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But this also creates pressure quickly to turn your online connection into something romantic, rather than letting romantic feelings develop more slowly.

When you meet someone in the context of an online dating site, the stage is set to look for an immediate romantic connection— and to abandon the effort if there’s no spark.

There are dating sites devoted to particular religious groups, like Christian Mingle or JDate, for example, as well as sites that cater to gay and lesbian daters. This removes a lot of the ambiguity that you face when you meet an interesting person at a work event or a party. Because of the ease and relative anonymity of online dating sites, we may take more risk reaching out to people we would not approach in person.

Research suggests that those who are socially anxious (Green, 2001) or introverted (Amichai-Hamburger et al., 2002; Rice & Markey, 2009) feel more comfortable communicating online.These individuals may have an easier time approaching people and opening up online.Thus, it is not surprising that shy people are more likely to look for romance on dating sites (Scharlott & Christ, 1995; Ward & Tracey, 2004). As discussed, one benefit of online dating sites is access to hundreds, even thousands of potential mates—but having all those options is not always a great thing.A large body of literature on decision-making shows that, in general, when we have choice (Schwartz, 2004).Pros: Access to more people and more types of people.

The most obvious benefit of these websites is that they provide easy access to thousands of potential dates.

The same principle applies to online dating: The sheer number of potential partners creates abundant choice.

So if one dater doesn’t suit the bill, there are hundreds more who could be better.

Having no choices can lead to misery, but too many options can overwhelm and lead you to worry that you’ve chosen wrong.

You can feel confident in your decision about which car to buy when there are only three under consideration, but if there are hundreds, you’ll constantly second-guess yourself and wonder if you could have done better.

But in real life, after we get to know someone and like their personality, we begin to find them more physically appealing as well (Kniffin & Wilson, 2004).