Online Match Doesn’t Mean Real Life Match

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Lori Gottlieb – Author of the book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough: In our matchmaking practice, one of our underlying philosophies is that knowing a lot of details about a potential match can come in the way of organically getting to truly know them.

As such, we deliberately share very little information between the matches prior to our introductions.

Given our philosophy, the following passage from your book where you quote Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, really resonated. I’d like to learn a little more about that.

You wrote, “The less you know about a potential mate before you meet, the better, Ariely said. It leaves less room for the fantasy to build.”

You later wrote of Ariely’s findings, “Knowing too much about a person sight unseen makes it harder to become interested in him. The more traits you have knowledge of, the more information it gives you to rule somebody out.” Tell me more about this.


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Lori Gottlieb

Online Match Through Profile Specs

When we do internet dating, if someone writes, “I like music,” you might say, “I like music. We have that in common.” You have this positive reaction the person.

If they name all of these bands that you don’t like, then you will say, “No, he’s not for me. I don’t like the same music.” You think this even though you haven’t even met the person. That might not matter at all.

We look at these profiles in this way. We make up entire life stories about these people based on one or two pieces of specific information that they might give us.

Online Match Doesn’t Suffice: Meet in Person

What Ariely said, which I thought was really apt was, looking at the qualities, music and movies that people list on their online dating profile is like looking at the list of ingredients on a recipe and trying to imagine what the final dish tastes like.

You can’t really know from just seeing those things on paper. You don’t know until that person is right in front of you.


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Online Match but No Other Attraction

In fact, other researchers that I quote in the book from Northwestern who studied online dating had people write down what they were looking for in an online dating profile.

Then they sent them out on dates. They didn’t tell them anything about the people. They just sent them out on dates.

Then they had them rate who they had the most fun with, who they were most attracted to and who they wanted to go out with again.

The people they liked the most matched their list of qualities the least.

Don’t Date the Online Match

We think we know what we’re looking for. The people who matched what they were looking for online were not the people they picked in real life to go out with again.

Often, we think, “I want these qualities.” The more specific you get, you could be completely wrong about what kind of person that is.


Tell Us:

Online matches can often translate in mismatches. Of course, there are also instances where online matches can turn into perfect partners. Have you ever dated the perfect man, judging from his profile, and then not been attracted to his personality in person? Share you experiences with us in the comments below.


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The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Lori Gottlieb.

The entire interview transcript is at: Lori Gottlieb Interview – Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough – Lori Gottlieb

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes