Dangers of internet dating for women

In an instant, all those hours spent on witty emails, all of that effort to be charming on the phone, learning all about him or impressing her go whoosh! And worst of all, you kinda feel like a fool for building it all up in your mind for naught. So save yourself some time, and meet people in person before you decide to pursue. Online sites present an unhelpful excess of choice. I got the blue Prius, but should I have gotten the red one? Online dating sites are a classic case of too much choice. If you're a good-looking woman online, you’re probably inundated by unwanted attention.

The central premise of Barry Schwartz's 2003 book The Paradox of Choice: Why Less is More -- which everyone should read -- is that more choice does not make us happier. A search on a major site for matches in your city may yield thousands of results. Let's say you pick seven good ones out of the pile of hundreds. If you pick one, will you always wonder how the other six would have turned out? Irrelevant information presented out of context can pre-empt a good match.

I've been writing and speaking on courtship for over 10 years now, and I'm always curious about how married couples first met.

Let it be known: I am not a big fan of online dating.

Yes, at least one of my best friends found her fabulous fiancé online.

And if you live in a small town, or fit a specific demographic (e.g., woman over 45, ultra-busy businessperson, sugar daddy, sneaking around your spouse), online dating may expand opportunities for you.

But for the rest of us, we're much better off meeting real live humans eye-to-eye the way nature intended. It's easy to be fooled by inaccurate signals online. What most people call "beauty" is actually evolution's very thorough system of broadcasting our suitability as a mate.

Studies show that we sense immune compatibility through smell -- one way in which evolution decides whether two people should have kids together or not. If she's receptive, the conversation moves to email after a few exchanges.

Add to that the fact that pictures can easily lie about age, complexion and physique, and you've got yourself a lot of inaccurate signals to go on. Here's the timeline of a typical online courtship for a guy: He sees a profile of a woman he likes. A week or two later, after anywhere from three to 10 or more points of online- and phone contact, they meet in person.And it turns out that she has bad skin (which didn't show in the flatteringly lit photos) or her butt is gigantic (which didn't show in her waist-up photos), or he's 6 inches shorter than advertised -- or some other insurmountable shortcoming that could have been ascertained in the first 30 milliseconds of an in-person encounter. Picking one jam out of three possible tasty choices is easy. Second, it causes us to second-guess any decision that we do render. The good-looking ones that, because everyone else is also pursuing, never respond (see section above on wasted time)?Clear skin, good posture, broad shoulders, sonorous voice, bright eyes, shiny hair, graceful movements, pleasant aroma, facial symmetry, articulate speech: evolution has engineered features such as these into us to signal health, fertility, strength and intelligence.When you go online, instead of seeing a person up-close, hearing him speak and watching her move, what you get is a blurry, postage-stamp size series of static photos which cannot be heard, felt, or smelled.You also get a fair amount of a person's writing, which has had no part in the eons of evolution of mate selection.

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