Online Dating: I’m Not Too Picky — I Just Have Too Many Choices!

I am not afraid to admit that I have had two online dating accounts — one with Plenty Of Fish and another with OK Cupid. I have been messaged by hundreds of guys, which lead to three dates, and absolutely ZERO luck. I feel like I’m in one of those Lucky Charms commercials. Whoever my Mr. Right is sure knows how to use his “marshmallow magic” to hide in the sea of uninteresting, not cute enough, too shallow or completely skeevy men who have barraged my inbox with messages.

All of this disappointment has me wondering, am I just too picky? Today I found the answer: Yes — but it’s not my fault (whew!). Thanks to a CNN Health article called “Dating and the Challenge of Too Many Choices,” I now know that when people are faced with too many options (as most ladies are in the online dating world), they tend to choose none at all.

In a recent study, researchers allowed customers to sample different types of jam and gave them a $1 off coupon. On the first day, participants had their choice of six jams, on the second 24. Here is what they found:

People tasted the same number of jams, regardless of the number of available samples. Yet their buying choices varied dramatically: Offered six jams, about 30% of samplers ended up purchasing a jar. Faced with 24 choices, though, only 3% bought a jar.

And this isn’t just true with decisions surrounding purchases. A Biology Letters study of people attending speed-dating events confirmed similar findings — the more available candidates there were to choose, the fewer decisions they made to go on a date.

So, is shopping for a man like shopping for some jam? Quite frankly, I’m definitely starting to believe so. The more messages flood my inbox, the less willing I am to overlook the mole on an upper lip, an inability to meet my height requirement, or the fact that he lives over 15 miles away. Every time I see a new message, I forget about the old one from the guy who wasn’t perfect enough. Perhaps this means I should just return to “the real world” where a bunch of guys aren’t chasing me down to say “hey” and I get angry because they only used a one-word greeting or like the Patriots more than the Giants. Eh, I’ll give online dating another couple of months, but I will definitely try to be more open-minded and realistic. [CNN]