New research shows online dating can cultivate a rejection mindset

A group of psychologists in the Netherlands have discovered that we have a tendency to gradually close ourselves off when dating online. In other words, the more dating profiles people see, the more likely they are to reject them.

The findings, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, indicate that the seemingly endless stream of options can increase feelings of dissatisfaction and pessimism about finding a partner, which in turn leads to rejecting potential mates.

“We know that being and feeling loved is a prerequisite for a happy life, and I’ve therefore always been fascinated by the ways in which people look for love,” said study author Tila Pronk, an assistant professor of social psychology at Tilburg University.

“How do people search for a romantic partner? What makes them interested in one person, and not in the other? This question has become even more pertinent since the dating landscape so drastically changed the last decade.”

“Thanks to online dating, there are more possibilities to meet new partners than ever before, yet at the same time there have never been more people single in western society,” Pronk explained. “I wanted to investigate this paradox, and did so by developing a dating paradigm similar to the most popular online dating application: Tinder.”

Pronk and her colleagues conducted three studies of single, heterosexual individuals. They focused on those aged 18 to 30, as this is the age group most likely to be…

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