This is because the one-on-one, private nature of dating services like Tinder and OkCupid means some singles are unable to determine social norms, or effective online dating techniques.
This is according to researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology, who interviewed participants of two busy subreddit forums dedicated to OkCupid and Tinder.
Professor Keith Edwards said: “We found that participants used these Reddit forums to share experience and to offer advice, and the forums played a major role in shaping how participants used the dating sites.
“There are two thriving subreddit groups for OkCupid and Tinder that are vital to helping users understand dating techniques, both on the sites and in general.”
These threads have over 95,000 members, and see around 1,400 posts every single day.
Topics include users giving cautionary tales of harassing or anti-social behaviour they have experienced on the services.
In addition to this, the authors said users trade information on how to bend the rules slightly, to help find a good match.
Such tips for OkCupid include giving all profiles 4 or 5 stars, so your own profile gets noticed, and with users sharing their “response rates” for various private messages they send out.
The researchers also found some of the techniques might actually encourage anti-social behaviour, which was an oft complained-about feature of dating services by Redditors – with many users sharing stories of cat fishing and trolling.
The authors of the report suggest dating sites take note of this community aspect, and use the forums to detail the problems users are complaining about, in order to improve their services and input defences to stop rule-bending behaviour.
The study, entitled “Understanding the Role of Community in Online Dating” will be presented at the Association of Computing Machinery’s conference on Human Factors in Computing.
You can view the study here.