Unlike the dating apps, traditional online dating sites such as eDarling or Parship present people who are willing to meet you with detailed information on their profession or hobbies, list character traits or culinary preferences. A single who is looking for an acquaintance can find out more about potential partners. But because literally hundreds of candidates come into question for every meeting, many relationship seekers simply feel overwhelmed to read and weigh up all the profiles carefully.
Instead, as researchers have analyzed, they often choose according to superficial criteria similar to those of the users of Tinder and Co. In many cases, the decisive factor is not a well-formulated profile text, but the charisma of a photo – the question of how attractive you are in the Seeker’s eyes.
This behavior is hardly surprising for psychologists, because people obviously tend by nature to infer their personality from the appearance of another. If a person is physically attractive, they suspect that they will also be successful professionally or would be a better partner – even if everyone is aware that such assignments are far from always correct. This is an automatism that is not limited to the digital world. In real life, too, psychological studies have shown that we consider beautiful people to be particularly flawless.
But what makes looking for a relationship on the net more difficult than looking in the analog world is not the lack of discussion with the respective candidate (which is often superficial at the beginning when flirting in a pub), but rather the own demands that are made because of the huge selection is getting bigger and bigger. Researchers find that online singles become more and more critical over time; they develop a real shopping mentality, as some sociologists say.
That means: You compare the people willing to get to know each other in the same way as a car buyer weighs different car models against each other before deciding which one to take for a test drive. And in view of the large range, everyone wants only one thing: the best. This mentality means that pretty young women can hardly save themselves from seeking contact, while female singles over 30 are often ignored by men. If one evaluates the statistics of the portal operator, it becomes clear: 20-year-old women get about eleven times as many inquiries as 50-year-olds.
In addition, the shopping mentality often seems to persist even after two flirt candidates have met – and even after something has already sparked between them. Because when people know that there are countless alternatives just a click away, they are usually less willing to commit to one partner. And more willing to break off a blossoming relationship at the slightest doubt.