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The researchers suggest that inflated expectations can lead to major disappointments when daters meet in person. The Rules of Attraction in the Game of Love Love is More Powerful than Sex Men and Women Really Do Think Differently Loss of Loved One Really Can Cause Broken Heart Altruistic Love Related to Happier Marriages Why Some Old Lovers Look Alike Fantasies vanishing with knowledge is a process that hits women harder than men, said Michael Norton of Harvard Business School and one of the study's authors.“On online dates, women are much, much more disappointed than men," Norton said.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.“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.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 the perceived degree of similarity between participants and dates also took a dive after face-to-face encounters. Online profiles inherently provide limited pictures of people, a level of vagueness that is fuel, Norton said, for love-seeking imaginations.
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.
In one study, Frost, the MIT researcher, designed an online interface in which people meet for “virtual dates.” For instance, you and a prospective date would each play an avatar and wander through an art gallery together.
The next time you log onto a dating site, you might want to add “mysterious” to your list of desired traits, because the less you know about a potential mate the better.
A new study of romantic relationships finds that as online daters got to know another person over time, their initially sweet notions turned sour.