You might think that when presented with a never-ending supply of potential suitors, people would be getting pickier.
After all, with a lot of dating websites like Match and eHarmony, users can specify almost everything they’re looking for in a partner, so why wouldn’t you be choosy?
New research has revealed, however, that people are in fact lowering their standards as a result of dating apps and sites.
Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology studied data from Australia’s largest dating website RSVP and the dating profiles of over 41,000 people aged between 18 and 80 in a bid to work out whether the rise of online dating has changed people’s habits.
They concluded that singletons are disregarding their ‘check-list’ of criteria and pursuing other potential romantic partners who have sufficient acceptable qualities.
The reason that online daters are more likely to settle could be that they’re tired of trying to find the perfect person amongst so many.
“We looked at whether or not people actually contact people who match what they say is their ideal partner in their profile, and our findings show they don't. Stating a preference for what you are looking for appears to have little to no bearing on the characteristics of people you actually contact,” study author Stephen Whyte said.
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He explains that the nature of online dating is triggering changed in the psychology of humans choosing a mate.
“Disclosure of 'ideal' partner preferences is a widely offered and commonly-used option for people creating a profile on online dating websites, but whether it's effective or useful in helping people find that special someone is unclear,” Whyte says.
“This study provides quite unique findings in that people may state a preference for an ideal partner but they are more than happy to initiate contact with potential love interests that bear no resemblance whatsoever to that 'Mr or Mrs Perfect' they initially think they prefer over all others.”
In today’s busy world, with our seemingly throwaway dating culture, finding a partner takes a lot of time and effort, but the study’s results could be encouraging for people looking for love online.
So if you lower your standards, the chances are everyone else has too, so you may just meet the one as a result.