Why More Choice Makes it Harder to Find Love Online

24 May

In a world where the choices are endless, we find ourselves paralyzed by doubt and dissatisfaction. When it comes to dating, it should be more likely for us to find the right partner when the options are unlimited, however, the concept of the paradox of choice illuminates why it is this perspective of infinite possibilities that leads to indecision and disillusionment.

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Freedom of choice does not equal liberation

Psychologist Barry Schwartz coined the phrase “the paradox of choice” to illustrate how the freedom of choice is not the key to satisfaction but rather the antithesis of happiness. When we are presented with more choices, we face a paralysis of decision and often end up not deciding at all. At the off chance that we do come to a decision, we end up overturning it and feel less satisfied than we would have if we had fewer options. The imagined alternatives are almost patronizing in our minds, whispering to us that they could have been better and the slight dissatisfaction we feel about our decision is simply the result of not choosing differently.

Expectations will cost you

When every option we could have ever hoped for is now right at our fingertips, the focus shifts from whether we can find what we want to how can we seek exactly what we want. I could go on and on about why perfection is unattainable and how many of us may know what we want but not necessarily what we need, however, it is the expectation of perfection in another person that is making us lose traction on the course to love.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

There is an app for every flavor of love, all of which promise an infinite selection of individuals who could potentially be a partner for you. You will meet some great people, no doubt, and equally just as many people that you are shocked by their incompatibility with you. As we are faced with more and more options, wading between the good, the bad, and the ugly, we begin to expect more than we had previously.

Imperfections lead to clarity

On our quest for perfection, we latch onto imperfections. The mole on someone’s chin, a person’s choice of words in their profile, poor spelling, the fact that they still listen to Metallica, the worrying possibility that they may be slightly too close to their mother. We scroll, we judge, we label, perhaps in a way that is harsher than we scrutinize ourselves. The fact that some profiles get so close to exactly what we want, makes it all that much harder to push aside everything else.

Limited choice is better than infinite choice

Having choices is not inherently bad, as being presented with options allows us to achieve objectively better outcomes. However, research has shown that unlimited choice is not intrinsically motivating, and rather limited choice is the key to greater satisfaction. The presentation of too many choices is overwhelming, whereas a few is manageable and rewarding.

How to have success in love

Narrowing down infinite possibilities isn’t easy, but we would love to help make things a bit simpler. Our matchmakers at Maclynn International are relationship experts, trained in the psychological principles that are the foundations of our exclusive matchmaking agency. We can help to eliminate the paradox of choice, as we work alongside our clients, showing them a smaller selection of potential matches that we can choose from together, knowing that they align with the values they are seeking in a partner.


Maclynn International is a boutique, multi-award-winning introductions agency with offices in New York, New Jersey, California, and London. We’re world-renowned for bringing together highly compatible singles, and our matchmakers are relationship experts in their own right. Get in touch today, and within our vast network of eligible singles your dedicated matchmaker will help you meet that rare person with whom the chemistry and attraction really are instant—and mark the start of something incredible.

by Angela Bova


Angela was born in New York and raised in New Jersey. She has an extensive background in psychology and neuropsychology, earning both her BA in Psychology and MA in Clinical Psychology from Montclair State University. Following graduate school, she worked as a research assistant in a neuroscience and neuropsychology laboratory and more recently as a psychometrist for a neuropsychology private practice. Angela is distinctly perceptive about human nature and the mind and is passionate about what makes individuals unique. This passion along with her education and training in both psychology and neuropsychology, endows her with keen insight into the key assets that make quality connections.More by this author