Has Online Dating Changed The Nature Of Human Relationships?

It’s fair to say that online dating has changed the way we meet people in today’s society. So, is this a good thing? Or have we progressed to a point from which there is no return to ‘the good old days’? Associate Professor Gery Karantzas from Deakin University’s School of Psychology explores this question and sheds a little light on the fundamentals of dating.

1. Dating through the ages

‘Both men and women rate warmth and trustworthiness as the highest importance,’ Assoc. Prof. Karantzas says. He goes on to explain that the balance between these categories changes depending on what people are looking for in a relationship. For example, for those wanting a short-term fling, vitality and attractiveness increases in importance but it still doesn’t outweigh warmth and trustworthiness.

2. Jumping online

In today’s tech-savvy civilisation, we see online dating as something that is socially acceptable for people of all ages. But it does come with its challenges. ‘While people do see it as a great way to meet people, some feel overwhelmed or disillusioned by online dating because of all the options that are available,’ Assoc. Prof. Karantzas explains.

3. Taking it offline

Even though we meet online, things will eventually merge IRL. ‘We have an innate desire for human connection and physical contact,’ Assoc. Prof. Karantzas says. The minute we take things offline, the traditional aspects of dating kick in. Things like where to meet, discovering mutual interests, relating to each other’s sense of humour. These things can often be difficult to establish through text.

4. The naked truth behind the numbers

Many online dating sites and apps are more than happy to broadcast the thousands of matches that their users experience, encouraging singles to use their service to find a partner because of their success rate. Assoc. Prof. Karantzas warns, however, there is no solid evidence to suggest a higher success rate in finding your ideal match online rather than face-to-face. ‘In numbers, we see lots of matches being made online, however, that’s because of the sheer number engaging in this type of service.’

5. The horror stories

Assoc. Prof. Karantzas also touched on the small proportion of online daters experiencing horror stories that we hear of through the grapevine. ‘We weigh negative encounters in our mind more strongly than positive ones, so we don’t need to hear many of these stories to remember them,’ he says.

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