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How Online Dating Lets Good Ones Get Away

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by Sonia Sutton
on April 4, 2023

Hasty decisions are often wrong

Online dating has evolved to the point where the biggest decision in your life – who to spend your life with – is often made in seconds.

What is the first thing you see of a potential date?  Their photo, of course.  No dating site that wishes to remain in business will first present you with a screenful of biodata.

Two women's dating profiles showing their thumbnails, name, age, location

And there's a good reason for this: Humans have the innate ability to quickly form first impressions – generally quite accurate – based on someone's face.

Online dating offers several other benefits such as easy access to a large pool of potential partners, the ability to filter out those who don't meet certain criteria, and being able to communicate before meeting in person.  However, judging (swiping) someone based on a single photo has a major downside.

Don't judge a book by its cover

A person's face tells us a lot, but by no means everything. Profile photos on dating sites generally do not reveal body shape, sexiness, scars, tattoos, piercings, skin disease, or how someone looks after themself in general.

Most people, being honest, will admit that they are interested in seeing a prospective partner in their full undressed glory prior to making a decision.  The reason is simple: They want to know if they will be attracted to, aroused by, and fulfilled by their partner, both short-term and long-term.

Without mutual sexual attraction, relationships usually fail.

The one that got away...

Rejecting someone based purely on one profile photo is often a mistake: You might not have seen other, better photos, or they may possess physical or personality traits that compensate.

The problem is, with thousands of profiles to choose from and limited time, it's all too easy to 'swipe left' on what would have been a perfect match — and they're gone forever.

Their face in one photo might be a '7', so you swiped left, but it turns out they have other great photos and a fantastic body which would have made them a '10'... if only you hadn't swiped left!

Ideally, a dating site would allow you to judge (rate) all of their photos, including nudes, to come up with an overall score before you decide.

... and the one you run from!

Tall handsome Caucasian man next to plump Polynesian woman

In the same way that a snap decision can cost you a soulmate, it can also cause awkward dates with the wrong people.  You see a nice face, swipe right, contact them, they like you too, and you arrange to meet.  At that point you know very little about them, but you look forward with great anticipation to meeting.

Five minutes into the date you can see that the photo you swiped was 10 years old and nothing like the reality sitting in front of you.  After finding a good excuse to leave, you're left with a terrible date, wasted evening, wasted money, and possibly breaking someone's heart or (worse) picking up a stalker.

If only you'd had more complete information and time to make a decision!

Get it right, first time!

Why do people fail to turn up for dates, disappear after (or during) the first date, or ghost each other?  Why do so many relationships fail?  Why do people cheat or make their partners jealous by always looking at others?

Black and white photo of unhappy man and woman standing side by side

The answer, of course, is that one half of the relationship decided that they might have made the wrong choice and feels they could do better.  This soon becomes obvious to the other partner... and the relationship begins to fall apart.

Approximately 40% of marriages in America end in divorce, down from around 50% in the 70s and 80s.  People are waiting longer to get married and making better choices, but 40% is still a lot.

Many people spend more time checking out a new house or car than they do finding out about their potential life partner.  The less time a person spends on finding a partner, the sooner they will start seeing more suitable matches all around them.

By wasting time scrolling through, messaging, and dating the wrong people, we have less time for finding the right person.

Getting a relationship off to the best possible start involves both partners finding someone who shares similar interests, meets their criteria (for example vegan, politically-right, unvaccinated, no tattoos), and is – for them – both beautiful and sensual.

Barely Dating helps people do just that!

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