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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.
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.
Of course, online dating wouldn’t be so popular if it didn’t work for so many people.
According to some estimates, over a third of marriages in the US are now from couples who first met online.
Yes, that’s just the number of different it’s no wonder that many people find online dating overwhelming!
And, of course, the ones who good at selling themselves generally do so by misrepresenting themselves to some extent.
You would at least talk to someone before you’d go anywhere near finding out what their pet preferences were …
and you’d then use your own judgement about whether you liked them or not.
Instead of meeting people in a fun social environment first, and using all the social tools we have to figure out if you like somebody’s company, technology arrived to help you make a decision about someone without ever even needing to meet them in person.
And with such an alluring promise, it’s understandable why online dating took off so quickly.