Sociology professor publishes article about online dating

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Online dating can be a pathway for successful unions, according to University of Indianapolis Associate Professor of Sociology Amanda Miller. She co-authored an article with Cornell University Professor of Policy Analysis Sharon Sassler, which discussed modern ways of dating on apps and how they affect people. Miller said that the article, “Winning the Game of Online Dating” included information about online dating and finding love on the internet in a smart way.

Online dating has gained popularity in younger generations as apps like Tinder and Bumble have surfaced and been marketed to young people, according to Miller. She said that as dating and other aspects of peoples lives have moved more toward digital, people interact and date differently than they have ever before.

Amanda Miller

Miller found in other research that women’s outcomes in the online dating world peak at age 18, while men’s did not peak until age 50. She said that from this information, she concluded that women are more desirable at a younger age than males. According to Miller, she found that in recent years, both women and men with a college degrees were more likely to find a partner, while in the past, educated women were less likely. Miller said she and Sassler were curious about the differences, which led to them researching why these trends were appearing.

Miller said that she and Sassler wanted to offer advice for those interested in online dating as it is a new phenomenon that has changed these relationships. The article concludes that there is possible success in online dating.

Before publishing this article, Miller co-authored a book with Sassler titled,Cohabitation Nation: Gender, Class and the Remaking of Relationships” which examined how cohabitation is contributing to the growing levels of inequality. This was the first time the pair had written together. According to Miller, Psychology Today approached them to write the article on their blog. Miller said that in working with Sassler on this article was different than the work they did on their book.

“These are very short pieces, so it’s a little less collaborative,” Miller said. “One of us will start something and the other will finish it. This process is a little different than writing something such as academic journal or something of that sort, just because it is shorter.”

Miller said that she originally wanted to be a marriage and family therapist and has always been interested in the topic of dating. New trends in dating and attraction drove her to want to help people navigate this way of dating that people had never been exposed to before.

“I wanted to know about all the bigger social level trends,” Miller said. “That is why sociology was the right fit for me. I could still study couples experiences, but just got to look at it as more of a detached perspective.”

Senior nursing major Keaton Fainter said he has experience with online dating and has used different forms of apps that he said are common in the college age group. He said though he has matched and met people off of these apps, overall he does not consider it a serious form of dating.

“Any advice I would give on online dating would be to not take it too seriously,” Fainter said.

Miller says that in order to make online dating successful, know what you are looking for and find somebody you already share an interest with even if it  is through an online site, or an app such as Tinder.

“Do not be discouraged by an online dating experience and do not be discouraged by a bad in person dating experience,” Miller said. “It is not a failure, just something that you have learned about what you are looking for. Online dating is a numbers game. It is just finding the right person at the right time.”

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