February 24, 2024
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Dating advice Dating Apps Relationship

How Meeting Online is Linked to Differences in Marriage

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What does a recent study by Psychology Today tell us about the validity of long-term relationships which started online?

 In a post on Psychology Today, online dating experts looked at the happiness of long-term relationships over the past years. The recent study compared couples over a 10-year period and monitored the satisfaction and stability of their relationships. The study monitored less than 1000 people, so the results are limited, but the key points are as follows: those who meet on dating apps or online dating sites are initially happier, but after 10 years, couples who meet in more traditional ways are happier.

Why are couples who meet online less happy? 

There are a number of reasons for this. Those on dating apps are exposed to more potential partners, and this might make people curious about other romantic relationships over time. The algorithms used by dating apps use data and trends to identify a “perfect match”, which may result in a high level of satisfaction and stability to start with, but the study indicates that this may not last. It would be interesting to see if this trend continues in a subsequent study of psychological science. Further research will be illuminating.

The horrors of online dating. 

There may be some joy in the act of leaving an online dating site. Many people have reported that, when used regularly, dating apps have a negative impact on their mental health. The dating experience might be fun at first, but after a few heartbreaks or being ghosted, things simply aren’t fun any more. Users of online dating platforms have a variety of complaints. In heterosexual users, women report feeling overwhelmed by the number of matches; men say that they often feel ignored. Then, of course, there are people who play games and intentionally manipulate others, which can be extremely exhausting and make potential partners want to depart their online dating platforms.

Is meeting potential partners in a traditional, offline way more fulfilling?

 It’s becoming more common to find potential matches and meet significant others online, but there are still some people who prefer to find romantic partners in more traditional ways. They might find that dating colleagues, and friends or being set up on blind dates leads to a more authentic dating experience. When computers dictate human behaviour by suggesting matches, this can feel off-putting, and online dating sites can offer a choice overload. Traditional dating will offer fewer potential matches, which can actually be nice.

Are online dating sites good? 

So should we only get into serious relationships with those we meet traditionally? I would argue that this isn’t actually a good idea. Sure, the results from one study suggest that those who get into committed relationships in a traditional manner tend to be happier after 10 years, but the researchers also note that both groups studied (people who met online and people who met traditionally/did offline dating) experience high levels of satisfaction and stability. The way people meet might suggest a future level of happiness, but it’s not as if one is right and the other is wrong.

Look after yourself when you’re dating. 

Either way, it’s important to remember that when looking for potential dates, you should practice self-care and prioritise your mental health. A lot of people feel overwhelmed and burnt out by the dating experience, so don’t rush to find the right person. Dating apps — and single people generally — aren’t going anywhere. Additionally, you should make sure you’re on the right type of dating site. Some modern dating apps are deliberately designed for certain types of people, and if you’re in the wrong area, it can be hard to make a sexual selection. Take a look at online profiles to see if you’re in the right place. Some dating sites are good for casual sex; others target people who are of certain religious backgrounds or fit into a specific age bracket. Don’t just download Tinder and start swiping: think about what you want, so you can meet potential partners with personal characteristics which you actually like. That way, your matches will be of high quality.

Conclusion

 The ways people meet in recent years have changed. It’s amusing to look at the rom-coms from the late 20th century to see the way first dates played out before online dating platforms were introduced. Now, plenty of couples meet online. Some people question the long-term prospects of these relationships or the quality of these relationships. The research done by the online publication Psychology Today would suggest that there is some merit to these concerns. I would argue that human behaviour is rarely borne out by the supposed “success rate” of a decade-long study and that if people want to use their online dating platforms, they should continue to do so.

administrator
Rachel Hall, M.A., completed her education in English at the University of Pennsylvania and received her master’s degree in family therapy from Northern Washington University. She has been actively involved in the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, and coping with life changes and traumatic events for both families and individual clients for over a decade. Her areas of expertise include narrative therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and therapy for traumatic cases. In addition, Rachel conducts workshops focusing on the psychology of positive thinking and coping skills for both parents and teens. She has also authored numerous articles on the topics of mental health, stress, family dynamics and parenting.

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