Online Dating = Too Many Choices to Ever Make a Decision?

ImageRarely has an article so deeply terrified me. The Atlantic Monthly’s “A Million First Dates” article states that online dating has made it so easy to meet new potential partners that it is reducing the incentive to commit. Executives and staff psychologists from the world’s top dating sites (eHarmony, OkCupid, Match.com) are all quoted as saying they see online dating increasing divorce and reducing marriage rates. Why commit to just one when a better one may be your date later in the week?

What does that mean for the future of our society?

And what does it mean for the future of us? All that choice could end up making us more miserable; paralyzed by ever expanding options and opportunities. People say the chocolate they chose tastes better when they choose from a selection of 6 rather than a selection of 30. For more insight on how too much options makes us doubt our choice, Check out Barry Schwartz’s TED talk on “The Paradox of Choice.

Even if we enjoy all that choice, happily skipping from one date to the next, research has shown serious mental, economic and physical benefits of marriage. Married people live longer, report more sexual satisfaction and make more money.

As a woman, I worry about evidence showing that women are the new losers in this dating landscape. Already I’m more educated and have a higher salary that most of my male contemporaries. Now to maintain a potential date’s attention, I have to put out or get out? What ever happened to taking time to get to know the guy? I’m no prude, but I definitely don’t want to feel pressured to sleep with a guy on the first date or risk never seeing him again.

The ease and superficiality of online dating may lead to a backlash if the experts are right and online dating puts off any real commitment or emotional intimacy. The “Million First Dates” article generated a number of articles in response – some agreeing that online dating was reducing commitment, others saying it had no effect on monogamy, and others even saying that the superficiality of online dating actually pushed people toward wanting real commitment, not away from it. 

As a single girl living in a world where I’m just another profile on just another dating site….I’m terrified. Suddenly that white picket fence happily-ever-after seem to be yesterday’s dream….

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4 thoughts on “Online Dating = Too Many Choices to Ever Make a Decision?

    • ThinkRainbows – YIKES!!!! Those four experiences were awful! Thanks for inviting me to check out your blog. 🙂 I’m starting to think that online dating isn’t designed for women. I dropped my eHarmony account after only a month (and had even stopped checking it for the last 2 1/2 weeks of the month). The guys I was being matched with all had really unrealistic expectations of what they could find in women, and what kinds of women would be attracted to them. My (guy) friends told me to just have fun with it and that online dating is a “numbers game” where you have to go on a ton of dates to find someone. If that’s the case, what’s the point of all the matching supposedly based on shared interests and values? Hmmm. Will definitely follow your blog though as we try to figure out the best way to meet quality guys! 🙂

  1. It’s definitely hurting commitment. And I agree that women are the new losers in the dating landscape, we’ve totally become disposable. I still have a tiny ounce of hope that there are some good ones out there, but I certainly haven’t found any. They’ll never say it, but the bulk of men I meet online are on there to hook up and that’s that.

    • Summer – such a good point. It seems that professional, dateable women already outnumber dateable guys, especially out here in DC. The odds aren’t much better online and online dating seems to only increase the chances that guys will power through a bunch of girls without feeling the responsibility or desire to commit to just one.

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