Does Online Dating Work?
Does online dating work? If such services found a way to successfully monetize real-life dates that developed into further relations, then it would be amazing, they would be worth their time! And as long as these sites earn their profit on those users that spend money just to attract attention to themselves, climbing all sorts of unnecessary rankings – these services are completely unnecessary.
Or rather, they are necessary, but only for advertising purposes in order to maintain users' faith in the possibility of a successful acquaintance with another person. The majority of users should remain on a site, they should use a dating service as long as possible, without finding a partner because otherwise, they will leave and stop paying and/or watching ads.
Assuming that dating site administrators intentionally make it hard for users to find each other, you would dive deep into conspiracy theories. Of course, no one will do it on purpose. It's about something else. The fact is that the services are primarily developed for a completely different purpose altogether, although they “declare” one – finding a partner.
Does online dating actually work? Sure, it works, but there is a big problem in how dating services are fundamentally organized and what makes them a lot less useful than they should be.
Why Online Dating Doesn't Work for You?
The developers have their own priorities, that, at least in the current state of the dating market, go completely against your interests, whether they acknowledge it or not, this is the reality that we live in. It will be more profitable for them to introduce all sorts of new useless features that will surely look neat, but they will completely miss the point, which is to make people good at dating, help them find a partner, not insert them in this loop of constant searching.
If the same money and intellectual resources were spent by developers on teaching others on how to effectively establish contact and meet other people, then the effectiveness and quality of acquaintances would drastically increase. But all this is too complicated and pays off badly in the long run. The McDonald's network in the commercial sense will always be more profitable than a single restaurant, even with the highest quality cuisine.
But the fact that developers and administrators of these services are not interested in the same things as their users is only the starting point of all other problems. They do everything in their power and hire psychologists as consultants for their projects only to develop the best strategy for keeping users on the site. Because from the psychological point of view, instead of taking advantage of the virtual environment and helping a user overcome their difficulties in dating, they completely recreate and support the very social scenarios in which they have these difficulties.
How does online dating work? Here’s an absurd situation that will tell you everything. User "X" is registered on a site because they find it hard to get acquainted IRL. They’ve filled the profile, and they probably did it in the same way as they would introduce themselves in IRL dating. Then they begin to text and answer messages, and again, in their own way and style, which obviously does not work. And the user "Y" has the same problems and does the same mistakes at the other end of the wire.
Is there any chance that these two people will be able to make contact with each other on a dating site if they are not able to make it in reality?
There is no chance! They have dragged all of their problems and troubles to a dating site, and their only hope is that there they have the opportunity to be someone else, not hiding their problems and the common mistakes that they have in IRL dating. Understandably, the fact that a person came to a dating site cannot change their psychology. Whatever one may say, they will persistently try to go through the beaten path, which means, they will - consciously or not - repeat their most typical and gross mistakes. And here’s when a site’s developer has come into play. It is possible to build its structure and internal policy in such a way that each user is given the opportunity to ruin their “love career” in their own favorite way. Each of us is supposedly the smith of our own happiness. But you could initially put users in such conditions when the old games would be impossible to play or, at least, would not be encouraged.
There are simple ways to do it. All photos on these services are moderated. That is, specially trained people sit and view each picture for compliance with some conditions. Ok, they weed out substandard, weird and nude photos. But they completely ignore the photographs in which people go out of their way to make them look fundamentally better than in real life. And in the end, a user’s profile may not have a single photo in which they are depicted in the same way as they are in real life.
It is clear why such a policy isn’t around. If we pursue the mass appeal, then moderation should be barely out there, no one should feel oppressed. But if we were chasing the quality and not the number of users, then we would have to think about why a person wanted to post a snag photo, and what this would lead to in the future.
Here, everything is simple, and one should not even seriously study psychology. A person bets on the fact that someone will go for this picture ... someone of those who would not have made contact with them if there was an honest picture in place. And so it turns out that this person initially tries to establish an acquaintance based on deception. Isn’t that great? And what will be when two people will actually meet each other?
As a result, two people spent their time in vain, although it could have been avoided if no deception was involved. But from the point of view of a traditional dating site, there is no problem in this - the fools fool themselves. This undermines the credibility of such acquaintances, but it is easy to hide behind any line in the user agreement, such as the fact that the administration is not responsible for really anything that happens on a dating site.
And every kind of deception and self-deception are ignored. All of these profiles that we have already mentioned stick the entire userbase in the same exact setting and require the same exact information from them. It is as if reading the answers to a thousand profile questions makes it easier to decide whether to contact this person or not.
Does online dating work for guys? There is also a strong argument to be made that online dating doesn't work for guys, as there simply aren’t as many women on these dating sites, it’s like 1 woman to 3 men, which is catastrophic. It’s really no secret that online dating doesn't work for guys, but nothing is done about it.
Why online dating doesn't work? Well, the searching process is one of the reasons for that. You can feel like a detective who is looking for a criminal in a huge database of characteristic features. Age 40−45, height 180, brown hair, not married, no children, rich ... This is not only about deception, but about the mechanistic approach, which is completely at odds with the spirit of the problem to be solved. This is what happens when programmers take on the humanitarian task!
What about all of that silly flirting? One can send a virtual gift, a wink; or they have their own prewritten first messages that a user can send… how exactly old are we??? What were the developers thinking when they introduced these features? All these "features" have the exact opposite effect from their “intended” one. In fact, all of these emoji, winks, likes, and gifts are at the root of the online dating problem, people are unable to speak like adults.
Yes, developers are not psychologists and cannot truly make their users use new ways for the acquaintance. It is their business to create an entertainment platform, a parasite on the topic of dating, which many find it hard to talk about, which will always be very popular. All their efforts are devoted to this task. But damn it, everything could have been done completely different!
Ultimately, these policies lead to the fact that the quality of the audience of dating sites is absolutely abysmal, and it becomes so difficult to find someone decent that it is easier to give up on this matter and find something else. And even if a person with an adequate world-view gets registered on dating site and starts using it, they will eventually leave it since a normal human is such a rarity, that their mailbox will be absolutely filled with all sorts of propositions. Not to mention that 20% of these messages will be made by all sorts of fraudsters and scammers that don’t seek getting acquainted at all.
Arguments that all other alternatives policies are less profitable commercially have the right to life. But not every owner of a family restaurant should immediately close it and start creating their own fast food empire.
What to Do When Online Dating Doesn't Work?
In general, everything is simple. Do you want fast food - go to the most massive and the biggest online service. Want quality and healthy food - cook yourself a meal or visit a good restaurant down the road.
Well, do online dating sites work? Of course, there are chances to find a normal person on a massive dating site. At a minimum, this will take time, patience and great luck. But if your taste is more demanding, and the average majority cannot satisfy your needs in this, then you have nothing to catch in these muddy waters - there is simply no one there!
Do online dating sites really work? As of right now, online dating doesn’t really work, or, at the very least, the developers of dating sites aren’t financially interested in their customer’s success, which is the opposite of what should happen. Thus, the old methods of meeting other people are probably the best ones, like via parties, mutual friends, coworkers, etc.
What to do when online dating doesn't work? Start visiting a club of some sort that has lots of different people interested in the same thing as you are, whether it’s dancing, music, painting or anything else really. At the very least you will be able to find a person with a common mindset there, marrying a coworker just because there are no other options seems dull and is kind of depressing.
How to make online dating work? If there will ever be a dating service that makes it main profit in tune with its users – that site will change the game of this entire industry, but it doesn’t seem like this will happen any time soon.