Men typically aren’t into using their words as much as women are—and communicating via brief messages, lengthy emails, or pleasant phone calls are hallmarks of online dating. How, then, to explain a recent Avvo relationship study finding that more men than women (57 percent of men compared to 43 percent of women) think online dating is fun?
Mars and Venus date online
Perhaps it’s because the latest incarnations of online dating—particularly photo-heavy platforms like Tinder—appeal to a man’s visual tendencies.
“Men are generally more visual in nature, while women tend to be emotional and more interested in communication,” says Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist and co-star on Sex Box. “One middle-aged divorced man recently described his online dating experience as ‘a trip to the candy store.’”
It would be easy to assume that what men love about online dating can ultimately be the elements that women hate about the practice. While physical attraction is important to women as well, most women initially want to connect on a more cerebral level with potential matches. “Women come into my psychotherapy office moaning and complaining about how hard it is ‘to know’ someone’s character by simply looking at a photo and reading their profile,” says Walfish.
Reasons to appreciate online dating
Psychology Today identifies different types of men who are drawn to online dating (based on reports of women who date online), including men who are just looking, men who are ready to experiment as much as possible without commitment, and men who are seeking their perfect fantasy.
These categories of men might be disheartening to women who are honestly looking for love, but it might make you feel better to know that the Avvo study found 65 percent of men believe online dating is a great way to find a meaningful relationship. The study also identifies other perks of online dating for either gender:
- The ability to meet more people in a shorter amount of time
- Learning about what you do and don’t want in a partner
- Useful for getting over an ex
- Convenient way to meet a match, in the comfort of your own home
- Evaluating more options with as little effort as possible