Online Dating Vs. The Real World: Which is More Successful for Finding "the One"?

Online dating services can be enticing in a world where just finding the time to meet potential mates can be difficult. Members of online dating communities like the idea that they can choose from a variety of profiles and are methodically matched up with their "perfect mates". And if they don't care for that first email exchange there is no harm in moving on to the next candidate. But can online dating prove to be as successful as the more traditional, organic way of meeting people?

A recent report from Time magazine discusses a new study published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, that finds internet dating may be good for singles who simply want to meet new people but does not necessarily help those looking for long-lasting love.

The study's co-author, Harry Reis, explains the current findings. Reiss says, "There is no reason to believe that online dating improves romantic outcomes. It may yet, and someday some service might provide good data to show it can, but there is certainly no evidence to that right now."

One of the biggest reasons online dating may not be as successful as the real thing is the limitations of the profile. The profile, though it can be somewhat informative and complex, can not compare to what it's really like to get to know someone. Reiss puts it simply saying, "You can't look at a piece of paper and know what it's like to interact with someone. Picking a partner is not the same as buying a pair of pants."

Whether you meet people online or by chance in the real world, forming a lasting and meaningful bond can prove difficult in almost any circumstance. If you tackle the dating world with the wisdom and knowledge that you will probably have to try out a few (or more) different matches before finding the right fit then you will be ahead of the game either way.

What do you think of the study that finds online dating is not the best tool for finding a long-lasting relationship?

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