Does Online Dating Make People Picky?

Does Online Dating Make People Picky?

Like picking the best apple from the barrel, does online dating offer too many choices?

In his book “The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less,” American psychologist Barry Schwartz argues that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers.

From too many television channels to a dozen kinds of designer jeans, Schwartz says having a lot of choices actually paralyzes us as individuals.

But is the same true when it comes to dating?

Is it easier to choose a mate when you live in a small town (population 800) than living in Manhattan? And does online dating make the process of choice even more difficult? Does it make people pickier?

According to an article titled “Psychologists Highlight Pitfalls of Online Dating” on CNN’s site, “The abundance of profiles online also may make daters too picky and judgmental. The sheer number of options can be overwhelming, and the ease with which people can sift through profiles — and click on to the next one — may lead them to ‘objectify’ potential partners and compare them like so many pairs of shoes.” 

The article continues to explain that although online dating might make people pickier, it’s still a viable way to meet a potential match — “as long as a person doesn't put too much stock in the profiles or matchmaking claims.”

In a article titled “Are you being too picky?” author Lynn Harris explores the difference between being “picky” and being “unrealistic.”

Harris says it’s important for you to manage your expectations without selling yourself short. This includes editing your checklist, going on a second date and broadening your "type" but also trusting your gut.

According to Schwartz, having a lot of choices paralyzes us from making a decision.

According to CNN, the more online dating profiles we have to click through, the more we treat people like we're buying a pair of shoes.

And according to, you should manage your expectations without selling yourself short.

That’s a lot of advice. But which one is right for you?

Take a good hard look at your dating history.

Do you have a series of failed relationships? Have you gone on about 5,000 first dates? Have you ever dated outside of your “type” or “comfort zone”?

The more willing you are to give someone a chance, the less picky you are.

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If you’ve had a string of crappy relationships with some real dirt bags, then you need to up your expectations. If you’ve been online dating for six months and haven’t been on one date because (fill in lame excuse here), then you need to lower your expectations and give someone a chance.