Pexels

Pexels

First comes Tinder, then marriage: UBCO prof examines online dating

Psychology professor examines romantic relationships in the age of online dating

More people are finding love in the palm of their hand with a variety of romance-related apps.

But how did this happen and what does it mean for the future of romance?

Jocelyn Wentland is an adjunct professor of psychology at UBC’s Okanagan campus whose research explores interpersonal relationships, adolescence and human sexual behaviour.

Question: Online dating once had a stigma and now it’s the norm. How did that happen?

Wentland: There is not one simple explanation that captures the popularity or success of online dating. This is because the rise of social media and technology coincide with the rise of online dating popularity. With so many people using various online dating sites and apps, there are bound to be many success stories – just as there are many online dating fails. Just ask anyone who has used an online dating app to share their horror stories.

Most likely, some of the early adopters of online dating were viewed as weird or desperate simply because they were doing something that was not considered the norm. However, those early adopters are not really any different compared to the people who used to post advertisements in the newspaper or use early telephone dating services.

What I think is really cool is to imagine what people will be doing in 20 to 25 years from now. Will they look back at the likes of Tinder or Bumble and think that those sites are downright antiquated?

RELATED: Love on borrowed time: Cancer patients find romance despite terminal prognosis

Question: How accurate is some of the matching software?

Wentland: The accuracy of matching software is tricky to comment on because some of the biggest players who state they will ‘find your best match’ have been unwilling to cooperate with researchers who want to test their algorithms. This has been a long-standing issue amongst relationship researchers who have requested to see if they can verify the algorithms with their own participant samples.

My hunch is that these fancy algorithms are based on some simple “matching” – which aligns perfectly with long-standing social psychology research from the 1970s. That research asserts that similarity in values or background is one of the most important predictors of individuals striking up a successful relationship.

Question: Are there serial online daters who will never commit, always looking for someone better?

Wentland: I think that the serial online daters are most likely in-person serial daters, too. In an online context, the illusion of more choice and ‘greener grass’ gives these serial online daters an excuse to keep looking. We do know that people do not always do well when given more choices. More choices can cause anxiety and discomfort if someone feels they should have made an alternate choice and makes them feel unhappy with their current choice. The nature of online dating, unfortunately, caters to these serial daters who can delay meeting up with anyone in particular or simply ghost someone if they feel like things are progressing too far and they want to step back.

RELATED: Love is in the air, but beware of scammers this Valentine’s Day


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Classroom chairs (Pixabay photo)
COVID-19 exposure announced at Lake Country school

SD 23 announced the exposure at George Elliot Secondary over the weekend

Allison O’Neil. (Phil McLachlan, Kelowna Capital News)
Okanagan College prof encourages women to excel in math and science

Allison O’Neil is works in the engineering department at the Kelowna campus

The Okanagan’s first virtual wedding fair will be held Saturday, March 27. {Paul Rodgers photo)
Okanagan to host virtual wedding fair

Okanagan wine country is No. 1 destination for weddings - online event set for March 27

Kelowna Fire Department members are cleaning up a two-vehicle collision on Harvey Avenue at Dilworth Drive Sunday afternoon, Feb. 28. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Kelowna crews clear up highway collision

Two vehicles involved in incident at Dilworth Drive and Harvey Avenue

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

FILE  - In this Friday, Jan 1, 2021 file photo, a lorry driver's documents are scanned on a phone as he passes a checkpoint for the train through the Eurotunnel link with Europe in Folkestone, England. One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union's economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. Meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of byzantine new paperwork. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FINLAYSON: Government should focus on strengthening B.C.’s leading export industries

To revive the economy, this piece in the strategy is integral, writes Jock Finlayson

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Most Read