Online Dating – Does Your Personality Type Think It’s Pointless?

Like many technological innovations, online dating has (in a few short years) gone from a niche, poorly understood by those outside of a small community, to a thriving and credible alternative to more conventional methods[1]. Of course, some remain unconvinced of its efficacy, preferring to seek romance through more traditional channels.

Are some personality types more in love with online dating than others? To look for an answer, we asked our readers whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement “In your opinion, online dating is a waste of time.”

Which personalities find online dating to be powerful, and which find it pointless? We take a closer look below:

Roles

Analysts and Diplomats (65% and 62% agreeing)

Although the open-minded, curious nature of these Intuitive Roles might lead one to expect them to be more likely to embrace nontraditional courting rituals, online dating apparently leaves Analysts and Diplomats cold. One of the principal knocks against Internet dating is that, similar to the more archaic practice of placing ads for oneself in the Personals section of a local newspaper, it takes some of the “romance” out of romance – the strange, serendipitous turns that so many people feel are an inextricable part of finding a romantic partner. To an Intuitive type, there may be something too crass about selecting a mate in the same way they choose a product on Amazon (or some other virtual retailer).

Moreover, the personalities of both Analysts and Diplomats may view online dating as an affront to their own abilities to secure a mate – with Analysts being too stubborn to “give up” on finding one “in real life,” and Diplomats being certain that the ineffable qualities that make them a good match will be difficult (or impossible) to translate online.

Of these types, Assertive Architects (INTJ-A) were particularly likely to feel that online dating is a waste of time (with 70% agreeing). The difficulty that many Architects face with romantic relationships may be magnified online, as their intensely judgmental natures recoil from the flattening qualities of a typical dating profile. While the more negative qualities of a person (as an Architect perceives them) may take time for the Architect to discern in the ordinary course of dating, by which point the Architect may have learned to accept them (however grudgingly), an Architect may find online profiles to be nothing but a list of deal-breakers and disappointments.

Even once messages have been exchanged and a connection forged, an Architect may find that the relative anonymity of the Internet makes breaking up and moving on an easier prospect than ever before – if their dating partners, put off by the often too-clinical nature of an Architect’s advances, do not put an end to the relationship first.

Sentinels and Explorers (55%)

The pragmatism associated with these Roles may make them more receptive to online dating, particularly now that it has lost much of the stigma it once possessed. Sentinels and Explorers, who are often busy pursuing careers or starting businesses, may have little time – and even less patience – for more roundabout courtship rituals, even as they crave the same human connections that most of us do. While “shopping” for a mate online may lack some of the magic of a romantic comedy “meet-cute,” these more practical, Observant personality types may prefer not to leave something so important to chance.

Assertive Consuls (ESFJ-A) were the least likely of all types to agree with the statement “In your opinion, online dating is a waste of time” (with 51% agreeing). One of the most common personality types, Consuls may find that their ability to connect with people offline remains undiminished online. Where some types may become discouraged by the promise of an unlimited dating pool that, in the end, only replicates the frustrating romantic experiences that drove them to seek an alternative in the first place, Consuls may see online dating less as a desperate act of thwarted desire, and more as a fun diversion that may occasionally pay dividends. This relaxed confidence may make Consuls more approachable than the more intense attitude that characterizes some types, which may lead to greater success as well.

Strategies

The negligible difference between Introverts and Extraverts, and between Turbulent and Assertive types, leads us to infer that Strategies (which are governed by these traits) have little influence on people’s opinions about online dating.

Conclusions

All too often, the social revolutions that new technologies promise prove to be slow in coming (if they make a real difference at all). People who found dating to be stressful and discouraging before the advent of online dating may find themselves as lost as ever.

Specifically, personality types such as Analysts and Diplomats, who may have higher expectations for online romance – believing, perhaps, that their lack of success in amorous endeavors results from an absence of opportunity, rather than a lack of effort – may become only more disheartened when they encounter rejection and disappointment in the same proportions. On the other hand, more practical sorts like Sentinels and Explorers, who do not anticipate the online dating world to be any more of a fantasia than that which they have experienced offline, may be pleasantly surprised by any success at all.

What about you? How do your online dating experiences stack up to your own expectations? Let us know in the comments section!

You can see the full set of data, including correlation coefficients, in the Academy. Please also consider participating in our Member Surveys!

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