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Part of the problem is that people are encouraged by online dating to think in consumerist terms (Heino et al., 2010).Users are ‘relationshopping’: looking at other people’s features, weighing them up, then choosing potential partners, as though from a catalogue; it’s human relationships reduced to check-boxes.

These studies found no evidence that people use online dating because they can’t hack it face-to-face. People’s motivations to start online dating are many and various, typically involving a triggering event like a break-up, but overall Barraket and Henry-Waring (2008) have found that people’s motivations are less individual and more social.In this respect online dating is no different from offline dating.On average people are looking for someone about the same as themselves.Getting a response online can be a hit-and-miss affair.An online dating site has gauged the response rate by analysing more than 500,000 initial contacts sent by their members (oktrends, 2009).

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