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Likewise, there was no point at which having less uncertainty about the other person became a negative.
The more someone knew—the better and the more they had asked about the other person ("information seeking")—the more likely the first date was to be successful, presumably because doing so reduced uncertainty.
It will be interesting to see what subsequent research reveals about long-term predictors of online dating success. At least, when going online for serious relationships, consider: 1) Looking for people who share genuine similarities with you; 2) Communicating a lot before the first date.
And make sure it is high quality communication; 3) Asking a lot of questions.
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.
Researchers are just beginning to understand the new and complicated dynamics of online dating, and it is unclear what factors go into successful matching, though long-term relationship satisfaction is likely to come from the same factors regardless of how people meet (go here for an overview of predictors of relationships satisfaction).It's easy to play up similarity and downplay differences—and it's understandable that some people looking for companionship tend to quickly develop a crush when someone seems to "get them" right away.Indeed, Sharabi and Caughlin found that, contrary to their expectations, the greater the similarity, the better.Many times, that first meeting is a letdown, and it doesn't go further than that.Having greater communication prior to meeting, asking for more information, having the other person honestly provide it, and finding there is solid similarity before that first date make it more likely to be successful, at least in the short run.