Does the data of online dating actually line up with in-person chemistry?

When your screen lights up with the news you have a match based on facts, figures, questions and personal traits, you heart beats a little faster. In the modern world of algorithms, your confidence is high that not only will you find each other physically appealing, but that your love of Camper von Beethoven and caprese salad will bit a hit with your possible bashert.

And then you meet. You have a lot in common, and that warm hug upon greeting sends a tingle through your body. As you sit down to coffee or dinner, the mood changes. There are awkward pauses. Your date goes on for 20 minutes talking about herself without once tossing a nice, softball inquiry your way. The smiles are forced, and as things progress, the stars in your eyes begin to cloud over.

Your match looked great on paper (or in digital form). The betting line had the odds stacked in your favor for a great first date, but reality didn’t deliver. So, what went wrong?

Your Expectations Were Unrealistic

You may have been relying too much on cold, hard data and ignoring the fact that your prospective date seemed too good to be true. This is especially common with newbies to the online dating world. While the adage about kissing many frogs may not be true, you may not find that dreamy life partner with your first time at bat.

In short, keep your expectation realistic. At worst, you will have a nice meal or cup of coffee with someone who shares your interests. At best, you can go from your date to the jewelry store to pick out rings.

You Shared Too Much Too Fast

The old TMI rule holds true, especially when online dating. Those hours you spent exchanging JDate messages, emails and texts left nothing for you and your match to talk about. Before laying eyes on one another, you know her life history, and given the fact you spent hours combing through her social media accounts, you can recite the last five concerts she attended and her parents’ wedding anniversary.

The truth is, it’s better to know just enough to ignite a few conversations and, more than anything, discover what topics to avoid. First dates, no matter how great the profiles match, should be a learning experience.

You Picked The Wrong Setting

You thought your seeming attraction would be enough to carry the date, but picking the wrong setting can be disastrous. Taking your seemingly star-crossed lover to a romantic restaurant where the lights are low and conversations are carried out in hushed tones is not conducive to fun interactions. Same goes for selecting a loud concert venue as a first-time get together. Planning a night where every conversation includes “What did you say?” will turn even the most optimistic time into a non-starter.

You Went Overboard

On the other hand, creating an artificial setting where every second is carefully crafted for intimate conversation and romantic memories is a bad idea. Being overzealous and feeling this was going to be your bashert, you may be tempted to go overboard. Flowers, chocolates, limo, corner table, extra foam on the lattes … all of this shows a lack of confidence. It’s wise to start with a date in which easy conversation is the star of the date rather than trying too hard to impress her.

Certainly, the science of data is important to finding your mate. Having a lot in common and some degree of physical attraction puts the odds in favor of building a successful relationship. But then there’s the unpredictable science of chemistry. When data and chemistry come together on a match, then sparks will fly and you may actually get to that second date.

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