Women put more stock in the virtual dating world because they seek a soul mate, he said, whereas men are typically after a more casual relationship.It's not that familiarity always breeds contempt, the researchers say.“And when they finally meet in person, they find out it’s just a regular person like everybody else.They end up being disappointed again.” Little white lies add to the inflated expectations.But on average, as you learn more about any lover, the less likely it is that you will click and get along with them, Norton explained.Online dating 101 Norton and his colleagues, including Dan Ariely of MIT and Jeana Frost of Boston University, initiated the study with the help of online dating services like e Harmony and Match.com, though he refused to say which specific ones.After seeing each trait, subjects would indicate whether that trait also described them.The first trait had a negative amplifying effect, the scientists found.
The results are detailed in the January issue of the .
“We were working with a couple of online dating companies who were finding that their users got very unhappy very quickly with online dating. To find out, they showed each of 304 online daters, average age 34, a grab-bag of anywhere from one to 10 traits randomly culled from more than 200 characteristics gathered from real online daters.
Each online participant rated how much they liked their potential date, as well as which traits they would also use to describe themselves.
Profiles were corroborated with real-life measurements of a sample of users.
About half of the men lied about their height, adding at least a half inch to their stature, while more than 60 percent of all participants skewed their weight by five pounds or more.
Match tips Norton and his colleagues are developing ways for online daters to stay grounded in reality as they navigate the virtual world of romance.