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She fitted none of his top criteria — “He said he liked baseball, grilling and political activism,” she recalls.
“At the time, I was a vegetarian and knew nothing about baseball and cared very little for politics” — but they fell in love and were married less than two years later.
“At the end of the day, similarity predicts very, very little,” Finkel says.
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The nearly 200-page report, published Monday in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, found that the main advantage that dating Web sites offer singles is access to a huge pool of potential partners.
“The problem is that the way online dating is implemented undermines some amount of its goodness.” People have always needed help looking for love.
When people exchanged e-mails for three weeks before meeting, the study says, they had a stronger attraction to their date in person, but if the correspondence went on for six weeks, the attraction level fell when they met.
“When it goes on too long you get too lofty an impression of what a person is like, or too particular,” Finkel says. “In the beginning, I had these long, flowery e-mail relationships, and then I met the person and it was like, ‘Oh, my God. ’ ” Now she meets men in person as soon as she can.
This is especially good, the authors say, for those who might otherwise have a hard time meeting people — single parents, workaholics, those who are new in town, recently divorced or not heterosexual.
As one single man says in the report, “Where else can you go in a matter of 20 minutes, look at 200 women who are single and want to go on dates?
By 2005, 37 percent of single, American Internet users had used online dating sites, according to the Pew Research Center. It was second only to “meeting through friends” as a way of finding a partner.
The report by Finkel’s team, a meta-analysis of hundreds of studies related to online dating and relevant human behavior, says that in just one month last year, there were 25 million people using online dating sites.
And you’re less likely to commit to that option,” Finkel says.
“It’s like, ‘Eh, there’s something better out there,’ or ‘I’m overloaded.’ ” The online dating industry’s reliance on profiles is what Finkel calls its “first original sin.” People naturally try to present a polished version of themselves, often stretching the truth on matters such as age, weight and height.
But the bigger problem is that no profile can transmit the full essence of a human being.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating