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Entries in impression formation (11)

Monday
Mar252013

What's Wrong With My Internet Dating Profile?

I just read about DateSim.netTM, a service that is co-founded by Dr. Jennifer Harman that uses dating  simulations to give objective feedback on dating skills. I think it sounds like a great idea, but the $500 fee is outside of my budget.

How about reviewing existing profiles on a dating website and giving suggestions? I've been on the same dating site for 4 years and have only been contacted 3 times - twice by obvious scammers and once by someone whose picture alone scared me to death, not to mention his inability to write a complete sentence. I remain on that website because it's free. (I know, I know.)

Maybe I should mention I'm 55 yrs old, divorced 12 years after a 24 yr marriage, and have yet to have a first date. I'm not a ravishing beauty but I don't scare dogs or small children. I'm 5' 6" 140 lbs, so I'm not bigger than most women my age. I'm self-sufficient and own my own home. It seems that the men in my age group, 50-65, are looking for young sexy starlets. Does a woman my age have any chance at all of having a date?

Great question. The way we present ourselves on the dating market, particularly on-line dating services like Match.com and Plenty of Fish, is tricky business. These on-line sites are not technically matchmaking services...they are essentially tools that you can use to market yourself to show how desirable you are.  

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Wednesday
Mar132013

Catfish: A Cautionary Tale (Too Bad It Came Too Late For Manti Te'o)

My new obsession is Catfish. No, I’m not talking about the whisker-faced, water-dweller. I’m referring to the documentary and subsequent MTV reality series about online romances. Given the heightened frequency of internet dating, the premise doesn’t sound all that unique. However, this show highlights relationships that have gone on for months, and in some cases years, without the partners ever meeting face-to-face. In a fascinating and unfortunate twist (SPOILER ALERT), the show typically ends with one partner realizing that his or her online love is not who he/she has been pretending to be. Think it couldn’t happen to you? Just ask Manti Te’o how real a virtual romance can feel. 

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Friday
Jan252013

It’s the End of My Dating World as I Know It, and I Feel Fine

I once had a (very brave) student ask me if I was familiar with the old saying about teachers. You know the one, it goes a little something like…Those who can’t do, teach. I begrudgingly admitted having heard the saying. Before I could even begin mounting a defense or rebuttal, she continued on with her playful, but oddly poignant, musing: “And Dr. Leder, you teach about relationships. What does that say about you?” Ouch. I put on a brave face and bantered back about how it made me the master of her classroom destiny for that semester. However, her off-hand teasing really got me thinking. Upon reflection, I realized that her jesting about my relationship prowess was surprisingly insightful.

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Tuesday
Dec042012

The “Halo” of Hot Women

When you see a really attractive woman, you might be struck by her beauty, but does her beauty affect what you assume is going on in her head? Or what kind of character she has? Perhaps. People tend to assume that physically attractive people hold other positive qualities just by looking at them—this is one example of the “Halo Effect” or what is also known as the “what is beautiful is good” stereotype. For example, observers assume that good-looking people are more socially skilled, better at their jobs, and more emotionally healthy (e.g., less anxiety or loneliness). But is there any truth to this perception? Are hot people actually higher on these qualities? Researchers examined this question in a recent study published in Psychological Science.

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Tuesday
Nov272012

Are Men’s Standards Really So Low That They’re Willing To Date “Sociopaths”?

I recently read an article entitled "OkCupid Experiment Proves Men Don’t Mind Dating Sociopaths." Naturally, I was intrigued. The article goes on to report the results of an “experiment” in which a couple of friends created a fake OkCupid profile featuring an image of an attractive woman (“Tara_IceAge4”) whose profile appeared, well, a little on the crazy side. Read the full article if you want all of the gory details, but the basic idea is that she’s racist, insensitive (e.g., she makes jokes about 9/11), erratic, a hit-and-run driver, and, above all else, a really poor speller. This fake profile was viewed 400 times and received 39 replies from potential male suitors within a few hours. So does this little study “prove” that men are perfectly comfortable dating sociopaths? And, in the words of the article’s author, is this really “an experiment that every human being should examine?” No and no. Let me explain.

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Monday
Jul022012

Can What He Does Tell Me About Who He Is?

A reader recently sent in a comment about the men she was meeting online. She noted that, compared to other occupations, a majority of men who reported having MBAs misrepresented their custody arrangements with their kids (i.e., they claimed to have custody for less time than they actually did), and that lawyers were more likely to report being separated (versus divorced). I’m not sure whether these lawyers were more honest about their marital status than other guys or whether they were more likely to be separated in general, but she does pose an interesting question:

Do our career choices reflect our personalities, and if so, can our careers say something about how we operate and present ourselves in our intimate relationships? In other words, if I meet an MBA, can I draw conclusions about what he is like as a person and how he will act in a future relationship with me?

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Monday
May212012

Check Your Baggage at the Gate

I’ve got some baggage. I don’t know anyone at my age and “experience” who doesn’t. Multiple marriages, children, a few crazy exes…I have done the inventory and know what I bring on board as I get back on the dating train. So how can I manage a good dating impression and lug around an oversized Samsonite full of my past experiences?

Some people have an easy time hiding their baggage in an overhead compartment or under their seat during the first few dates, however my baggage is not so easy to conceal.

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Friday
Jan272012

I Need to See Your iPod Before We Can Go Out

What really matters is what you like, not what you are like...Books, records, films — these things matter.

- Rob, from the book/movie High Fidelity

There are a number of dating sites founded on the principle that, when it comes to attraction, similarity matters. Whether it’s based in your religion (e.g., jdate.com) or your computer preferences (e.g., cupidtino.com), online dating sites seem tuned in to the fact that sharing similar interests with a partner is a necessary component of a successful match. I recently stumbled upon a site called tastebuds.fm, which states “we've always been interested in the idea that music taste can say a lot about a person and that for some people it is an important factor when choosing a potential partner.” With the Grammy's just around the corner, I figured it was time to think about the importance of music in relationship initiation.

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Wednesday
Dec142011

What You Wear on a Date: It Matters

It probably won’t shock you to hear that psychologists have discovered that how much skin your outfit reveals influences what others think of you. Perhaps, back in high school, your dad told you that you were not allowed to leave the house with that mini skirt on. (Or was that only me?) Long before high school you probably knew that what others wore and how they looked influenced what you thought of them.

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Friday
Jun242011

Ovulation and “Gaydar” Accuracy

Although we may not like to admit it, we form impressions about others based on physical appearance, especially when it comes to identifying potential mates. But what factors make those impressions more accurate? It turns out that women’s impressions of men's sexual orientation are affected by where they are in their menstrual cycles. 

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Monday
Mar212011

Dating: How to Make a Bad Impression over Email

"SS" forwarded us just about the craziest email we've ever seen. After going out with this guy once, SS received the email in question as they were corresponding to set up a second date and asking about each other's typical day. We can't post the actual message (for privacy reasons), but believe us when we say it's nuttier than a squirrel's breakfast, including references to bathing in monkey blood, daydreaming about being Minotaur, and commuting to work via jetpack.

She says "it appears that he wanted to be creative and funny -- but this came off creepy after a first date. What was this guy thinking? If you like a girl and have already planned a second date with her, why would you send this email? Any insight into this male behavior is much appreciated."

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