Women put more stock in the virtual dating world because they seek a soul mate, he said, whereas men are typically after a more casual relationship.
It's not that familiarity always breeds contempt, the researchers say.
But on average, as you learn more about any lover, the less likely it is that you will click and get along with them, Norton explained.
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“We were working with a couple of online dating companies who were finding that their users got very unhappy very quickly with online dating. To find out, they showed each of 304 online daters, average age 34, a grab-bag of anywhere from one to 10 traits randomly culled from more than 200 characteristics gathered from real online daters.
Each online participant rated how much they liked their potential date, as well as which traits they would also use to describe themselves.
Participants gave much lower ratings to potential dates and also perceived less similarity with them when they were shown greater, rather than fewer, numbers of traits.
The results are detailed in the January issue of the .
More evidence Two additional experiments backed up this finding.
In one, scientists asked each of 190 students to complete a Web-based survey in which they were shown 10 traits, one at a time.
After seeing each trait, subjects would indicate whether that trait also described them.
The next time you log onto a dating site, you might want to add “mysterious” to your list of desired traits, because the less you know about a potential mate the better.
A new study of romantic relationships finds that as online daters got to know another person over time, their initially sweet notions turned sour.
The researchers suggest that inflated expectations can lead to major disappointments when daters meet in person. The Rules of Attraction in the Game of Love Love is More Powerful than Sex Men and Women Really Do Think Differently Loss of Loved One Really Can Cause Broken Heart Altruistic Love Related to Happier Marriages Why Some Old Lovers Look Alike Fantasies vanishing with knowledge is a process that hits women harder than men, said Michael Norton of Harvard Business School and one of the study's authors.
“On online dates, women are much, much more disappointed than men," Norton said.