These individuals may have an easier time approaching people and opening up online.
Thus, it is not surprising that shy people are more likely to look for romance on dating sites (Scharlott & Christ, 1995; Ward & Tracey, 2004). As discussed, one benefit of online dating sites is access to hundreds, even thousands of potential mates—but having all those options is not always a great thing.
For example, when you read in a man’s profile that he’s a movie buff, you might think that's something you have in common, but when you get to talking about movies on your date you realize that you’re a foreign film aficionado, while he’s obsessed with horror flicks.
One study of online daters found that most viewed each other as similar, and liked each other less, after than before their offline dates (Norton et al., 2007).
In addition to the sheer number of people you can meet, many sites provide an avenue for meeting like-minded people. Unlike other social venues, on an online dating site, you can be fairly certain that everyone you meet is single and looking.
But in real life, after we get to know someone and like their personality, we begin to find them more physically appealing as well (Kniffin & Wilson, 2004).
A large body of literature on decision-making shows that, in general, when we have choice (Schwartz, 2004).
Having no choices can lead to misery, but too many options can overwhelm and lead you to worry that you’ve chosen wrong.
You can feel confident in your decision about which car to buy when there are only three under consideration, but if there are hundreds, you’ll constantly second-guess yourself and wonder if you could have done better.
The same principle applies to online dating: The sheer number of potential partners creates abundant choice.