Is On-Line Dating Actually Hurting Your Relationship?

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From a former PSY 13 TA:
Could all those Tinder matches be detracting from your having a stable relationship? This controversial article in the Atlantic explores how online dating- and having too many choices- could be detracting from our ability to have long term relationships- and might be destroying the institution of marriage altogether.
One of my friends who just got engaged said, you know, its really about deciding to focus your attention on one person. What do you guys think?
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23 Responses to Is On-Line Dating Actually Hurting Your Relationship?

  1. Yasie Nejad says:

    Online dating differs for every single person out there. I think it has a potential to create a sense of confusion and distance for some people when it comes to actually settling down with someone. For others, online dating could be the best thing. It’s all about balance. If an individual is constantly glueing there face to their phone trying to find someone, I don’t think thats’s as effective and actually leaving your house and meeting someone in person. Maybe it is an outdated thought, but I think meeting someone in person is better.

    • I definitely agree with you about meeting someone in person is better, however online dating definitely has its merits, as does tinder. Who’s to say that through online dating or tinder someone wont find that one person that they decide to focus their attention on? While the choices may be overwhelming, if someone is stuck in their every day life and is unhappy with the types of people they meet at work or going out, online dating does provide a nice escape from those situations, encouraging one to meet people out of their comfort zone.

      • I agreed with both of you on the bad sides and good sides online-dating platform could offer. Online-dating platform could provide opportunities for people to meet each other. However, in the end it’s more about how you choose to approach your relationship. If the person who started talking to another person via tinder are both serious about the relationship and only focus on one another then their relationship could potentially be even better than those who met in person or referred by friends.

    • Jason Mark says:

      I think you are definitely right in your observation. I think that we have yet to develop a healthy relationship to the way that we do things online, and while the internet and online dating may offer certain possibilites that did not exist before, it certainly comes at high cost. I also find your last comment really interesting, its something that I definitely agree with, but its also fascinating to see the certain ways in which older methods of doing things like dating and also learning in a weird way become radical in our day.

    • I definitely agree that online-dating experiences can differ from person to person, and I also think that online-dating can differ from site to site. Tinder and Grindr are two apps that are primarily devoted to hookups, but what about Bumble, farmersonly.com, or Plenty of Fish? I know personally, that I wouldn’t go on Christian Mingle looking for just a hookup. These different sites create different environments for their users, and likely attract different users in the first place. I even heard of an app that pairs people together based on earnings and level of educational attainment; these are considerations that come with looking for a long-term partner more than just a short-term fling. It would be interesting to learn about people’s experience on a more diverse group of apps and sites.

      • Profile photo of bren01 bren01 says:

        I agree that these experiences probably differ from site to site. On apps like Tinder, it focuses on physical attributes that people find attractive. Therefore, this easily leads to short-term flings because the situational factor is disregarded. No matter how physically attractive someone may be to a user, if the situation and context aren’t considered, then it’s less likely to develop into a long-term relationship.

  2. I think in the end it’s more about mindset of the individuals and their choice of partner. Any kind of dating either online or in-person could be detracting individuals from stable relationship if that individual already has an easily distracted mindset instead of focusing on one person. While online-dating platform such as Tinder has its merits, it also has its downsides. Tinder seemed to attract certain type of people such as men who just want to play around and not looking for a serious relationship. When met via on-line dating, people might be less likely to trust each other as opposed to when they were introduced to someone via mutual friends.

    • Profile photo of bpastr01 bpastr01 says:

      Mutual friends are definitely a big factor in trusting someone for me, but I think your idea about people having expectations about the type of individuals that use Tinder is really interesting. I know a lot of people who, when they interact with men on Tinder, automatically assume they will only be interested in a physical relationship. Perhaps there’s some element of a self fulfilling prophecy here?

  3. Profile photo of Ki Jung Lee Ki Jung Lee says:

    I think people have different mindsets about the relationships and that determines how they use online dating site for their own advantages. I have witnessed my friends, who want to settle down to serious, solid relationship and others want to explore multiple relationships. Those who want to explore multiple relationships spend lots of time in Tinder and go to lots of parties. This kind of relationship is usually short lived because both sides do not invest much time and effort. They do not feel need to extend their relationship and they perceive more fun in exploring different people. Maybe this kind of attitude could be due to the situational factor like young age, being university student, having lots of freedom. Therefore, I do not want to blame online dating site as the factor that hurts people’s relationship. There are other situational factors that should be considered for individual case before generalization.

    • Rachel Lai says:

      I completely agree with your comments. Online dating doesn’t hurt every relationship. Relationships not working out definitely has more to do with the people involved and how they handle things. College students tend to make impulsive decisions, so that probably plays a role in relationships falling apart as well. I personally don’t like online dating, and even if I were to explore multiple relationships, I wouldn’t use something like Tinder. In my opinion, you lose a really important dimension when dating online, but that loss impacts people differently. Some people might not mind, or some people might be good at bridging that gap, so finding what works best for yourself is more important than making generalizations that won’t even apply to a lot of people.

    • You’re right, there are many situational factors and I am sure many people have good intentions when entering the world of online dating. I suppose that certain demographics of online dating users (especially the young, college student type) can almost “explain” their behavior and dating habits. With that said, signing up for online dating just to jump from one person to the next so carelessly can be misleading and hurtful to the other person in the relationship.

  4. While online dating has its positives-such as connecting you with a large number of potential girlfriends/boyfriends that you would not have crossed paths with otherwise, or getting to know a little bit about the person beforehand (provided they are not being deceptive)- I do not think too highly of it. One portion of the article included results from a survey expressing respondents belief that “Internet dating made people more disposable” and I totally agree with that, especially in the context of reading about this Jacob person that the article kept circling back to. I think that just the prospect of dating (and as it often happens, having sex) is a hindrance for many people who perhaps had good intentions when signing up but then got distracted by their “urges”. Also, evaluating someone just by the pictures and content of one’s profile, if you really think about it, is vain and can be callous. Yes, the whole point of online dating is to be able to “see” something about your matches but I think that the whole concept can really rob people of the values and set of morals that they once may have had. If online dating is leading to nothing but a bunch of one night stands under the pretense of desiring a caring, supportive relationship , I consider that a devolvement of the quality of society.

  5. Jason Mark says:

    Something that I frame online daring within is that if we think of the other things that we use the internet for, such as shopping and Im just thinking like scrolling through amazon, most of these activities entail a kind of scrolling through the many options that there are on a page without any kind of critical depth. This superficial perusing is something that might be useful for deciding what kind of cereal to buy, but when this is translated into the realm to dating and forming relationships, can cause deeply harmful and toxic mindsets to arise.

  6. I think that online dating is a lot like when you tell your parents about how much you learn from the internet as an excuse to not go outside. Like I used to keep open an interesting article tab that I could switch to to hide that I was actually talking to friends if my mom came in the room. Online dating is similar because while you can talk about how it really broadens your horizons and gives you access to perspective partners that would otherwise have been harder to find, the truth is that a lot of people spend a lot of time using dating apps in ways that aren’t as productive towards their finding partners as just going outside and asking someone on a date would be.

    • Alexander Milstein says:

      I agree that for some maybe it is hard to find a perspective partner around them , there are a lot more people who one can talk to online with broader ranges of interests . Nowadays , people chose the easiest possible paths , shortcuts to their goals . However the easier something is achieved , the less satisfaction this brigs and sense of achievement . Furthermore, so many opportunties are lost just because one relies on online dating apps , rather than looking at the people around , seeing ones that are already near you . It is a shame .

  7. Tory K says:

    I really agree with the “it’s really about choosing to focus on one person” argument your friend made. While online dating makes looking at other options more accessible, it’s not like those people didn’t exist before tinder and match.com. Other options are always out there so, in my opinion, its really more of a matter of whether you see and acknowledge them or not. Most of my friends in serious relationships are with one person because they like them enough that they stopped noticing other people in a romantic fashion. These people still have their tinder accounts but went from checking all the time to forgetting that they even had the app. In my opinion, online dating is only as harmful as you let it be and if you find yourself back on tinder chances are you are unhappy in your current relationship for some reason and need to either investigate why you are unhappy and fix it, or end the relationship

    • I agree with your implication people have this option that the options on the dating sites give people the illusion that they are all meaningful ones. Because after all, one could, hopefully, be in a serious romantic relationship with one other person. (at least once at a time) Yet the presence of other choices have possibly led people to think that they are missing out on many seemingly great choices had they settled down with one. Thinking that there are so many great and easily available potential dating subjects makes choosing a date very hard, and dating him or her a somehow restless and therefore short-lived process.

  8. The quote from the article “Internet dating has made people more disposable” really captures the negative aspects of applications such as Tinder. Instead of a face-to-face interaction, people are dehumanized and reduced to a photo and basic statistics. Thus, the people who go on these dating sites are instead falling in love with the idea of the people in the profiles, and not necessarily with the people themselves. By filtering people out based on certain statistics, we are perpetuating the notion of superficiality that has already increased many fold with the increase in technology use.

    Additionally, user profiles do not paint the entire picture of its users, as people can put any amount of information they so choose. Thus, if an online interaction proceeds to a face-to-face interaction, people may be shocked or surprised by a person’s personality or other nonverbal characteristics that cannot be portrayed through an online messaging function. People who become upset by these surprises may attribute the lack of connection to themselves, and then feel disheveled about their ability to connect with others, ultimately negatively impacting their ability to interact with people in general.

  9. I think that online dating tends to highlight the physical/emotional aspects of attraction and detract from the situational. Swiping through Tinder people are looking first and foremost for someone who is attractive, and then after that the conversation determines whether a meetup will take place. Because this standardizes the situation (every Tinder match occurs in the same way), it highlights the other two aspects in the pie chart of attraction that was presented in the lecture.

  10. Profile photo of jstone08 jstone08 says:

    I find it very interesting that the article stated that there were three measures to judge the strength of relationships. While I agree that those are three possible measures of the vitality of a relationship, I don’t believe that they are the only metrics. One quote really stuck with me, “it’s good if fewer people feel like they’re stuck in relationships.”

    I completely see the merit of having more healthy relationships. Yet, I think at the stage of life where people are using social media and dating apps to look for partners, one can easily feel as if their minor road bumps in their relationship are actually glaring red flags. Disagreements and compromise are present in even the healthiest of marriages, but increased superficial availability of mates may skew the standard for a good relationship to a place that does actually not exist in the real world.

  11. I think not being able to personally meet and feel the physical presence of the person that one is dating is an inevitable drawback of online dating. Many long-distance couples break up because they the inefficiency of communication, which, I have been told, exercises its negative influence on the relationship the most when the couple is fighting, and can easily turn the fight into a cold war. Also, the lack of physical intimacy, which, as implied by chapter 10 of the textbook, could be an important determinant of people’s attraction to others, is also a large barrier between long-distance couples and successful romantic relationships. That being said, the couples who met online to begin with would have much less chance to build enduring relationships.

    However, I think online communication does have one distinctive advantage over face-to-face communication: it allows one the opportunity to think through their responses and say them without the pressure from time and any unwittingly predictions of possible responses from the other party based on his or her facial expressions or body postures. This might result in more rational, mature, and authentic communication.

  12. Alexander Milstein says:

    I think online dating benefit/harm is subjective . On one hand , yes sometimes it is very hard to find a person close to you in thoughts in a group of people you usually hang out with and communicate . Online dating offers much larger pool of people to chose from , from all parts of the world . Maybe a person wants to meet someone from Paris or Milan , and unable to do it in person due to long distance. Or maybe a person is really interested in certain form of art or literature and wants to find someone who shares his/her thoughts , and unable to find anyone around. Other beenfit in online dating could be for the people who are not social and who prefer to be not part of the crowd, but independent in their thoughts . They are not necessarily shy , maybe they are just antisocial and and there are many good reasons nowadays for someone to be anti-social, starting from pure foolishness to racism and chauvinism.

    There are also many disadvantages of online dating. One of them , is that a person is not necessarily exposed to a real idea or “portrait” of a person he/she talks to , writes to . The person on the other end of computer can be completely different from the description given . Everything could be completely staged and the victim in this case can be completely misguided and taken aback when meets the person in the real world.

    Moreover, the most important disadvantage and danger of online dating is that there could be many pedophiles and mentally ill people seating on the other end , who know how to manipulate audience , especially female who are prone to using online dating. They know exactly what to say and how to say to make a girl on the other end “fall in love” quickly and then either blackmail them or make them send intimate /private /illegal photos.

    Another disadvantage of online dating is that a person not crossing the anti-social barrier will later in life feel even more insecure in the future . Face – to face dialogue and realtionship allows each person to develop sense of confidence and social thinking . There has to be physical intimacy, physicial contact in an y relationship , from the first day. A touch , eye contact – that is what is important , not a bunch of words typed on screen and a selfie . After all , this is biological instinct – physical contact , we can not escape from it . And online dating is a complete opposite of it , a step back from evolutionary circle of life . Life is not always what is written in the books and novels , it is different . Maybe platonic love exists , but

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