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When people were overly positive, exaggerating similarities and the expectation of future interactions, disillusionment was very likely; this effect was greater when communication was lower, presumably because people are able to maintain positive illusions in the absence of information about the other person, leading to a greater risk of being disappointed.

The researchers note that dating services that facilitate communication and sharing of information may be more effective.

It will be interesting to see what subsequent research reveals about long-term predictors of online dating success. At least, when going online for serious relationships, consider: 1) Looking for people who share genuine similarities with you; 2) Communicating a lot before the first date.

And make sure it is high quality communication; 3) Asking a lot of questions.

It's easy to play up similarity and downplay differences—and it's understandable that some people looking for companionship tend to quickly develop a crush when someone seems to "get them" right away.

Indeed, Sharabi and Caughlin found that, contrary to their expectations, the greater the similarity, the better.

Many times, that first meeting is a letdown, and it doesn't go further than that.

Researchers are just beginning to understand the new and complicated dynamics of online dating, and it is unclear what factors go into successful matching, though long-term relationship satisfaction is likely to come from the same factors regardless of how people meet (go here for an overview of predictors of relationships satisfaction).How do couples move from online dating to that all-important first date?What online dating behaviors and factors set the stage for a successful first date, and the potential for an ongoing relationship?Sharabi and Caughlin (2017) set out to investigate the question of what predicts first date success in their recent work.They surveyed 186 participants who were using online dating, and had at least one person they were thinking of meeting in person.