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Sick of online dating? Here's why you should give it another try

Social psychology professor Eli Finkel argues that online dating gives people more choices and dating broadly helps people make better decisions when it comes time to get married.
Social psychology professor Eli Finkel argues that online dating gives people more choices and dating broadly helps people make better decisions when it comes time to get married. (Getty Images)
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Almost everyone knows a friend who's tried online dating.You may have witnessed their frustrations when they got passed over by a digital love interest, and their excitement when they've found someone that they've gelled with.

There are different opinions about online dating, but critics often consider it shallow, like the classic Tinder 'swipe left or right' on a person's photos to decide if they want to date them. Some have also pointed out that the app is only useful for hookups, and even condemned it for ruining dating. However, Eli Finkel argues that by and large online dating is a great tool for meeting potential partners. 

Online dating gives you more choice

Eli Finkel is a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University and author of the book "The All-or-Nothing Marriage." He has also studied online dating and wants to set the record straight: "I think people overestimate how much online dating has changed dating. What it has done is really changed meeting."

Eli Finkel is a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University (Northwestern University)

These days, people are seeking more than just love in a relationship, according to Eli. "We also want someone who brings out the best in us and so forth, and that's asking a lot in terms of psychological and emotional need fulfillment through our relationships," he explained. "What we want is a great deal of choice, and the easy access to possible partners is online."

Dating broadly leads to happier marriages 

In his book "The All-or-Nothing Marriage," he shares his research findings which deems that women today are marrying later, and they're using those extra years before marriage to establish their careers, learn about themselves and to date more broadly.

Eli Finkel's new book "The All-or-Nothing Marriage" offers advice on how to have happier marriages (Penguin Group Dutton)

"Through dating a number of people (whether it's serious or more casual), we get to learn about ourselves, who we are in the context of a relationship and what we need in a partner," Eli said. Technology is enabling all of that in the background, which is a positive thing, because it allows people to make more sensible decisions when it comes time to marry, he explained.  

Advice to daters

For daters out there who are still looking, Eli's advice is to keep trying and to use online methods. "It can be frustrating or depressing when you've gone on numerous dates and still haven't met the right person. But it's important to remember that it was never supposed to be easy to meet the right person. But if you stick to it, it's likely to work."


You can listen to the full interview with Eli Finkel below