have permanent partners abroad and are looking for romance in Poland. Fortunately, Robert from the Netherlands came into her range (up to 100 km). After a few months of acquaintance he found a job in Warsaw, today they are one year after the wedding.

More and more people are looking for such a happy ending. However, in order to get there, you have to work hard and avoid some basic mistakes. Fortunately, dating on the Internet has already been taken care of by scientists. Their research and conclusions indicate how to proceed to bring the case to a happy end. A lot is known about the art of dating by the American cultural anthropologist Jean Smith. In her book "Flirtology", which has just been published in Poland, she notes that in the last 10 years there has been a huge increase in the number of users of dating portals. In the United States alone 50 million people have used them at least once in their lives. However, only 5 percent of this group married a partner they met on the Internet. Why is it so difficult to succeed there, when there is no shortage of people willing, there are more and more applications and portals that satisfy more and more sophisticated needs, and their creators ensure that thanks to intelligent algorithms you can find the perfect partner? Here you can find one

Jean Smith explains that dating over the Internet is not a charity, but a powerful business, worth billions of dollars. "The idea behind internet dating is that people can't find a partner for themselves, they just pay a subscription to keep looking. A large proportion of internet dating enthusiasts never
She did not go on a real date with a person she met online," she writes in "Flirtology".

So what should we do to not waste our time, take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Internet and not fall into the traps lurking there? "When we meet people, everyone tries to behave as well as possible and do what they should, so they feel confused when nothing comes out of it. And I can see very clearly that it would be enough to do one thing differently to get a satisfactory result. Flirting is a learned behavior, so you can master the art," Smith says.

E-respondence is the second most popular way of establishing relationships, according to the research of psychologists from the University of Rochester in New York. Over 100 million people use Tinder alone.
Polish dating sites, and there are almost 80 of them, are visited by more than 4 million Poles each year (PBI/Gemius Megapanel data). More than half of the young people in our country look for acquaintance online - determined Professor Zbigniew Izdebski. - Dating portals tempt with their illusory anonymity, time saving and the possibility to choose - hundreds of profiles are at your fingertips - says Bianca-Beata Kotoro, psychosexologist, director of the Beata Vita Institute of Psychological-Psychosexual Therapy and Training.

During the time you have to spend getting to know one person at a party, you can watch a hundred profiles on the Internet. The choice is to be facilitated by personality questionnaires, based on which the algorithm combines into pairs. Global giants such as eHarmony, OKCupid or employ psychologists, sociologists and computer scientists who create advanced tests (some of them even contain 400 questions). They check the match in terms of education, weight, height, hobbies, ideas of a perfect relationship and even communication style. High compatibility of profiles is to guarantee finding the other half.

Although in theory this solution seems brilliant, in practice it usually fails," believes Professor Dan Ariely from Duke University, a behavioral economist studying consumer behavior. - It is crazy to believe that eye color or height can be the basis of a lasting relationship. People are not digital cameras, which
can be described with such parameters as size - says Prof. Ariely. - They resemble rather wine. When you try it, you can describe its taste, but someone who has not tried it will not understand much of it. However, you know whether you like the wine or not. Whether you like it or not is made up of so many nuances that it is difficult to put into statistics.


The point is that many people do not know what they expect from their partner. Appearance is important, especially for men, who spend 65% more time watching photos than reading profiles - proved the AnswerLab experiment (eye movements of and users were followed). Other key criteria are age, weight, height and income. Women are looking for tall and rich partners and men for slim women, according to research by Gunter J. Hitsch of the University of Chicago and Professor Dan Ariely. Their team analyzed thousands of profiles in terms of weight, height and income.

It turned out that lower height or higher weight of men can compensate for a thicker wallet. The analysis of 150 thousand profiles according to shows that more than half of the respondents do not have specific preferences in terms of figure. Restrictive adherence to the adopted criteria is therefore unreliable. - The men claim that they would like to have a slim partner, but wouldn't they make an appointment with Monica Bellucci, who has full shape?

A similar mistake is made by women when determining their partner's height (e.g. 170 cm). This way, the algorithm can throw a cool guy 3 cm shorter from the list, whose other features, such as a sense of humor or intellect, compensate for the lower height - says Bianca Kotoro. - Women's preferences are influenced by hormones, among others. Studies show that during ovulation they prefer macho, strong and dominant men, while they would like to build a relationship with a caring partner and open to dialogue - says Dr. Konrad Maj, social psychologist from the University of SWPS, dealing with dating psychology, among others.

Another mistake we make when looking for a partner on the Internet is simple - we lie about ourselves. Prof. Catalina L. Tom from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Prof. Jeffrey T. Hancock from Cornell University and Prof. Nicole B. Ellison of Michigan State University analyzed profiles of 80 people and then met with them, photographed, checked their age, weighed and measured. They showed that as many as four-fifths of the respondents gave false information about themselves. On average, women subtracted four kilograms from each other, while men subtracted a kilogram (but were willing to add a few centimeters to their height). They cheated to fit in with the expectations of potential partners. They thought that when it comes to the meeting, the extra kilos will not matter. This is a mistake. The disappointment that people lied to are often too strong to continue the relationship. The same applies to the coloring of profiles. - Their descriptions are usually very vague, and the people who read them add too much, filling in the gaps with their imagination - explains Prof. Dan Ariely.

- Just because someone writes that they like music, even the same band as us, does not mean that we will have a great time together at the concert - says Dr. Konrad Maj. And he laughs that dating portals are full of athletic enthusiasts of sailing and horse riding. But in reality, the yacht is a friend and sport is limited to watching the matches. No wonder that people start to be fascinated by someone who exists only in their imagination. Why are we so focused on finding the most suitable partner? - Similarities attract each other, but this rule has its limitations. Would you really like to spend your life with your twin? For a relationship it is important that people sometimes complement each other or differ. Mismatches in certain spheres activate our emotions, lead to discussion and make us see our partner as an individuality that intrigues or fascinates us.


Another mistake? Only every third virtual acquaintance ends with a meeting in real life - according to the research of Pew Research Centre. - Some people are able to chat for months, and when a meeting is proposed, they panic and even break up the acquaintance. They would like to have a partner, but preferably at a distance - says Bianca-Beata Kotoro. - Meanwhile, when analyzing a profile or even sending text messages, we do not have access to key information such as smell, voice timbre, gait. We do not know how we will be in bed with each other," Kotoro enumerates. The psychologist encourages us to make an appointment for coffee as soon as possible and ask the right questions on a date instead of falling in love for months on the Internet.

In the lecture titled "The psychologist is a good friend. In the lecture entitled "On dating & relationships" Prof. Ariely jokes that in most people the first meeting usually resembles a CV review. They are interested in things that do not lead to deepening the relationship, asking about school or siblings. Dr. Konrad Maj explains that by keeping to safe topics, whether consciously or unconsciously, we avoid conflict because we are afraid that we will enter into a dispute that will destroy the building of the tower.

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