In the heavily-filtered, Instagram-loving era we live in, online dating can be a task and a half; all that swiping left and right with only a few photos and lines of copy to go on – it’s tricky business. And social media nowadays makes it very easy to conceal many visible physical imperfections, which makes online dating even harder; on the one hand, we’re encouraged to accept and be proud of our flaws and imperfections (as we should), yet on the other, we have the power to (initially, at least), use a blurring tool or filter to hide ours from a potential partner while using a dating app – it’s a strange contradiction.
No one is perfect, but as I carefully select images for a platform, I make sure to pick the few that don’t show the minor scar on the right side of my face in direct light because I’m so self-conscious about it. I’d never swipe right on the basis of a tiny scar in one photo, but our Kardashian culture has led me to think that others might when it comes to me.
Happily, news has surfaced that made me realise I should be cutting people more slack; according to new research from The Times, dating websites and apps have led to people lowering their standards when it comes to finding love. According to a new study, scientists said that, rather than making people too picky, two-thirds of the 42,000 online daters aged 18-80 (220,000) they studied initiated contact with people who matched just one or none of their seven personal preferences. Fewer than 10 percent of cases saw a match of four or more criteria for hair and eye colour, body type, education, personality, political views and religious affiliation.
So it seems the downright rude rallying calls of certain online daters, “unless you have X, look like Y, and oh, I prefer Z really..” needn’t be considered the views of the masses, despite having the tools to almost custom-pick a date these days; people are giving others a good chance, and they are going out of comfort zones and pre-conceived notions in the hopes of finding true love. “Not only are online daters less selective than they initially say but . . . They’re less picky than before online dating. That’s because it’s not possible to tell as much from a dating profile, so people are more likely to give others the benefit of the doubt,” affirmed Jo Hemmings, a dating coach and behavioural psychologist.
This is good news for those still searching for Mr and Mrs Right; it’s an indication that more are open-minded and it seems normality is in Vogue. Go forth, and continue on your quest…