By Dr. Richard A. Dowlat – Claremont Graduate University

online dating

Men are from Mars, girls are from Venus. We’ve all heard it earlier than; women and men method intercourse, dating, romance, and so forth. very in another way. But how, precisely? Online dating provides us some perception into these variations by letting us quantify a few of the variations in what women and men search for in a associate.

Shared experiences and anecdotes inform us that women and men search for various things when contemplating somebody as a associate. Offline, girls typically desire excessive standing, engaging males with excessive incomes capability, whereas males sometimes go for bodily engaging and youthful girls.1,2,3 Online, we’re given a bit of extra perception into this attraction course of. Similar to offline tastes, males are inclined to concentrate on bodily look and attributes, sometimes preferring a associate who’s youthful and shorter than themselves on prime of being bodily engaging.4 Women are typically drawn to males who’re taller than themselves, however once more their attraction goes past simply the bodily; girls additionally are usually extra drawn to males who’re wealthier or show greater revenue incomes potential.

Both of those tendencies are proven and tremendously intensified in on-line dating.4 What’s stunning will not be that they’re mirrored, however how they’re exacerbated when it comes to each depth and extensiveness. Online dating, by advantage of offering a seemingly countless universe of choices, permits individuals to dictate tremendous stringent standards when trying to find a associate. For instance, a common evaluation of some girls’s associate standards exhibits an express and unique choice for males of a sure top, whereas some males’s profiles additionally explicitly state their choice for ladies of particular physique sorts.

On the floor, this won’t appear probably a problem – why not search for precisely what you need? The downside comes when beginning to look beneath the floor at much less quantifiable issues. For instance, of 1000 out there individuals if solely 100 match a given standards then all of a sudden the limitless universe of potential companions simply became a a lot smaller pool, they usually might not have the opposite stuff you’re on the lookout for. Are they type? Do they like the identical stuff you do? Will you get alongside? After this narrowing, there might solely be a handful left, and even then they could be too far, unavailable, or have another disqualifying attribute. So then what?

The fantastic thing about on-line dating is that after eradicating the narrowing necessities of what a associate “needs” to be, there’s a entire world of individuals to speak to and work together with. Talking with somebody who might not have made your checklist at first might present what’s unimportant, and what’s really vital. With this in thoughts, maybe you now have a bit extra perception into how dating on-line works and might create your individual relationship that’s out of this world.


1 Elliot, A. J., Kayser, D. N., Greitemeyer, T., Lichtenfeld, S., Gramzow, R. H., Maier, M. A. (2010). Red, rank and romance in girls viewing males. Journal of Experimental Psychology. 139, 399-417.

2 Fisman, R., Iyengar, S. S., Kamenica, E., & Simonson, I. (2006). Gender variations in mate choice: Evidence from a pace dating experiment. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 121, 673-697.

3 Fisman, R., Iyengar, S. S., Kamenica, E., & Simonson, I. (2008). Racial preferences in dating. The Review of Economic Studies, 75, 117-132.

4 Hitsch, G. J., Hortaçsu, A., & Ariely, D. (2010). What makes you click on? — Mate preferences in on-line dating. Quantitative Marketing and Economics, 8, 393-427.


Dr. Richard A. Dowlat  
Richard’s analysis focuses on on-line dating and its interactions with interpersonal attraction, inspecting what results on-line dating has on particular person psychological processes, mate standards, relationship processes, and outcomes.

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