Modern dating woes: More choices, less happiness
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.