Parents and village elders used to play matchmaker.As people became more self-reliant and transient, they turned to singles ads and dating services.
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.
Social scientists have confirmed what most singletons have known for years: Online dating is a crapshoot. But the sites also reduce daters into two-dimensional profiles and often overwhelms them with potential choices. It gives opportunities to singles who otherwise wouldn’t have them,” says Eli J.
A new analysis of 400 academic studies explores whether online dating represents a dramatic shift in the way people seek mates (it does) and whether it is ultimately a good thing for daters (eh . Some sites claim to have developed scientific algorithms that can help people find soul mates, an assertion the study’s five authors say is not possible and could be damaging. Finkel, an associate professor of social psychology at Northwestern University and the study’s lead author.
She fitted none of his top criteria — “He said he liked baseball, grilling and political activism,” she recalls.