The digital revolution in romance is a boon to lonely-hearters, providing greater and more convenient access to potential partners, reports the team of psychological scientists who prepared the review.
"The Internet holds great promise for helping adults form healthy and supportive romantic partnerships, and those relationships are one of the best predictors of emotional and physical health," says Reis. Comparing dozens and sometimes hundreds of possible dates may encourage a "shopping" mentality in which people become judgmental and picky, focusing exclusively on a narrow set of criteria like attractiveness or interests.
And corresponding by computer for weeks or months before meeting face-to-face has been shown to create unrealistic expectations, he says.
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One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app themselves, and many people now know someone else who uses online dating or who has found a spouse or long-term partner via online dating.