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It’s very deliberate — after all, you’re looking for a partner through an interface — and that creates a safer environment. This premise is so well-worn that sites like Tinder, Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel offer little information about users beyond a collection of pictures and a two-line profile.“Online services enable a downright Seinfeld-ian level of superficial nitpickiness,” one Fortune article lamented.Match.com, for example, now checks its users against the National Sex Offender Registry and deletes the profiles of anyone found on the list.Online dating allows people to browse partners from their own homes.Once upon a time, online daters were mocked as lonely losers, or worse. Today, at least 40 million Americans are looking for love on the Web. Like sex, love and attraction, online dating is an object of fascination and confusion.Some commentators credit it with helping singles feel more secure and confident, while others blame it for “ruining romance,” “killing commitment” and contributing to the rise of the hook-up culture. While women generally prefer men around their own age, men are most attracted to 20-year-olds, period.
After all, the best way to beat long odds is to take lots of chances, and even for older users, dating sites provide millions of romantic options.
But as I learned at Ok Cupid, men don’t necessarily end up dating young women, even if they think they’re gorgeous.
Men on the site tend to message women closer to their own age; very few men over 30 actually reach out to 20-year-old women.
In any human interaction, there will always be some amount of posturing.
But online dating isn’t especially vulnerable to our collective weakness for self-flattering fibs. In 2010, Boston’s “Craigslist killer” was charged with murdering a woman he had met online (he later committed suicide in jail).