First internet dating site
When people were overly positive, exaggerating similarities and the expectation of future interactions, disillusionment was very likely; this effect was greater when communication was lower, presumably because people are able to maintain positive illusions in the absence of information about the other person, leading to a greater risk of being disappointed.
The researchers note that dating services that facilitate communication and sharing of information may be more effective.
According to research by Rosenfeld and Thomas (2012), internet dating steadily increased reaching a plateau in 2009.
At that time, 22% of heterosexual couples reported meeting online.
Lastly, in spite of the rise in online dating, only 5% of married couples or those in a committed relationship say they met their partners online, and 88% of people say they met their partners via conventional means.
For this study, the researchers measured 1) "anticipated future interaction", 2) "change in attraction" (from online dating to after the first date), 3) "perceived similarity" (a well-known predictor of attraction), and 4) "uncertainty" (about the other person, e.g. Furthermore, first date success was predicted by perceived similarity, expressed similarity, lower uncertainty, and greater information seeking.
Importantly, all other factors being equal, greater communication overall, and greater disclosure, predicted first date success.
The ability to find out more ahead of time, versus the proverbial "blind date" or even meeting a stranger at a party, is an advantage that online dating has over conventional dating—if you ask questions, and if the other person genuinely shares.
Similarly, greater communication predicted a more successful first date, especially when people really were similar to each other.