The Psychology of Online Dating: The Psychologist’s Viewpoint

Psychologists interested in dating and attraction have learned a great deal by reading and examining the personal advertisements and ‘lonely hearts’ pages of local and national newspapers. Since we psychologists have benefited from the people who use these services it seems only right that some of the things we’ve found should be given back. In this series of articles I will outline some of the more practically useful findings that have come from this research and provide a summary of the results reported in academic psychology journals, written for those who probably have the greatest interest in this knowledge: the daters themselves.

There is quite a bit of material to cover so I have organised it into a series of six articles:

The Psychologist’s Viewpoint

This article gives an idea of the scope of research using personal advertisements, the way personal profiles are used in research, and the kind of things psychologists can find out when they put their minds to it.

He wants and she is

This outlines research into the things that men say they are looking for in a partner. Alongside this we look at how women describe themselves. Combining these we can assess how accurately women understand what men want and use the right kind of language to attract a man’s interest. This one is particularly useful for the girls and should help you write something for the ‘in your own words’ bit of your profile.

She wants and he is

This article gives the opposite perspective to the previous one, looking at the things that women say they want in a partner and the way that men describe themselves. Do these match up? Have men got it right or are they missing the point completely? This one might help the boys rethink the content of their ‘own words’ parts of their dating profiles.

Like for Like or Opposites Attract?

This article summarises the results in the previous two and uses these to outline the current psychological theories of attraction. It explains how ‘like attracts like’ and ‘opposites attract’ can both be true and how this can help you when you are first making contact with someone after reading their profile.

Blitzers, Boasters and Being Choosy

This article looks at research into general approaches to dating including the results found by researchers who experimentally placed different versions of personal advertisements and then sat back to see how many and what kind of responses they got.

Summary and Practical Uses

The final article of this series summarises all that has gone before and places this new knowledge firmly in the context of online dating, describing how these results can be constructively used to make fewer mistakes and to improve your chances of attracting responses to your profile and getting a positive response to your first approach to someone.

Before getting into the results of the research we need to take a brief tour around the ways in which research psychologists use personal advertisements and the kinds of things they can find, so we have some idea of the sort of things that psychologists can and cannot say about personal advertisements and internet dating profiles.

Content Analysis

Personal advertisements have been a rich source of information for social scientists investigating dating behaviours. To give an idea of the scale of this enterprise, my own research in this area is based on the analysis of nearly five thousand advertisements collected from UK local newspapers. Apart from this I have copies of more than sixty research reports published by colleagues in Brazil, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Poland, UK and USA. This adds up to about thirty thousand individual profiles that have been analysed by psychologists, sociologists and other professional researchers. Most of this research has used printed personal ads extracted from newspapers and magazines as these are more useful to us (as explained below) but the information and insights gained can be applied to any situation where first impressions come from written descriptions, so these results are directly relevant and useful to people using internet dating sites.

Creating a profile for an internet dating site usually involves describing yourself on a whole host of listed options such as eye colour (blue, green etc.), smoking habit, attractiveness, salary etc. This information is usually entered into the site using a form. Within this form each person makes their own choices from the options available but because it is a form, everyone has to mention the same kinds of things. In a sense, the dating site has already decided what the important features are and you simply tick the correct boxes when describing yourself and describing the sort of person you want to meet.

With printed personal advertisements there is no detailed form to fill in and you can write whatever you want. The only restriction is on the number of words with an escalating charge per word up to a maximum limit. As a result these advertisements are quite short, averaging about 22 words. This is typically enough space to mention about nine things, whether these are your own attributes (age, hair and eye colour, looks) or things you are looking for in a partner (sense of humour, marital status, age range, personality, height). Given these restrictions we can reasonably expect that people mention the most important things as they see it, so the content of these advertisements tell us what characteristics the writers think are important to the other sex, and what key things they are looking for themselves. For example, a personal advertisement that says “Stunning, curvy and adventurous 22 year old blonde female is looking for a financially secure older man, ideally with own hair and teeth, who will spoil her rotten.” gives a pretty clear indication of what matters to this person and what she is offering in return.

Researchers have taken thousands of personal advertisements and analysed them to look for general patterns. From this, they have identified some very clear differences between the kinds of things that are important to men and women when looking for a partner. They have also looked at how well the self descriptions of each sex matches the features that the other sex says they want, giving an indication of how much each sex understands about what the other sex is looking for. Results from this kind of research are discussed in the articles He wants and she is, and She wants and he is.

Apart from the specific attributes and features mentioned, there are also more general differences in how people write these descriptions. For example women tend to give more detailed information about the sort of person they are looking for than men, while men are more focussed on describing themselves. Looking at a profile from this perspective tells us quite a lot about the approach people take to dating, including whether they are looking for a few high quality matches or just want as many dates as they can possibly get. This research is summarised in the article Blitzers, Boasters and Being Choosy.

Knowing how people describe themselves and the sort of thing they are looking for also allows us to look at broader questions such as whether people are looking for others who are similar to themselves or would prefer a partner who is different but, in some sense, complementary. This is discussed in the article Like for Like or Opposites Attract where we find that both are true once we understand a more basic and useful theory of attraction.

Experimental Research

Apart from examining the advertisements that real people have written in the hope of finding a partner, psychologists have occasionally become active researchers and have placed experimental personal advertisements to see how many and what type of response they get. For example, if two almost identical advertisements are placed and one receives twice as many responses as the other, this tells us that the difference between these ads (which may be as small as one word) has a big effect on the chances of attracting a date.

Some psychologists have also used this type of research to investigate the sort of things that men and women write when responding to an advertisement. This has given researchers another way to classify the different approaches to dating and to identify groups such as the ‘blitzers’ who send responses to everyone in the hope that some of them will score a hit. Results from this experimental research are presented in the article Blitzers, Boasters and Being Choosy.

This article has outlined the organisation and content of this series, has introduced the ways in which psychologists approach dating research, and has indicated the sort of things they may be able to see from their viewpoint as researchers.

In the next article we move on to looking at some actual findings. He wants and she is looks at the features that women tend to emphasis when advertising themselves, the things that men are actually looking for, and whether or not womens’ self descriptions suggest they are marketing themselves well and have an accurate insight into what men want.

Online Dating for Free, A Good Start

It is a good start trying free online dating if you are newbie in meet people online. Please notice, free site for dating by internet usually give you chance to create your profile and fill the registration form without any cent. After you fulfill your registration procedure, you are registered as the site subscribers and you can use the services that provided by these free sites. Though you must realize too, almost all of them only service you in a limited time. But don’t worry it is still affordable to start with their service.

Maybe you curious how can the online dating free site can offer you a free service. Yes, they can do that because some sponsors pay the fees for the advertising. So though you are the member of free website, you can still receive a quality offer to use their services, because they can run the site by the money from sponsors.

Actually the fact shows subscription sites for date much less popular than free one. You can check by your internet there are plenty of dating sites offer free payment, and you can choose which one really fit with your characteristics. Don’t be rush and be careful when giving your personal information. You have to be honest when describing your profile. Some websites allow you to write a short paragraph, so you can tell others about your information. You can read tips about how to write your personality that attractive for your target single, before you write your information too.

Most online dating sites, give a chat room. This is a tool, you can choose to talk each other, of course with singles who are member of the site. Usually, the website has tool to find singles that fit to your characteristic. This is can be done, because you fill you personality before. That is why, you are suggested to give true information about your self. But don’t worry you can still access the information about other people, because the site allow you to browse the database of their member. So if you do not really satisfied with the person that recommended by the site, you can looking for the right man or woman by your self.

If you want to know more about online dating for free you can read my opinion on www.online-dating-business.net/online-dating-free/

Online Dating is Becoming More Popular

Everybody wants to be with someone special by his or her side every day. It is possible to do so online through online dating websites. You can get different types of people through dating sites on the internet. You can also find your soul mate or can get into a relationship that could lead to a happy marriage. Russian women are famous for their extreme and extraordinary beauty. Lonely men are easily attracted by this beauty and their smooth way of conversation. For whatever reason you may want to pursue or have a relationship or get involved with any Russian woman, always be aware you can be scammed. There are some rules that are involved in online dating, on how to find a reputable site that can match you with a Russian woman.

Protecting your financial and personal information

Online dating websites are currently so many and most people are not very cautious when it comes to issues of sharing private and financial details. Some websites ask for details like name, date of birth, home address or phone number. Some other sites may ask for your bank details, credit card details or personal information. Always keep your financial and private details from third parties. Most reputable dating websites have private policies to protect their members by not disclosing any member’s personal information to a third party without a written consent issued by the member himself or a court of law.

Good communication means

Any reputable online dating site usually allows men to get into contact with the Russian women through good communication channels. For instance, the site should have either of the following means of communication: private chatting, emails, instant messenger or personal messaging. Some dating websites have even taken a step further and installed survey features on their website that help the men narrow down to the kind of woman that he would like to date.

Use your sixth sense

There are different protective measures a website can employ in order to ensure maximum security for their members. As a member, it’s advisable to use your sixth sense and be very selective about any personal information that you may give. As the user of the online website, always take responsibility of any information that you may share on the internet. It’s not possible to identify a fraud that could happen online so it’s advisable not to share your financial information with anyone on any dating site.

The dating site is an alternative meeting venue for people who are busy at work or who are shy about dating. It is fun when looking for a mate online but it is always advisable to be cautious when giving personal information. Online dating business attracts many people who are in dire need for love. It also attracts all sorts of people, e.g. gold diggers, scammers, stalkers or even married people just be careful about the information you give. Most men have succeeded in online dating especially when dating a Russian girl and have ended up happy. All you require is to heed the online dating rules and find a good dating website where you will meet the Russian girl of your dream.