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The truth about dating websites

Finkel’s study will be appearing in a forthcoming journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

According to the authors, the soulmate idea pushed onto users by various online dating sites can have a negative impact on romantic relationships.

By encouraging users to find that perfect match, websites promote a seed of thought associated with relationship dysfunction: “Indeed, people with strong beliefs in romantic destiny (sometimes called soulmate beliefs)–that a relationship between two people either is or is not “meant to be”–are especially likely to exit a romantic relationship when problems arise.” The authors assert that the long-term, healthy relationship emerges from overcoming challenges.

Match claims that at least 1 in 5 relationships begin online.

In fact, since online dating managed to dissociate itself from the more socially unacceptable printed personal advertisements and video dating of the last decades, meeting on the Internet has become the second most common way to meet a mate.

The scope of the article covers general sites like Match and Ok Cupid, as well as niche sites, family matchmaker sites like Kizmeet, video/virtual dating sites like Woo Me, self-report algorithm sites like e Harmony, websites like Scientific Match and even mobile dating apps such as Zoosk and Badoo.

Beyond the scope of the article are sites like Craigslist, hookup sites, infidelity sites, websites for group dates, social networking Facebook-esque destinations and MMORPGs like WOW.

However, the study states that the shift in attitude can be partially attributed to the millions of dollars that online dating sites spend to promote the services.

Two problems brought up by the claims advertised by online dating sites concern the encouragement of ‘soulmates’, and the authority of “science-based” algorithm matching.

But don’t let this steer you away from online dating!

You can still successfully use websites to meet people, but it’s probably wrong to expect that an 88% match is any better than a 73% match (or even a 42%).

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