“Psychologists refer to this as the ‘Paradox of Choice,’” Selterman explains.
“Online sites dramatically increase the pool of eligible partners for those interested in finding a mate,” Cohen tells me.“In a society in which we are often too busy to take a break …I got endless matches, all right, but I also didn’t know which matches were worth my time. Within 48 hours of joining Tinder, I had about 200 matches — which, as a writer/professional hermit, is probably more than I’d meet in five years doing the meet-and-greet method. Are we now too afraid to approach interesting people in real life because we know we can just go back to the comparative “ease” of approaching people online?” But then I started trying to talk to people on these apps, and it wasn’t at all easy.
There was the month-long correspondence with the guy who owned his own construction business, which ended in a “meh” lunch date.
And then there were the three weeks I spent talking online to the management consultant, resulting in an in-person date over a glass of wine. In hindsight, all of the pre-date, getting-to-know-you online chatting felt laborious — it could have all been condensed to 15 minutes or less in real-life talk.
And come to think of it, I probably wouldn’t have agreed to a date with either of those guys anyway if my first interaction with them was in person.
But I had a sneaking suspicion that this 21st-century way of dating might actually be stunting our personal growth.
After all, everyone knows that couple who met on an app or dating site and is now happily hitched.
(Photo: Getty Images)When you’re young and not yet experienced with dating, your view of the whole process is likely pretty straightforward. Dating, as we once knew it, feels pretty much over. “Laid-back guy, who likes sports and craft beer, just looking for a girl to have fun with” — you and every other man, apparently. I get it — online dating is the new “normal” in today’s day and age.