Dating sites pros and cons

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Similarly, the report says, “people become cognitively overwhelmed” as they scan dozens of profiles.

“You end up a bit less satisfied with the thing you choose — like your chocolate or romantic partner.

The nearly 200-page report, published Monday in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, found that the main advantage that dating Web sites offer singles is access to a huge pool of potential partners.

“The problem is that the way online dating is implemented undermines some amount of its goodness.” People have always needed help looking for love.

This is especially good, the authors say, for those who might otherwise have a hard time meeting people — single parents, workaholics, those who are new in town, recently divorced or not heterosexual.

As one single man says in the report, “Where else can you go in a matter of 20 minutes, look at 200 women who are single and want to go on dates?

“We met in person, and there was actually no chemistry.” Online dating also differs from traditional courtship in that people get to know one another before they meet, trading e-mails and photos.

And the average online dater spends 12 hours a week at the endeavor.

“It really feels like a full-time job sometimes,” says Frances Correa, a 24-year-old reporter, who lives in Northwest Washington and stopped online dating after four years.

And you’re less likely to commit to that option,” Finkel says.

“It’s like, ‘Eh, there’s something better out there,’ or ‘I’m overloaded.’ ” The online dating industry’s reliance on profiles is what Finkel calls its “first original sin.” People naturally try to present a polished version of themselves, often stretching the truth on matters such as age, weight and height.

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