Modern online dating services often pride themselves on having an extremely large user base, with many using high membership figures as part of a promotional strategy to on-board new customers.
However, the findings of a new US study suggest that as this choice of potential matches continues to grow, the number of singles becoming less satisfied with their connections is also increasing.
The experiment, by researchers at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, was carried out to gain a better understanding of how the number of choices online daters are given – and whether or not these choices are reversible – affects the outcome of online matches.
In order to learn more about this, the researchers gathered a group of around 100 undergraduate students, who then had to sign up to what they believed to be a university dating service.
Once signed up, participants were required to complete a personality quiz, a feature typically used by many dating platforms to learn more about each user’s personality and lifestyle preferences.
Participants were then given either six or 24 matches, with some being told that they would be able to reverse their selection later on in the study.
A week after choosing their date, each user was asked about how happy they were with their final selections.
Interestingly, researchers found that those who selected from the larger pool of potential dates were the most likely to reverse their choice compared to those who chose from just six matches.
They also confirmed that daters who selected from the large pool and had the ability to reverse their choice were the most disappointed with their selected partner after one week.
Commenting on the results, the researchers said: “The results advance understanding of how media features related to choice affect interpersonal evaluations.”
Whilst the group surveyed in this study is not representative of the demographics of all online daters across the world, it gives clear indication about how an endless amount of potential partners can overwhelm individuals into making regrettable choices.
You can access the full study here.