10 Comments to
Online Dating: Too Many Choices May Be Bad

The comments below begin with the oldest comments first. (If there's more than one page, click on the last comments page to jump to the most recent comments.) Jump to reply form.

  1. Something that may be interesting in this context and supports the idea of the study is Barry Schwartz’ work which he presents in a nice video over at Ted.com.


  2. I agree that too many choices can be overwhelming. Really – how do you weed out irrelevant information when there are so many people who match your criteria? How do you even decide what’s relevant and what’s not? One thing that makes the process even more difficult is an online dating site that is hard on the eye design-wise or otherwise difficult to navigate. I recently discovered a new dating site (www.findtruelove.com)that, though it has many users, offers streamlined navigation and a clean, crisp look.

  3. Online dating is so different from the way that humans are designed to meet, evaluate, and eventually select a mate that it is nearly impossible to determine what factors are at play here. I don’t see a problem of having ‘too much selection’. What are you saying, people are wasting their time trying to pick someone? Or are they rejecting perfectly good matches based on some arbitrary attributes that are in place because they need to narrow the selections down? WHO F***ING CARES!!!!!

  4. Corresponds with my own experience with college degrees. I wanted to date women with a College degree. After seeing so many profiles, many with Masters degrees, I began to think, “a bachelors degree is nice, but wouldn’t a masters degree be nicer?” I stopped myself when I realized I was applying criteria on-line that I never applied in real life. If I met two women at a party, I would never decide on which one to date based on them possessing advanced degrees. There is something about on-line dating which does get you making these weird distinctions.

  5. Brian, that’s an excellent point. It is indeed true that at a party you wouldn’t be thinking: “Hmm… This girl has a bachelor’s, but this girl has a master’s… And, oh, this girl is withing my arbitrary age range, and this one is one month out of it… And this one enjoys Thai food, but this one likes Italian food…” It’s ridiculous! There’s no way at ALL to know from an online profile if you’ll like someone in person. Oh, for the days when we’d meet people in person!

  6. nice post! keep up the good work. keep your upcoming posts as informative as this.

  7. One thing i’ve found to be an issue, at least for me, is all the forms of communication avaialbe. Meeting people online you kinda start out e-mailing back an forth and then from there you might convert to phone calls or text messages, but figuring out what one prefers over another is challenging. I would love to hear anyones thoughts on this.

  8. Yes, but what about all the sites that we are all on with the same people popping up over and over again? I think the bigger and more attractive the site is, the wider the demographic will be that will be drawn to it…..making this group the most diverse. I am tired of seeing the same faces on all the sites….so yeah, I know how quickly to navigate away from it. As soon as I start seeing the losers that I and my friends already know….it’s time to move on real quick!!!

    Also…..it seems like more sites need to “clean up” and delete the older profiles that we ALL know are no longer active. Why have them as part of your database if they NEVER even log in anymore and have most likely forgotten that they own that acct?

    I have yet to find a site that not EVERYONE is on….So a lot of cross-contamination is definitely occurring! I’m not sure if this is helping or hindering in the search for anyone/anything.


  9. Online dating is just a tool – to sort out the kinda of attributes you prefer in a person and then to choose from among that pool. The final choice (I hope for most of you) will be made in person.

    So although in a real party we might fall only for the looks etc. of a person without knowing other attributes, we might discover later on that she works at the coin laundry next door. We can avoid all that by taking care of other attributes first and then moving on to the real “hooks” that matter – which for guys is does the girl look as good as her online pic – rather than falling for “Oh….she is gorgeous” first and getting repulsed later.

    This system also works for women coz they want the guy to be a provider at some level. Thus, they can choose education etc. online and then on meeting decide if the guy has a good enough personality. Clean…isn’t it?

    So if you have too many choices narrow it down. Use advanced search. And ultimately also know that too many choices if a good thing. Coz finally its a numbers game. Like in real world, even in online world – if you approach 100 women you will end up with maximum 10. Good luck!

  10. Myself at being on several sites, and meeting women, women were looking in a way the same as me. SEX!!! Imagine that. Yes, I was looking for a certain woman, but when finding, meeting, and being turned down, well it just became a sex thing.

    Really, if someone doesnt have, woman or man, they look for them. First thought is good or bad looking. Next is how long or what kind of sex can get from them.

    My experiance is that if really no connection on a personnel basis for a continuance of dating, then theres the other avenue — SEX — . Not saying that the women that i’vs been with are no good or other word, but that it has led to being with them then and even several other times without being in no way of interest of being a mate.

    In a way its sex for not sale but its there for in a way to get. There are some that do get together for a relationship, but do they last?

    No, in no way im saying to get on all the sites you can to go pick up women for sex, no these are real women and they do need the respect of all of their being. If you do you may get something you dont want besides a bad name.

    These are just my opinions and in no way reflect on anyone in any way, just my opinion.

  11. E-harmony takes a lot of the work out of searching.

  12. Also, when using a full date (month, day, year), don’t use the ordinal (“th” or “rd” or “st”). Use the cardinal (October 4, 2009). Use the ordinal when not using the year.

  13. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush >.<

  14. Another possibilty resulting from having too many choices is that people will, rather than make a “wrong” or “bad” choice, is to simply never make any choice. If one believes that he or she has an endless number of choices, one begins to believe that it’s better to keep holding out and not make any permanent choice. Or, it’s better to keep going on an endless series of dates and not settle for any one person because there is always something better out there that is just a mouse-click away. This can be a particular problem for women once they get past 50 or so, because the ratio of women to men start to favor men beyond that age.

  15. I think this is a great article, and really raises a good question about online dating. However, I have to say that while we CAN be overwhelmed with choices in the dating world, for SO many people, the online dating scene is a god-send. Personally, I was a small town girl growing up in rural Ohio – where the only choices for dating were the farmer’s sons I went to school with. Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with a brawny farm boy! But for me, the bookworm computer geek – there was not much of an attraction there. So – while choices can certainly overwhelm us and we can find ourselves getting TOO picky – have a choice is also a splendid and healthy thing in the dating world.

  16. I started online dating because I was looking for a life mate and ended up getting so much more than that. What I leaned about myself is that I am so complete because I’ve lived my own truth and made wise life choices.

    Dating online is like doing sociological research into your own age cohort. What I have learned from the men I have met online is that by age 50 most people have made some very poor, life-altering choices that have led to a lot of guilt and/or regret. It has been a real eye-opener into just how many ways people can screw up their lives, making me feel soooo grateful for the peace and tranquility I have in my own life. I asked myself,why in God’s name would I want to take on any of these men and their problems? Answer: I don’t!
    I’m sure I will meet someone compatible eventually. I look at it as times up at bat, or wisdom meeting fate. It will happen because I believe it will.

  17. Several yrs ago I tried a major online dating spot and was scared away because the men I met expected intimate relations quickly- even while they still remained active on the dating site. I deleted my personal information and met a guy off line. We had a relationship for years. After we broke up I tried the dating site again. I was hoping to find different people to meet only to find a large number of the same men still on there with the same text & photos. Some of the men were the one’s I met (so I was aware of their false profile statements) and some where not but I still remembered them from emails they sent. I find this very strange as some of them appear to be great catches with everything anyone might look for in a prospective date and more. They have text that says everything a woman would want to hear but now I wonder if they even wrote these themselves anyhow. Beware of the online player who looks sweet, educated, handsome, and innocent. And of course they make sure to add how much they love Jesus.



Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Post a Comment: