Is a professional dating site the Best Way to Find a Serious Relationship?
Online dating has now almost become the ‘go to’ method of seeking a romantic partner. In addition, serious online dating sites boast a 90% success rate, and online dating may not only be the most popular way to date, but also the most effective. However, regardless of the statistics on the success rate of online dating, do we really believe that we can use online dating more successfully than traditional face-to-face dating? Does it have anything to do with our self-esteem?
Self-esteem and online dating
Self-esteem can be defined as an assessment of our sense of self-worth or the way we think or evaluate ourselves. One characteristic of high self-esteem is higher motivation and motivation, so people with high self-esteem are more likely to market themselves in a positive way.
In an online dating environment, this may be particularly relevant and reflected in how users expect others to rate their dating profiles. Higher self-esteem is also associated with higher levels of self-acceptance. If so, those with higher self-esteem are more likely to exhibit a realistic and positive self-image, which, if reflected in their online dating profiles, may increase their chances of success.
However, the Internet environment also allows people to have more control over how they present themselves, for example, being able to carefully select the photos and information they present online. Because of this, people with low self-esteem may think they have a better chance of dating online because they are more likely to manage their online image.
In Fullwood and Attrill-smith's study (2018), participants initially completed self-esteem measurements (Rosenberg, 1965) and were then divided into two groups, online and offline. The researchers showed people who were online a series of photos of potential dates and asked them to imagine that they had just joined a professional dating site. The researchers also showed the offline participants a series of photos and asked them to imagine the photos were of people they had met on a night out. All participants were asked to rate the photos they had seen on two measures:
1. They think the person in the photo will find them attractive.
2. How likely is the person in the photo to date them?
Does self-esteem matter?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the researchers found that people with high self-esteem rated them as more attractive than those with low self-esteem, regardless of where they were dating (offline versus online).
Second, they found that dating locations (online versus offline) affected people's perception of success, but not attractiveness. In other words, participants assigned to the online group reported that they thought online dating would be more successful than offline dating. This was independent of the participants' self-esteem.
Therefore, regardless of self-esteem, people generally overestimate the chances of success in online dating compared to face to face dating In the research described here, the researchers speculate that this may have to do with our potential to craft a more favorable image online. This leaves us with the idea that we can achieve more success online. In other words, we think we can present a more favorable image online by carefully choosing which photos to upload to describe ourselves in the most positive way. If we do this with a higher trend success rate, then we will choose to do this.