Stop Looking For Love Online Because You'll Never Find It

by Heather Patterson

“I’ve been dating since I was 15. I’m exhausted. Where is he?” – Charlotte York

40 million of us believe that online dating is the way to find true love — or at least a hot summer fling. The truth is, you are statistically more likely to find a good match in real life than you are online and the reasons behind those numbers are frightening.

If you have decided that he’s a good match for you, you are more likely to forget that he never wants to get married (even though you do) and focus on the fact that you both like hiking and Kanye West. These aren’t really qualities on which one should base a relationship.

Now, layer on the fact that up to 90 percent of people knowingly lie in their online profiles. That’s a lot of lying and only a percentage of people do it consciously. Think about the amount of people who misrepresent themselves by accident. Because a profile asks us to self-represent, the accuracy is completely skewed. I mean, I think I’m funny. Now laugh. That last sentence was a joke. Laugh.

People don’t know what they want — they want to meet someone who’s “nice” and “funny.” No Sh*t. EVERYONE would like that. No one wants to date someone who is mean and dull, genius. Nice and funny are subjective characteristics. Also, most people believe themselves to be nice and funny — I think I’m hilarious but my family and friends tell me I am offensive.

Speaking of offensive, most dating sites advertise by sending frequent emails or push notifications to show you new matches. Studies show that by being overwhelmed by choice, we fail to make a good choice, let alone any choice. The term is coined as “relationshopping” and it stops us from developing strong bonds with any particular person. The result is a lot of dates but not many that develop into relationships. But hey, free dinner is free dinner, no?

On our profiles, we list favorite music, favorite things to do, favorite foods and how often we like to travel. It’s like leaving a note on your front door, telling anyone who wants to rob your house that they can use the side door, which is always unlocked. Good Call.

I’m not saying you should lock the door to your heart, but for God sake, looks for someone who is genuinely on the same path. Don’t hand them the rulebook. Let them show you the rules by which they play by and then decide if you want to join that game.

A traditional profile allows people to look at qualities that can be quantified. More than half of men look only at a photo before messaging a potential match. The number of women who look at height and income is equally appalling. Neither physical attraction nor height and income past a baseline are universally relevant to happiness.

According to a Princeton study, the benchmark for daily happiness is $75k a year. That would mean that anything over that number is irrelevant in genuinely contributing to a lifetime of satisfaction. Yet, men who indicate higher income levels inevitably get more responses.

It’s time to get out of the house and start talking to people in real life. We need to stop using photo filters to highlight bikini bridges and perfect skin. We need to stop judging people by things that are quantifiable and start thinking about the lifestyles we want. Shut the computer, remove your earbuds and find someone who makes you want to take an adventure.

Photo credit: Shutterstock