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Yet, 1/3rd of people who have used a dating site have never met up for an in-person date.

Lastly, in spite of the rise in online dating, only 5% of married couples or those in a committed relationship say they met their partners online, and 88% of people say they met their partners via conventional means.

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Online dating has, for many, become a mainstay of meeting new potential romantic partners, whether looking for casual dating, serious dating or even a marital partner.Until relatively recently, people met potential partners through friends, family, school and other shared activities.Sharabi and Caughlin (2017) set out to investigate the question of what predicts first date success in their recent work.They surveyed 186 participants who were using online dating, and had at least one person they were thinking of meeting in person.When people were overly positive, exaggerating similarities and the expectation of future interactions, disillusionment was very likely; this effect was greater when communication was lower, presumably because people are able to maintain positive illusions in the absence of information about the other person, leading to a greater risk of being disappointed.

The researchers note that dating services that facilitate communication and sharing of information may be more effective.For this study, the researchers measured 1) "anticipated future interaction", 2) "change in attraction" (from online dating to after the first date), 3) "perceived similarity" (a well-known predictor of attraction), and 4) "uncertainty" (about the other person, e.g. Furthermore, first date success was predicted by perceived similarity, expressed similarity, lower uncertainty, and greater information seeking.Importantly, all other factors being equal, greater communication overall, and greater disclosure, predicted first date success.It appears that, in general, people who ask more before the first date have a better experience than those who wait until they meet to find out important information, possibly because they are less likely to be disillusioned.And after hundreds of first dates, who wants to waste their time finding out they didn't need to meet in person anyway?Overall, the researchers note that relationships don't go smoothly from online to in-person, confirming what many people who online date already know.