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TOO MANY OPTIONS As research by Barry Schwartz and other psychologists has shown, having more options not only makes it harder to choose something, but also may make us less satisfied with our choices, because we can’t help wonder whether we erred.Consider a study by the Columbia University psychologist Sheena S. She set up a table at an upscale food store and offered shoppers samples of jams. One of the most amazing social changes is the rise of online dating and the decline of other ways of meeting a romantic partner. So it’s no surprise our screens are becoming the first place we turn to when looking for romance — because you need someone to take care of you when you get food poisoning on your vacation, right?Remarkably, almost 70 percent of gay and lesbian couples met online, according to the Stanford sociologist Michael J. And Internet dating isn’t just about casual hookups.According to the University of Chicago psychologist John T.As Christian Rudder, an Ok Cupid co-founder, tells it, women who were rated very attractive were unlikely to respond to men rated less attractive.But when they were matched on Crazy Blind Date, they had a good time. Rudder puts it, “people appear to be heavily preselecting online for something that, once they sit down in person, doesn’t seem important to them.”Some of what we learned about effective photos on Ok Cupid was predictable: Women who flirt for the camera or show cleavage are quite successful.

The responses were compared with data from the same users’ activity on Ok Cupid.

We recommend the following: If you are a woman, take a high-angle selfie, with cleavage, while you’re underwater near some buried treasure.

If you are a guy, take a shot of yourself spelunking in a dark cave while holding your puppy and looking away from the camera, without smiling.

Many singles compare it to a second job, more duty than flirtation; the word “exhausting” came up constantly. Is there a way to do it more effectively, with less stress?

The evidence from our two years of study, which included interviews around the world, from Tokyo to Wichita, Kan., says yes.

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