Beliefs About Finding a Compatible Partner in Three Settings


  • Susan Sprecher


Single adults often exert considerable energy searching for a compatible partner. Until recently, people met partners primarily through everyday activities (work, school) and through friends. These ways of meeting partners are still common, although Internet dating sites have also become a main way for couples to meet. The current study was conducted to examine people’s attitudes about finding a compatible partner in three different settings: online dating, the social network (e.g., friends of friends), and everyday activities. A sample of 702 single (unpartnered) adults (ages 18 to 40) completed a survey that included items that measured their attitudes about finding a compatible partner in the three different ways. Participants believed they would be less likely to find a compatible partner through online dating than either through friends or in everyday activities. Age and shyness were negatively associated with optimism of finding a partner, particularly in the traditional settings of everyday activities and through one’s social network.