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Suddenly there was a different way to find a partner, one that promised practically infinite possibilities, where an algorithm could find you the “right” person without you needing to do the hard work of ever actually talking to them in person.
And if you don’t like what you see, you can always click on to the next profile – there is always another candidate just around the corner!
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.
You’ve just met someone who is good at telling you what you want to hear.
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.
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.
What they don’t ever make clear is that each filter you add diminishes your chances of finding a compatible partner even further.
Forget 1 in 562, you could literally be talking about 1 in a million.
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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!