Valentine's Day goes digital: Research sheds light on the world of online dating
This is what you might see on your phone if you get lucky on a dating app (CTV News)
Ashley Moliere, CTV Vancouver
Published Thursday, February 14, 2019 5:10PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, February 14, 2019 5:33PM PST
Online dating apps can be a fun yet complicated experience for many people.
But, how are these applications changing romantic relationships, and what does this mean for the future?
Jocelyn Wentland, an adjunct psychology professor at UBC Okanagan, said online dating is becoming more normalized with the increase of daily technology use.
Wentland explained that early users of online dating apps may have once been viewed as weird or desperate. However, they were no different from those who once posted advertisements in newspapers or used telephone dating services.
“When you ask people where they met, it’s not shocking to hear that they met online,” she said.
Wentland, who studies interpersonal relationships, adolescence and human sexual behavior, said it’s easier to filter people online because questions that may have traditionally been asked on a first date are during the profile-building process involved in these apps.
That means people can see if they share similarities before meeting in person. However, she added that the art of swiping can lead to people making snap judgments about others because there are no real life ramifications.
While the average person's desire to form new relationships has not waned, Wentland said the idea of “greener grass” – that someone more compatible may be out there - can be overwhelming and can cause anxiety and discomfort for some.
“There’s so much choice available online, someone better might message me or match with me,” said the psychology professor.
So, how can you increase your chances of success? Wentland said to get help from friends when choosing your pictures for your profile.
“You want pictures that capture you appropriately, and friends can help with that,” she told CTV News.
While online dating is surging in popularity, Wentland said it is not completely replacing in-person meetings.
In a study she conducted last year, she said that the vast majority of young adults surveyed said they met their significant other in the flesh.
“Face-to-face chemistry can only be determined in person," she said.