Mod­ern dat­ing woes: More choices, less hap­pi­ness

HT City - - Relationship - PTI

Too many choices of po­ten­tial ro­man­tic part­ners on dat­ing sites can leave you dis­sat­is­fied with the per­son you pick, a new study has found.

Re­searchers con­ducted an ex­per­i­ment with 152 stu­dents to find out how the num­ber of choices for on­line daters af­fect ro­man­tic out­comes.

They found that a week af­ter mak­ing their se­lec­tion, on­line daters who chose from a large set of 24 po­ten­tial part­ners were less sat­is­fied with their choice than those who se­lected from a small set of six peo­ple.

Those who se­lected from a large pool and had the abil­ity to re­verse their choice were the least sat­is­fied with their se­lected part­ner af­ter one week. “On­line dat­ing is very pop­u­lar but the sheer pop­u­lar­ity of it is cre­at­ing some is­sues,” said Catalina Toma, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sinMadi­son in the US. “Sift­ing through choices is po­ten­tially prob­lem­atic in that it can cre­ate the per­cep­tion that the grass is al­ways greener on the other side,” said Toma.

“There can be more re­gret when they know there are other op­tions,” said Jonathan D’An­gelo, doc­toral can­di­date at Univer­sity of Wis­con­sinMadi­son.

Re­searchers said that hav­ing more choices al­lows peo­ple to think about the mer­its of the dis­carded choices which, in turn, leads to lower sat­is­fac­tion. This causes peo­ple to head back to the dat­ing sites.

“When the cost of the investment of meet­ing some­one is re­ally low and there are tonnes of op­tions you’ll ex­plore those op­tions,” Toma said.

How­ever, re­searchers still say the ben­e­fits of on­line dat­ing out­weigh the draw­backs. “You can meet peo­ple who are sim­i­lar to you like you never could be­fore,” D’An­gelo said.

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