Some people believe that recent research on online dating/matching sheds a new light on understanding attraction, love, and romantic relationships.
I argue that, however, although the internet has helped few find romantic relationships and marriages, the research has overlooked various defects and problems associated with this type of "contact." I will examine a couple of them.
Women weigh income more than physical characteristics, and men sought physical attractiveness and offered status-related information more than women. The service users preferred similarity on a variety of (mainly demographic) categories (including child preferences, education, and physical features like height, age, race, religion, political views, and smoking).
It is accurate to say that the research findings showed some behavior and attitudes of the online daters who joined the internet community with different motivations, expectations and backgrounds, but it is inaccurate to assume the behavior and attitudes reflect real interpersonal attractions.
This is because the online dating/matching (as provided by the commercial websites) lacks the basic ingredients for developing real love.
The most evident problem involves its use of several categories (plus a few photos) for the daters to predict and decide the effectiveness and success of their further interactions with one another.
This type of artificial "contact" contradicts the process of meaningful interpersonal interactions (to be explained), which generates love and attraction.
To explain the problem, I need to first elucidate the ingredients for love and the meaningful interactions.The basic ingredients for love As demonstrated by studies on interpersonal attraction, creating and maintaining love involves validating communications between the partners on a variety of issues, including understanding and concern for the partner's personal and emotional needs, developing companionship, physical attractiveness, cultivating and nurturing physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well beings, respecting, supporting, forgiving, accepting and encouraging, expressions of appreciation and affection: sexual pleasure and fidelity, commitment, shared activities, as well as the absence of controlling, defensiveness, contempt, stonewalling, and blaming, among other factors.To accomplish the above tasks, the partners need to engage in the meaningful interactions (face-to-face interactions, including both verbal and nonverbal communications), which allow one person to give to and receive from the other.(Although online daters may be able to exchange messages after they pass each other's initial screening on the basis of evaluating the category-based information, the process is the opposite of the interaction-based attraction).The meaningful interactions depend on two factors: (1) the right opportunities (the right time, place, persons, and further communications) and, (2) the right mind (absence of biases about the self and others). Although psychological research on attraction has identified several variables, such as disclosure reciprocity (revealing intimate aspects of oneself to others), mutual eye gazing, mutual reward, similarity and physical attractiveness, these variables are worthless unless people who possess the attributes and tendencies have the opportunities to implement them to the targets of attraction.On the other hand, the right mind is more important factor.