Paradox of Choice: How FOMO Can Make Dating in the Modern Age Difficult  

02 Apr

When faced with too many options to consider, we can find ourselves overwhelmed and feeling as though we’ll be missing opportunities either way we choose. The dating apps are no exclusion to this, how are you supposed to weed through millions of profiles within a twenty mile radius?

Beautiful young woman sitting on bed and chatting on social media. Paradox of choice

The term ‘’fear of missing out’’ is one that has only recently been coined, yet it speaks to a feeling that’s been experienced by people across the ages. When faced with too many options to consider, we can find ourselves overwhelmed and feeling as though we’ll be missing opportunities either way we choose. Psychologist Barry Schwartz touched on this concept years before social media did in his 2004 book ‘’The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less.’’ In the book, he discusses a psychological principle he calls ‘’the paradox of choice,’’ and in today’s blog we’ll explore the impacts of this phenomenon on the modern dating environment.

What is the paradox of choice?

Schwartz’s theory discusses how western societies have adopted the perspective that more choice equals increased welfare and freedom, when in actuality too many choices can diminish satisfaction and even lead to decision paralysis. Apply this to our age of consumerism, social media, and online dating, and it’s no wonder that so many of us are left feeling unhappy.

Particularly relevant in the online dating sphere, paradox of choice leaves us feeling like nobody is good enough and that there will always be someone better. When selecting who to invest time and energy into on dating apps, it can become difficult to not compare and to view each person as an individual. It can be difficult to make a decision at all, leading to paralysis and missed chances.

Schwartz says this effect is particularly hard on metropolitan singletons, who are flooded with an abundance of choice in their everyday life. The dating apps are no exclusion to this – with millions of people in a twenty mile radius, how are you supposed to weed through the options and find your Mr. or Mrs. Right?

Quality over quantity

Nearly anyone can log onto a dating app and swipe through hundreds of profiles, but the majority fail to find romantic success doing so. Hiring a professional can help. At Maclynn International, our matchmakers are relationship experts and incorporate psychological principles, like the paradox of choice, into their practice to maximize results. Each matchmaker tailors the service to the needs of the client, hand selecting high quality, compatible profiles that align with your core values. Contact us today to find love tomorrow.

by Rachel Vida Maclynn

Founder & CEO

Rachel Vida Maclynn is reputed as being a world-leading matchmaking and dating expert. Registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rachel advocates a professional matchmaking approach based on psychological principles and professional consultation.More by this author

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