What Matters Most to Online Daters?
WEDNESDAY, April 3, 2019 -- When it comes to online love, it may really be about location, location, location.
In a new study, researchers used a state-of-the-art algorithm to analyze 15 million two-way interactions on a major online dating site. They discovered that geography was the key factor when two users exchange messages.
"We were looking not just at who sent messages to whom, but who sent messages and got a reply," said study co-author Mark Newman, a complex systems expert at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. "We did this because we felt that that was a more reliable indicator of mutual [romantic] interest."
Researchers mapped clusters of users messaging each other to senders' three-digit zip codes. They found that some communities fell neatly within state boundaries, while others spilled over into neighboring states, according to the study published April 2 in the journal Sociological Science.
"It's possible there's a psychological barrier, where you feel like dating someone in another state is going too far," Newman said in an institute news release.
Texans tended to message other Texans even though some lived closer to potential matches in Oklahoma than to those in South Texas, the study found. People in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Arkansas, meanwhile, were more open to interstate relationships.
"It's not surprising that the dating markets were geographically clustered. But the precise boundaries of those markets were a little surprising to us," said lead author Elizabeth Bruch. She's also a complex systems expert at the Santa Fe Institute.
Men and women in the same city may face very different numbers of single heterosexuals, the study found. Users in their 20s face an "oversupply" of men, while users in their 40s and 50s typically have an oversupply of women.
But not always. Patterns across cities can be quite different.
"Based purely on sex ratios within submarkets: if I was a single guy in my 20s, I'd want to date in New York," Bruch said. "But if I was a single woman in her 40s, I'd head straight to Seattle."
Race also offered surprises. In Chicago, the oldest men messaged with much younger black women than white women. Areas of New York, Boston and Seattle showed similar patterns for minority women, the study found.
© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Posted: April 2019
Read this next
TUESDAY, Oct. 20, 2020 -- Most American women between 15 and 49 years of age use birth control, according to a new U.S. government report. Between 2017 and 2019, 65% of those...
MONDAY, Sept. 28, 2020 -- It's often thought that older women lose interest in sex, but many women continue to rate sex as important, a new study finds. "In contrast to prior...
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 19, 2020 -- Could birth control pills build a bulwark against asthma? New research suggests that hormonal contraceptives, which alter the natural ebb and flow of...
More News Resources
- FDA Medwatch Drug Alerts
- Daily MedNews
- News for Health Professionals
- New Drug Approvals
- New Drug Applications
- Drug Shortages
- Clinical Trial Results
- Generic Drug Approvals
- Monthly Update Archive
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.