Online dating: The latest fad to start relationship!

You may call it the digital revolution in romance, but a new study says that online dating is now the latest matchmaking fad in the US.

In fact, internet dating is now the second most common way of starting a relationship after meeting through friends, according to a group of psychologists from the University of Rochester in the US, who have carried out the study.

"Online dating is definitely a new and much-needed twist on relationships," Prof Harry Reis, one of the five co-authors of the study, was quoted by the media as saying.

"The internet holds great promise for helping adults form healthy and supportive romantic partnerships, and those relationships are one of the best predictors of emotional and physical health," he added.

The study is based on an analysis of reviews of more than 400 psychology researches and public interest surveys.

The nearly 200-page analysis, published in the journal 'Psychological Science in the Public Interest', found that the main advantage that dating websites offer singles is access to a huge pool of potential partners. But online love has its pitfalls.

"Comparing dozens and sometimes hundreds of possible dates may encourage a 'shopping' mentality in which people become judgemental and picky, focusing exclusively on a narrow set of criteria like attractiveness or interests.

"And corresponding by computer for weeks or months before meeting face-to-face has been shown to create unrealistic expectations," Prof Reis said.
Around 25 million unique users logged on to dating sites last April alone, according to one estimate.

"Online dating is good. It gives opportunities to singles who otherwise wouldn't have them. The problem is that the way online dating is implemented undermines some amount of its goodness," Eli J Finkel, the lead author of the study.

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