Skip to main content

Health and Wellness: A few thoughts about online dating

Feb 17, 2015 10:47PM, Published by Cen Cali Life Magazine, Categories: Health+Wellness



Gallery: Dating Online [1 Image] Click any image to expand.



Health and Wellness

A few thoughts about online dating

by Bradley T. Wajda, D.O.

Online dating is getting a lot of attention these days, and for good reason. Research has shown that that one in three Americans meets his or her spouse online and experiences more marital satisfaction and fewer divorces than those whose relationships begin more traditionally.

With traditional dating we are limited to those available individuals in our immediate proximity. The number of potential romantic interests is vastly larger online. (How large is too large to manage effectively? The work of British anthropologist Robin Dunbar might give us a clue. His studies suggest we can comfortably maintain, at most, 150 friendships – about the same number of friends many of us have on Facebook.)

Entering into online dating begins with deciding in advance what kind of person you are looking for, because every compromise you make now will be amplified under the relationship microscope later. While it may seem counter-intuitive, you are more likely to successfully assess the suitability of a stranger for a relationship than someone you already have some degree of a relationship with. More to the point, you’re less likely to compromise when you don’t have a pre-existing emotional investment. With this in mind, honesty is always the best policy.

The linchpin of online dating is, of course, the profile. Your profile is the only chance you get to make an impression enticing enough to invite further contact. Be aware that your potential matches likely they describe themselves as you did. 

This is where the “Forer effect,” named after American psychologist Bertram R. Forer (1914-2000), comes into play.

The term refers to our tendency to interpret vague and general personality descriptions as unique to us even though they can be applied equally to anyone. The Internet was decades away when Forer conducted the 1948 experiment that gave rise to this observation, but his assertions are strikingly relevant to online dating today, particularly when it comes to our need to see what might not be there: “When you want to believe something, when you need something to be true, you will look for patterns; you connect the dots like the stars of a constellation. You will take the random and give it purpose, transmutate the chaotic into the systemic, see chance as fate.” Being aware of a common human desire to attach meaning to vague generalizations may help you to avoid having a false sense of compatibility with someone based on his or her online profile alone.

If you plan to venture into the world of online dating, there are at least three important precautions to keep in mind. First, don’t share personal information over the Internet. Second, don’t meet strangers in secluded or unfamiliar areas. Finally, don’t substitute online communication for actual communication. Communicating face to face not only allows us to establish stronger connections, it also makes it exceedingly difficult for people to misrepresent themselves and their intentions.

In conclusion, there is much to recommend online dating. In addition to the reports of greater marital satisfaction and lower divorce rates mentioned earlier, courtship originating online averages 18.5 months before resulting in marriage, compared to 42 months in a traditional courtship.

This doesn’t mean you should only look online for love and companionship. Couples who met at social events, were introduced by friends, or initially crossed paths while in line at grocery stores or coffee houses are proof of an important truth: Cupid can strike anywhere.




  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    03/27/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Kino Hana, Cardio-Hula

    03/27/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    ALOOOOHA!!!! Ready to shake up your fitness routine? Ready to shape up and tone your amazing bo...


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    03/28/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Kino Hana, Cardio-Hula

    03/28/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    ALOOOOHA!!!! Ready to shake up your fitness routine? Ready to shape up and tone your amazing bo...


  • Party for the Parkway 06. Meet an Alpaca

    04/01/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    MEET AN ALPACA SATURDAY, APRIL 1 1:00 pm KT-LEE RANCH ALPACAS, NORTH FORK PARTY 6 Have you...


  • Unique Perspectives on Autism

    04/05/2017
    06:00PM

    A mother of two boys on the autism spectrum joins forces with a developmental pediatrician, board...


  • 2017 Art Hop

    04/06/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    ArtHop occurs every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. It’s one of the most active and successfu...


  • An outstanding night of Art & Music featuring award winning and nationally known artist Kyle Edwa...


  • Arts & Hops

    04/06/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    FCFB is turning 100 and wants to celebrate this milestone birthday with you! Bring your friends a...


  • Boots In The Park

    04/07/2017
    05:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join Us For Boots In The Park On Friday, April 7 With Some Of The Biggest Names In Country Music!...


  • Breakfast with the Animals

    04/08/2017
    08:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join us for hot syrupy pancakes, sizzling sausage, hot coffee, donuts, milk and juice! This year’...


  • Kingburg Pet Clinic

    04/08/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Get ready for the next Kingsburg Pet Clinic, to be held on Saturday, April 8 on the east side of ...


  • Artist’s Event

    04/08/2017
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Do you love to sketch, draw, paint or photograph live animals? Would you love to spend up to two...


  • Eatin' on Eaton

    04/14/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Save the date! Eatin on Eaton is coming back Friday, April 14th. Food trucks will be out on Eaton...


WHO IS CEN CALI LIFE MAGAZINE?

It is the mission of Cen Cali Life Magazine to spotlight what makes our Central Valley a unique and integral part of the Golden State. To learn more about us and our mission, click on the "About Us + Advertising Link" at the top of this page.

Happy Reading,

Karen Maroot

Publisher


 

PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THESE COMMUNITY SPONSORS