There is clearly fatigue amongst singles towards online dating services, both old and new – as companies experiment with how best to “fix” the problems that create this fatigue.
Each new service has a different angle on how to do this – whether it’s removing profile pictures, limiting conversation times, putting women in charge, or acting like an Uber-style dating on-demand service.
But is there really a solution to the problems of online dating?
Comedian Aziz Ansari believes there is, and talks about it in a very interesting piece for the New York Times, taken from his upcoming book Modern Romance.
Ansari, alongside collaborator and sociologist Eric Kbinenberg, takes a humorous look at how to make online dating work.
He says that online daters are given, and take advantage of, too much choice – excessively filtering potential matches.
And people are preselecting dates on what they believe they want – only to find someone they might’ve filtered out in the vetting stage could be perfect for them.
This idea is backed up by research from OkCupid, psychologist Eli J. Finkel, and numerous other studies into human behaviour, one involving jam.
As Helen Fisher from Match.com says, dating services should really be called “introducing services”, as the only way for people to really know how they feel about someone is to actually meet them in person.
As Ansari says in the excerpt:
“Online dating generates a spectrum of reactions: exhilaration, fatigue, inspiration, fury. Many singles compare it to a second job, more duty than flirtation; the word “exhausting” came up constantly. These days, we seem to have unlimited options. And we marry later or, increasingly, not at all. The typical American spends more of her life single than married, which means she’s likely to invest ever more time searching for romance online. Is there a way to do it more effectively, with less stress? The evidence from our two years of study, which included interviews around the world, from Tokyo to Wichita, Kan., says yes.”
Read the excerpt here, and watch Ansari read out awkward first text exchanges on Jimmy Fallon below: