I read dozens of studies about love, how people connect and why they do or don’t stay together.
I quizzed the crowds at my stand-up comedy shows about their own love lives.
"For people who want to whine and moan about how online dating isn't working," says psychologist Eli Finkel, "go back in time to 1975.
Ask somebody, 'What does it feel like to not have any realistic possibility of meeting somebody that you could potentially go on a date with? Finkel is a psychologist at Northwestern University and a professor at the Kellogg School of Management; he's also the author of "The All-or-Nothing Marriage." Finkel and his colleagues have been studying online dating for years.
I am perpetually indecisive about even the most mundane things, and I couldn’t imagine navigating such a huge life decision so quickly. Happily so—and probably more so than most people I know who had nonarranged marriages.
The first girl, he said, was “a little too tall,” and the second girl was “a little too short.” Then he met my mom. Let’s look at how I do things, maybe with a slightly less important decision, like the time I had to pick where to eat dinner in Seattle when I was on tour last year.
But Finkel said the most effective way for singles to start a relationship to do is get out there and date — a lot.
I asked my dad about this experience, and here’s how he described it: he told his parents he was ready to get married, so his family arranged meetings with three neighboring families. That’s how my dad decided on the person with whom he was going to spend the rest of his life.Which is why Finkel thinks Tinder, Bumble, and similar apps that allow you to find potential dates quickly but don't purport to use any scientific algorithm, are the best option for singles today.Here's Finkel: "These companies don't claim that they're going to give you your soulmate, and they don't claim that you can tell who's compatible with you from a profile.For example, many dating services ask people what they want in a partner and use their answers to find matches.But research suggests that most of us are wrong about what we want in a partner — the qualities that appeal to us on paper may not be appealing IRL.You simply swipe on this stuff and then meet over a pint of beer or a cup of coffee. Online dating is a tremendous asset for us because it broadens the dating pool and introduces us to people who we otherwise wouldn't have met." Finkel's most recent piece of research on the topic is a study he co-authored with Samantha Joel and Paul Eastwick and published in the journal Psychological Science.