Modern Love: Comparative insights in online dating preferences and assortative mating

Gina Potarca

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Over the past few years, online dating has increasingly become a popular way of meeting a future partner. Despite the explosion of interest in Internet romance, little is known about what online daters want in a partner or whom they eventually choose. First, this research wants to understand the preferences that people have when searching for a match online, across various European countries. Specifically, it looks at the profile of users of a multinational Internet dating site and examines several aspects such as: willingness to date someone of a certain ethnic/ racial background based on own race; how interested gay men and lesbians are in long-term dating and how much importance they give to being monogamous in a relationship; or how important a prospective partner’s social standing is to divorced people as opposed to those who have never married. It also looks at the impact of differences between countries in, for example, legal recognition of same-sex marriage or childcare facilities. Second, the project aims to discover if couples that met through online dating sites have more traits in common in comparison to couples that met elsewhere. Results indicate that people’s preferences for a certain romantic partner(ship) are determined by their own traits, such as race, gender, relationship history or presence of children. Moreover, the online partner ‘shopping list’ and expectations for what a good match might be is highly influenced by the country or region people live in. The book finally suggests that online dating reduces the extent of ‘likes matching with likes’ and encourages people to select a partner outside their educational, racial, or religious group.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Mills, Melinda, Supervisor
  • van Duijn, Marijtje, Co-supervisor
Award date27-Oct-2014
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-7320-1
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7321-8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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