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To answer this, let’s take a look at some of the main reasons online dating doesn’t work. Researchers in the UK recently calculated the odds of finding a compatible partner if they used the average person’s requirements (in terms of desired age, physical requirements, location, and so on).
They found that just over 84,440 people in the UK fit the average person’s requirements, from an adult population of 47 million. In other words, applying the average person’s filters when it comes to finding a compatible partner gives you less than a 1 in 500 chance of being successful.
The last decade has seen an explosion in the number of online dating sites around the world, and the number of people using them.
According to some estimates, there are over 8,000 online dating sites worldwide, and over 2,500 in the US alone.
To make matters worse, most people suck at selling themselves, and do a terrible job of their profiles.
And, of course, the ones who good at selling themselves generally do so by misrepresenting themselves to some extent.
(Interestingly, that definition of “meeting online” includes more than just online dating sites, and includes all sorts of social networks and online communication.) But for many people, there is a growing body of evidence that online dating simply doesn’t work. If you’re aged 50 or over, finding a partner online is even more complicated.
And then along came online dating to blow that idea away.
The promise of making it easier to find your “ideal” companion by letting you add filters to hone in on specific requirements has actually had the opposite effect, diminishing your pool to the point it becomes almost impossible to find anyone!
Before online dating existed, finding a compatible fit was far less clinical; you’d meet someone in real life, and if you enjoyed their company you might decide to on another date, maybe more.
There is increasing evidence that, in face-to-face meetings, we are subconsciously picking up clues about the suitability of future partners based on a wide variety of non-verbal information.
Online dating lures us with the false promise of an “ideal” partner so much that we apply filters that ensure we never get to meet that person in the first place.
Unfortunately, when you’re reading the profiles of other people, it’s easy to forget that this rule applies to them, too.