Someone who views life and romance holistically (not focusing inordinately on surface criteria), or who is not photogenic, or does not present a desirable dating resume (because of something like age, weight, height, income level), may have better luck meeting dates in real life, especially if she/he has confidence and charisma.

“Online dating puts people into boxes,” says Will Winter, a Manhattan psychiatrist and singles expert. “It strengthens people’s perfectionistic tendencies when it comes to superficial criteria, and that’s not the way to go into relationships.”

Younger women who try online dating frequently complain about inboxes flooded with hundreds of notes from eager suitors who haven’t read their profiles. The men writing those messages probably fantasize that these 20something women are looking for a relationship with them; in reality, many younger women are just trying online dating as a lark or an ego boost. Meanwhile, many 30- and 40something men who claim to want meaningful connection don’t search for women who are in their own age range or slightly older — and those are the women most likely to be looking for true love online.

Heather Robinson, “Boxed-In By Online Dating”, The Jewish Week (29 November 2013), 49.

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