Online Dating: Do Opposites Attract?

Do opposites really attract? When it comes to contacting people online, most daters reach out to those who bear no resemblance to the characteristics they say they want in a partner according to a new study* from the Queensland University of Technology and online dating site RSVP.

Behavioural economist Stephen Whyte conducted the research of Australian online dating behaviour and found that saying what you want in the end doesn’t actually determine what personality types you’ll make contact with online.

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Image via Psychology Today

“The psychology employed by humans choosing a mate can definitely be environmentally sensitive, and the nature of online dating is triggering changes in underlying preferences and decision behaviour of those involved”, Mr Whyte says.

CEO of RSVP Dave Heysen explained that RSVP serves members with daily matches based on what they’ve entered as their ideal partner criteria into the site, but also prompts people to ‘discover’ daters who may not fit all their criteria, but are worth connecting with.

“Our advice for daters is to get discovering, because they may meet someone who ticks boxes they didn’t even know they wanted. This study provides unique findings in that people may state a preference for an ideal partner, but they are more than happy to initiate contact with potential love interests that bear no resemblance whatsoever to that Mr or Mrs Perfect that they initially think they prefer over all others.”

*This study featured 219,013 participant contacts by 41,936 members of RSVP during a four-month period in 2016.

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