Nobody’s profile really represents what they’re like in real life.And as a result, you will either underestimate them – and dismiss someone who could be a good match – or else overestimate them and then be disappointed when you meet in person.When you encounter one of these profiles, you haven’t met your ideal partner.
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.
(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.
You’re not looking for the same things you were when you were young: you’re not typically looking to settle down and have kids, for example!
And it gets worse the more prescriptive you are about your requirements.
Some sites take this to an extreme degree and let you go nuts specifying the attributes you want: professional background, religion, salary, ethnicity, personal habits, even pet preferences!
In the US, online dating is now the second most common way for heterosexual couples to meet (behind introductions through friends). After millions of years of human evolution, and thousands of years of the development of human society, humans had settled on the idea that in-person interactions through fun, face-to-face social activities were the best way to meet new people.
And then along came online dating to blow that idea away.
Unfortunately, when you’re reading the profiles of other people, it’s easy to forget that this rule applies to them, too.