Online Daters Face Obstacles

    May 23, 2008

Couples who meet online do not always work out because they select partners who are not compatible and they develop emotional ties before meeting in person, an Australian university researcher has found.

Women were more likely to choose the wrong partner as they become attracted to humorous comments and witty emails, according to psychologist Matthew Bambling from the Queensland University of Technology.

"Just because they can write a clever comment or a witty email, doesn’t mean they will be Mr. Right, that’s for sure," Bambling told Reuters. He says people will highlight their good points while covering up anything negative.

"Few guys for example would say ‘look, I’m a middle aged alcoholic who’s been married five times, pick me’. They’re going to present themselves as a good catch," Bambling said.

Bambling said it’s easy for people to put too much emotionally into an online relationship before they meet in person. "They often become quickly emotionally involved and invest in the other person before meeting. After meeting they move too fast because an emotional relationship actually started when they began interacting online before meeting, in which time they build up a fantasy view of the other person," he said.

Bambling recommends people can avoid the problems of online dating by meeting after the first few emails. This helps to avoid over investing emotionally or creating a fantasy about the other person.

He suggests meeting over coffee instead of dinner in case thing don’t work out because it’s less awkward and less pressure than sitting through a whole dinner.

"The main thing to remember is to make real life contact as soon as possible if you are interested in someone because it is here that you will know if a relationship is a possibility, said Bambling.