The study authors note: "Online dating is another setting where certain elements of people’s personalities, behaviors, and even physical appearances may be obfuscated at first, leading to positive illusions that are not always sustainable over time." The same effect has also been seen in marriage, where not all newlyweds maintain satisfaction after the honeymoon phase.It's common to hear stories from people we know describing how excited they were after talking online to someone who seemed so perfect, sharing the same favorite movies, sense of humor and taste in music, TV and literature, only to feel really let down when they actually met and got to know the person better.It appears that, in general, people who ask more before the first date have a better experience than those who wait until they meet to find out important information, possibly because they are less likely to be disillusioned.
At that time, 22% of heterosexual couples reported meeting online.It will be interesting to see what subsequent research reveals about long-term predictors of online dating success. At least, when going online for serious relationships, consider: 1) Looking for people who share genuine similarities with you; 2) Communicating a lot before the first date.And make sure it is high quality communication; 3) Asking a lot of questions.Of that first group, 94 participants had a first date, and completed the full survey, which included measures drawn from the literature on relationships and online dating. In addition, they collected the emails study participants sent prior to meeting and carefully coded the content into thematic units.This is the first such study to look at how dating evolves over time during the transition from online to in-person dating, and future work from this group will look at factors beyond the first in-person date. The data, drawn directly from online conversation, included 1) expressed similarity, 2) frequency of disclosure, and 3) information seeking, and they rated the communication volume based on the amount of words in the emails. First of all, they found that most participants were disappointed after the first date, as indicated by having less attraction after meeting than during online engagement.