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Similarly, greater communication predicted a more successful first date, especially when people really were similar to each other.
When people were overly positive, exaggerating similarities and the expectation of future interactions, disillusionment was very likely; this effect was greater when communication was lower, presumably because people are able to maintain positive illusions in the absence of information about the other person, leading to a greater risk of being disappointed.
For this study, the researchers measured: 1) "anticipated future interaction," 2) "change in attraction" (from online dating to after the first date), 3) "perceived similarity" (a well-known predictor of attraction), and 4) "uncertainty" (about the other person, e.g., how well do you know them? The data, drawn directly from online conversation, included: 1) expressed similarity, 2) frequency of disclosure, and 3) pattern of information seeking, and they rated the communication volume based on the number of words in the emails. First of all, they found that most participants were disappointed after the first date, as indicated by having less attraction after meeting than during online engagement.
Likewise, there was no point at which having less uncertainty about the other person became a negative.
And after hundreds of first dates, who wants to waste their time finding out they didn't need to meet in person anyway?
The ability to find out more ahead of time, versus the proverbial "blind date" or even meeting a stranger at a party, is an advantage that online dating has over conventional dating—if you ask questions, and if the other person genuinely shares.
According to research by Rosenfeld and Thomas (2012), internet dating steadily increased, reaching a plateau in 2009.
At that time, 22 percent of heterosexual couples reported meeting online.