Internet Dating – why does it work so well and what does that suggest for procurement?!

Those of us of a certain age have tended to look down on Internet dating. We started in the age when dating came from meeting people at parties, at school or college, or a little later in our lives, at work, the sports club, amateur dramatic group or trainspotters meeting.

But a recent piece of academic research - and this does seem to have some statistical basis to it, with 20,000 people studied - has suggested that relationships founded on Internet dating actually have more chance of succeeding than those which started with more conventional origins. I'm not surprised actually. Talking to a friend recently (female, attractive, 30 something), she was extolling the virtues of the Internet.

"It saves so much time, for a start. I'm busy, I've got work, interests I want to pursue when I do have spare time, I haven't got time to hang around in bars or hope to get invited to the right parties where I might just meet someone interesting".

Using a reputable web based search puts dozens of likely candidates in touch with her instantly. The universe of potential boyfriends is huge, and the time needed to consider them is minimal compared to "traditional" means.

"Then the web gives me a chance to see what they're like before I meet them. OK, you have to take what people say about themselves with a pinch of salt, but you can get a sense of what they're like, what they're interested in and what we might have in common and so on".

So you can carry out a sift, in effect, and rule out many options quite easily.

"But it is still hard to tell whether there's a real chemistry of course. You can have someone who sounds perfect on the website, but it just doesn't work in person. Or they've used a photo that was obviously taken 10 years ago on a very good day..! So sometimes you know within minutes of meeting them it won't go anywhere."

The face to face still matters. Ultimately the relationship is between people and that can't simply come from the web-based experience. But overall, the internet is proving a great tool for forming better relationships. And by now, you probably know where we're going on this. Searching for romance or searching for suppliers? Developing romantic or business relationships? Looking for shared interests or certain "supplier capabilities"?

We don't have evidence yet as to whether supplier relationships that start on the Internet last longer and are more successful than those that start more personally. But the dating game evidence suggests that electronic introduction is at least as effective as the old traditional "hi, how are you enjoying the party, can I get you a drink" method?

Although that's the one that worked well for me some considerable number of years ago!

Voices (2)

  1. Elan London:

    Another alternative is a professional matchmaker. Statistics suggest internet dating has a 9% success rate and professional matchmakers 70%+

  2. Toni:

    Sounds like the procurement of a boyfriend using an e-procurement system…

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