Pexels

First comes Tinder, then marriage: UBC professor examines online dating

Psychology professor at UBCO examines romantic relationships in the age of online dating

More people are finding love in the palm of their hand with a variety of romance-related apps.

But how did this happen and what does it mean for the future of romance?

Jocelyn Wentland is an adjunct professor of psychology at UBC’s Okanagan campus whose research explores interpersonal relationships, adolescence and human sexual behaviour.

Question: Online dating once had a stigma and now it’s the norm. How did that happen?

Wentland: There is not one simple explanation that captures the popularity or success of online dating. This is because the rise of social media and technology coincide with the rise of online dating popularity. With so many people using various online dating sites and apps, there are bound to be many success stories – just as there are many online dating fails. Just ask anyone who has used an online dating app to share their horror stories.

Most likely, some of the early adopters of online dating were viewed as weird or desperate simply because they were doing something that was not considered the norm. However, those early adopters are not really any different compared to the people who used to post advertisements in the newspaper or use early telephone dating services.

What I think is really cool is to imagine what people will be doing in 20 to 25 years from now. Will they look back at the likes of Tinder or Bumble and think that those sites are downright antiquated?

RELATED: Love on borrowed time: Cancer patients find romance despite terminal prognosis

Question: How accurate is some of the matching software?

Wentland: The accuracy of matching software is tricky to comment on because some of the biggest players who state they will ‘find your best match’ have been unwilling to cooperate with researchers who want to test their algorithms. This has been a long-standing issue amongst relationship researchers who have requested to see if they can verify the algorithms with their own participant samples.

My hunch is that these fancy algorithms are based on some simple “matching” – which aligns perfectly with long-standing social psychology research from the 1970s. That research asserts that similarity in values or background is one of the most important predictors of individuals striking up a successful relationship.

Question: Are there serial online daters who will never commit, always looking for someone better?

Wentland: I think that the serial online daters are most likely in-person serial daters, too. In an online context, the illusion of more choice and ‘greener grass’ gives these serial online daters an excuse to keep looking. We do know that people do not always do well when given more choices. More choices can cause anxiety and discomfort if someone feels they should have made an alternate choice and makes them feel unhappy with their current choice. The nature of online dating, unfortunately, caters to these serial daters who can delay meeting up with anyone in particular or simply ghost someone if they feel like things are progressing too far and they want to step back.

RELATED: Love is in the air, but beware of scammers this Valentine’s Day


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Nanaimo announces 10 new pieces of temporary outdoor public art

Sculptures will be installed at Maffeo Sutton Park and McGregor Park in May

Nanaimo RCMP ask if public can help identify alleged vodka thief

Police release photo of suspect in Jan. 10 crime in Lantzville

Clippers defenceman wins BCHL Community Hero Award

Liam Visram, who has Type 1 diabetes, shares his experiences with young fans

Nanaimo hospital’s new 5,000-kilogram MRI magnet delivered

$1.97-million magnet will boost NRGH medical imaging capabilities

Nanaimo taking inventory of health, housing, homelessness services

Task force launches resource mapping project

Nanaimo hospital’s new 5,000-kilogram MRI magnet delivered

$1.97-million magnet will boost NRGH medical imaging capabilities

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read