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(Other psychologists say we can wind up making worse decisions in general when we've got too many options.) Mandy Ginsberg, the CEO of Match Group North America, who oversees Match, Plenty of Fish, and OKCupid, alluded to something similar when she said online dating isn't a panacea.
She previously told Business Insider that she still hears about "ability to have chemistry, or someone not being sure about their intent, or going out on endless first dates and nothing ever clicking." The funny-but-sad thing about online dating is that, while it gives you more options and presumably boosts your chances of meeting someone, you may worse off than that guy or girl living in 1975.
"For people who want to whine and moan about how online dating isn't working," says psychologist Eli Finkel, "go back in time to 1975.
Ask somebody, 'What does it feel like to not have any realistic possibility of meeting somebody that you could potentially go on a date with? Finkel is a psychologist at Northwestern University and a professor at the Kellogg School of Management; he's also the author of "The All-or-Nothing Marriage." Finkel and his colleagues have been studying online dating for years.
That's because instead of going on one blah date, you've gone on 27.
Here's Finkel: "These companies don't claim that they're going to give you your soulmate, and they don't claim that you can tell who's compatible with you from a profile.Singles typically don't adopt an either/or approach to dating — either casual sex or a serious relationship.Most of them want to have fun, meet interesting people, feel sexual attraction and, at some point, settle into a serious relationship.You simply swipe on this stuff and then meet over a pint of beer or a cup of coffee. Online dating is a tremendous asset for us because it broadens the dating pool and introduces us to people who we otherwise wouldn't have met." Finkel's most recent piece of research on the topic is a study he co-authored with Samantha Joel and Paul Eastwick and published in the journal Psychological Science.
The researchers had undergraduates fill out questionnaires about their personality, their well-being, and their preferences in a partner.
In that review, too, Finkel and his co-authors suggested that the best thing about online dating is that it widens your pool of prospective mates. In a 2015 New York Times op-ed, Finkel shared another reason why Tinder and similar services may be the best option for singles.