Online dating has made potential partners much more readily available than ever before -- and yet also, somehow, disposable.
The other day I was sitting on a train with a friend as she flicked through profiles on Bumble, an online dating service in which women have to reach out to men first.
I watched her swipe left to reject a professional football team's worth of New York-area hipsters, jocks and nerds.
In 2015, Pew found that 15 percent of American adults -- and nearly a third of 18- to 24-year-olds -- had used an online dating site or app.
But with a seemingly infinite dating pool, especially in major cities, it can be really hard to figure out who might make a good match, and how to present yourself so as to find one.
To set yourself apart from the herd, you might be tempted to highlight or exaggerate your accomplishments.
But paradoxically, new research suggests that is not the way to go.
A recently published study from researchers at the University of Iowa looked at how specific kinds of content in online dating profiles changed people's perceptions of the profile's owner.
They found that trying too hard to impress someone was one common downfall.
To perform the experiment, the researchers created four different profiles that differed along two basic dimensions.
One of those dimensions was what they call "selective self-presentation," or the degree to which people emphasized the best parts of themselves and minimized the worst.
The second dimension they looked at was "warranting" -- basically, backing up any written claims by including some kind of evidence, such as detailed personal information that could be verified online, or links to a third-party professional site that could verify their biography.
The researchers asked a group of 316 nationally representative online daters to review one of the four sample online dating profiles, which had some combination of high or low selective self-presentation and high or low warranting.
Then they looked at whether the reviewers saw these people as more or less socially attractive (i.e., whether they wanted to spend time with them) and trustworthy, and whether that influenced their desire to date them. (How often have you detagged unflattering photos on Facebook?