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The Paradox of Choice in Online Dating

Dating apps drown you in potential partners to keep you engaged in the search. Is there a way out?

Image by Arek Socha through Pixabay

Let's be honest: You joined a dating app because it has a large pool of single people. Theoretically, the more choice you have, the better your chances of finding a like-minded partner. So why is it so difficult to choose one?

It turns out that having too many options can lead to decision paralysis. Rather than feel empowered by the freedom to choose, you become anxious about needing to evaluate all the options, or worse: making the wrong choice.

American psychologist Barry Schwartz named this phenomenon ‘The Paradox of Choice’. His theory focused on choice overload experienced by consumers at a store, but is widely quoted by critics of online dating.

Image of an empty shopping cart
When faced with too many options, you may end up not making a choice.
(Image by Tumisu through Pixabay)

Indeed, online dating takes the paradox of choice to the extreme. The number of potential partners seems infinite, and you can only choose one (assuming you’re monogamous), which makes the decision ever more stressful.

You experience FOMO - Fear of Missing Out. “What if I end up with the wrong person? The next guy or girl could be cuter, funnier, more interesting...” So you keep swiping, reaching out to new people, and abandoning one chat in favour of the next.

Image of a smartphone screen showing a heart icon
(Image by cottonbro through Pexels)

But you know what’s really upsetting? Dating apps fuel these destructive behaviours, because keeping you single serves their financial interest. They drown you in a never-ending stream of attractive strangers, creating an illusion of endless choice and making it harder to actually choose a partner.

Even if you come across someone with real potential, you or they are likely to get distracted by other “matches”, and end up “ghosting” each other for no reason.

But there is a better option.

Loomino is a new dating app built by daters, for daters. Our motto is "quality over quantity": We only show you the best possible partners, and help you focus and give a fair chance to every conversation.

Tired of swiping?

Join Loomino