Atlantic monthly online dating
Maybe choice overload applies a little differently than Slater imagined.Maybe the problem is not the people who date and date some more—they might even get married, if Rosenfeld is right—but those who are so daunted that they don’t make it off the couch.Sexual minorities, for example, tend to use online dating services at much higher rates than do straight people.(Michael Rosenfeld—whose survey deliberately oversampled gays and lesbians in an effort to compensate for the dearth of research on their dating experiences—finds that “unpartnered gay men and unpartnered lesbians seem to have substantially more active dating lives than do heterosexuals,” a fact he attributes partly to their successful use of apps., Dan Slater argues that online dating threatens commitment.The ease of finding new romantic partners on sites like Ok Cupid and Match.com, he believes, makes it difficult to settle on just one person.Online daters, he argued, might be tempted to keep going back for experiences with new people; commitment and marriage might suffer.Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist who runs a longitudinal study out of Stanford called “How Couples Meet and Stay Together,” questions this hypothesis; his research finds that couples who meet online tend to marry more quickly than other couples, a fact that hardly suggests indecision.
As a 27-year-old woman in Philadelphia put it: “I have insecurities that make fun bar flirtation very stressful. If it doesn’t work out, fine, but there’s never a Is he asking me to hang as a friend or as a date?
Slater writes, “What if the prospect of finding an ever-more-compatible mate with the click of a mouse means a future of relationship instability?
” We asked a range of writers to provide their perspective on how online dating is—or isn’t—changing the way people form relationships today.
Another woman wrote that she was “too lazy” to meet people, adding: “I usually download dating apps on a Tuesday when I’m bored, watching TV …
I don’t try very hard.” Yet another woman said that she used an app, but only “after two glasses of white wine—then I promptly delete it after two hours of fruitless swiping.”Many critiques of online dating, including a 2013 article by Dan Slater in The Atlantic, adapted from his book A Million First Dates, have focused on the idea that too many options can lead to “choice overload,” which in turn leads to dissatisfaction.