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Daters Realistic and Optimistic About Online Dating

( - May 14, 2004) Results of a recent survey conducted by TRUEBeginnings, in conjunction with national "Online Romance Week," indicate that singles who surf the Web in search of a mate do so with optimistic yet realistic expectations. Drawing on responses from single Americans who are actively engaged in online dating, TRUEBeginnings discovered that respondents expect that 47 percent of their online matches will be "exceptional" or "favorable," while only 17 percent will be "perfect." Additionally, respondents believe that only 18 percent of matches will be "incompatible."

Conducted under the leadership of Dr. James Houran, director of psychological studies at TRUEBeginnings and a 14-year veteran in the field of research and clinical psychology, the survey also concluded that online daters are sensible about whether an individual designated as "perfect," " exceptional," or "favorable" by a computer generated matchmaking system will be just as satisfactory in person as they are online.

According to the results, participants believe that there is a 63 percent chance that "exceptional" or "favorable" matches will prove to be satisfactory when met in person, in comparison to a 50 percent chance that "perfect" matches will prove to be acceptable when met in person.

"In addition to radically expanding an individual's dating pool, online dating and relationship-building services have also increased the chance of an individual finding a compatible partner. However, despite this increased opportunity and the immediacy of the Internet, searching for and finding 'Mr. or Mrs. Right' doesn't happen overnight," said Houran. "The purpose of this survey is to explore whether online dating has led people to develop unrealistic expectations about finding a 'perfect' mate. While our service seeks to help individuals find highly compatible partners, we were pleased to learn that people's attitudes are generally down-to-earth -- just as they would be in the offline, traditional dating world."

Results of this survey will appear in the summer 2004 issue of North American Journal of Psychology.

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