What Is Missing from the Online Dating Experience?

Online dating has become increasingly popular, especially with the introduction of many “online dating apps” that make it so much easier to meet, or discard, someone in your dating life. Aside from the fact that some online dating apps can be dangerous and can result in online dating crimes, what is missing from the online dating experience? And, how can you add what is missing back into your dating life in order to make the experience complete.

Never Meeting the Right Person

More and more in modern life, our choices are influenced by or simply made by a “smart” computer program. This includes your favorite news source that only shows you news that it “thinks” you want to see or that tracks your every move and incessantly makes your decisions for you. We are always missing out on a lot of variety in life these days when we let the computer make selections for us. And, that includes online dating. A couple of years ago we wrote about how dating apps have killed “mixed attractiveness” relationships. Someone whom we would really like and someone with whom we might have had a fantastic relationship and life will never make the cut when our first decision is to swipe left instead of right on a dating app. This is the Cyrano de Bergerac dilemma where the poetic, athletic, intuitive leader never gets to date the girl because she is focused on the dull but pretty face with broad shoulders. Getting to know him or her can get replaced by a hasty, computer-assisted decision and you never get to know the person of your dreams.

What about Pheromones?

Years ago we asked, is it love or pheromones?

When we are first “in love” it is usually sexual attraction. This is the world of pheromones. It is not logical but, to a degree, it works. We tend to be sexually attracted to people with useful characteristics. For example, women are commonly attracted to men who have characteristics of being good protectors and good providers. Men tend to be attracted to women with characteristics of fertility. It is with time that the strength of sexual attraction is tested by the realities of everyday life. A guy may be a real stud but does he bring home a pay check? A woman may be incredibly sexy but is she interested in just one man? There are the usual matters of who makes the meals and who does the dishes, how many children to have, where to live, and how to deal with the in-laws. Although pheromones may keep us sexually interested in our partner they are of little use in developing the sort of strong and lasting bond, or love, which keeps couples together for a lifetime. Is it love or pheromones? Ask your friends and listen to what they say.

The down side to pheromones is that we can end up with someone who turns us on sexually but is otherwise a dud. On the other hand, this is an extreme case. More often, we find ourselves more highly attracted to one person than to another and both of them are equally good choices. What is missing from the online dating experience is this basic level of human attraction. When you swipe left instead of right on the dating app you will never meet the person who would be the absolutely best sexual choice of your life as well as a perfectly suitable partner in building and maintaining a relationship.

How Can You Fix This?

The first good part of online dating is that you get to choose from a lot of people. The bad part is that many of them lie about themselves and it is too easy to miss out on a good person because of a poor resume or other factors. What you can do is move quickly from meeting and texting online to a face to face “coffee shop” date. Meeting someone face to face is important and will resolve a lot of the issues of resume lies. And, to the extent that pheromones are important, you will have them when you are together and not when texting back and forth.

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