More Dating Choices = More Shallow DecisionsIn our fast-paced, consumer-driven society, we often believe — wrongly — that more choices are always better. But as we’ve shown time and time again, too many choices is just as bad as too few choices.

Nowhere is this more true than in the world of dating, where previous research has demonstrated the downsides of too many online dating choices. That’s why online dating websites like Match.com work hard to try and limit your choices (although they don’t always do a good job at it). And that’s why eHarmony makes a big deal about using personality characteristics to match you at a “deeper level” (there’s no research to back eHarmony’s claims — it’s just marketing).

Today, we add yet another study to the pile of research demonstrating the downfalls of too much choice.

5 Comments to
More Dating Choices = More Shallow Decisions

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  1. “level of education, their type of job, and whether or not the person smokes”

    Hmmm, decisions based on these attributes are considered “deeper” than shallow decisions based on physical attributes? Thankfully, I am not in the dating market.

  2. To Mark:

    Yes, those are deeper than just looks alone. “Job” gives insight to intelligence/motivation/earning power, “education” gives insight to the same and smoking is just a deal breaker for some.

    Returning to the dating scene as an educated, motivated and a financially responsible adult is FAAAAR different than when we were teenagers and your decision making process was different.

    Want a good scare? Cruise the dating sights and see how many (single, 30-something) women are looking; 1) to be struck by lightning on the first meeting, 2) want somebody tall (5’10″+) and 3) have never been married and yet want all these qualifications. Gee, why have you not been married? It’s lovely that you have a graduate degree, yet your profession is listed as Retail, Beauty and other jobs that seem far below the grasp of a graduate degree.

    Too much choice is definitely a bad thing here. There is always a better opportunity around the corner with all these profiles…

    It’s sickening and really shows how shallow some people can be. Go to Plenty of Fish and see how many women, in the section describing the first date/meet-up, want to be able to make a fast exit. They’re done before they even get started… why bother with them?

  3. Matt wrote: “and 3) have never been married and yet want all these qualifications. Gee, why have you not been married? It’s lovely that you have a graduate degree, yet your profession is listed as Retail, Beauty and other jobs that seem far below the grasp of a graduate degree.”

    I wasn’t aware a failed marriage was a prerequisite for dating… oh, and there’s a thing called the job market, where one’s value is determined via interviews, another kind of speed dating, but apparently here being, for instance, a single mother significantly reduces your chances for a ‘date’. Too much choice, you know…

    Matt, please leave the woman-bashing at home, I don’t think anyone has unpacked the ‘men want a 5’5”, 98 pounds, D-cup, skilled cook’-cudgel yet. There’s a difference between stating your wishes and actually expecting to get it all – and in my experience, we all have good reason to place the bar a little higher on the internet. It goes both ways, you know?

  4. I think it’s easier to find a job online than it is to find a date…

  5. Let’s all be adults her, please. As in every selection process, whether a job or a potential mate, their are WANTS and then their are NEEDS. If we admit it, we ALL compromise on our WANT list, but shouldn’t compromise on our, hopefully shorter, NEED list! Hopefully, the more substantial, deeper qualities, that bode well for a long-lasting, successful relationship are on our NEED lists. If not, we have no one to blame for our failures but ourselves, don’t we? Again, adult responsibility for self-knowledge and making mindful choices.

    Have you ever had a friend who married someone who is nothing like her known “type?” Well, maybe her new husband had all the qualities on her NEED list, but was shorter, fatter, balder, poorer, older, younger etc. then you thought her choice would be.

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