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

   By drodriguez  Feb 24, 2012

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?

Share your online dating stories here!


*Image courtesy of Mike Kemp/Getty Images*

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heavenly41 by heavenly41 | PORTLAND, OR
Feb 25, 2012

Tough one, any one can hide skeletons but over the internet people can falsify everything. You take your chance no matter where, whether it be first responders, a "normal" person, church officials, etc.

solkocur by solkocur | Middletown, NJ
Feb 25, 2012

I think every place it is a place to find love... I know lots of couples that are now happily married after meeting online. the only thing is to be careful and not jump without making sure it is safe to meet, unfortunately there are crazy people out there...

vintagepurple by vintagepurple | VISALIA, CA
Feb 25, 2012

while i think real life is the only can know if there is a spark or not, but online exposes a persone they may not have ran into " organicly" so in that way its better.

tmccraig by tmccraig | SIMPSONVILLE, SC
Feb 24, 2012

I think friends and real life connections are still the best way to find your match.

mszoeyluv by mszoeyluv | LANCASTER, KY
Feb 24, 2012

I also met my partner online, by chance. We have been together almost 7 years. My best friend also met her husband online. It is possible, but I feel caution is important. I also do not feel one method is better or more successful.

emimorgan by emimorgan | Pittsford, NY
Feb 24, 2012

I think online dating gives more opportunities to meet people in real life - and that's when relationships start. I don't think HOW you meet someone matters at all in the long run. Staying open minded is the important part.

mbpremier by mbpremier | Olathe, KS
Feb 24, 2012

I met my fiance 3 years ago at an online dating site. I was somewhat skeptical because I had tried a few other websites without much luck, but wasn't having luck meeting any men out and about either. The beauty of online dating is that you can specify what you would find ideal in a mate without sitting through some awkward conversation, only in the end ot be disappointed. And with as busy as everyone is now, where are you going to meet someone at? The bar? Not necessarily the greatest environment to try to have a decent conversation...I think if you are looking for a relationship, online dating is an excellent source, but you have to remember to be open minded.