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One change you might experience after a divorce is figuring out how to rebuild your life while also being the caretaker of your kids.

So if one dater doesn’t suit the bill, there are hundreds more who could be better.

But this can also lead you to pass up on potential dates because with all those options, you can't help but think, "There must be someone better out there." Online dating sites can thus foster an attitude in which potential mates are objectified like products on a store shelf, rather than people (Finkel et al., 2012). Online profiles are missing vital information you can only glean in person (Finkel et al., 2012), so it can be difficult to know if you’re really compatible with someone based solely on what they have shared on a dating site.

And even though men generally contact women more than vice versa on these sites, research has shown that a sizable minority of women do reach out to men they find desirable online, suggesting that these sites allow some women to overcome traditional gender norms that cast them in a passive role of waiting to be approached (Scharlott & Christ, 1995). Shy or socially anxious individuals often have difficulty forming and maintaining close relationships (Alden & Taylor, 2004; Davila & Beck, 2002).

Research suggests that those who are socially anxious (Green, 2001) or introverted (Amichai-Hamburger et al., 2002; Rice & Markey, 2009) feel more comfortable communicating online.

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In the quest to find romance, more of us have turned to online dating.

How can these sites help you find romance, and what pitfalls should you be aware of?

Pros: Access to more people and more types of people.

You can feel confident in your decision about which car to buy when there are only three under consideration, but if there are hundreds, you’ll constantly second-guess yourself and wonder if you could have done better.

The same principle applies to online dating: The sheer number of potential partners creates abundant choice.

In addition to the sheer number of people you can meet, many sites provide an avenue for meeting like-minded people. Unlike other social venues, on an online dating site, you can be fairly certain that everyone you meet is single and looking.