The pitfalls of internet dating

The upside of online dating is obvious: It's an easy way to meet a bunch of potential dates whenever you want.

But does all of that quantity and convenience equal quality? As 38 percent of contemporary American singles looking for love online, there's now a whole body of scientific research to give us a bit of perspective.

With so many choices available, some people may not be inclined to put forth the effort, time and commitment needed for a relationship.

Instead, when a problem arises, they may be more likely to dump you in lieu of a "better" option.

Meeting a person within 17 to 23 days of initial contact, it seems, is the worst time, because that's when "idealizations are at that peak," according to lead researcher Artemio Ramirez, Jr., an Associate Professor at the University of South Florida. If you want to find out which singles are generous or have your sense of humor, then you'll likely have to suss that out in person.

You've probably seen the commercials for popular online dating sites that claim they can help you find your "perfect match." It sounds great.

You can fill out a profile, answer some questions and get matched with other compatible singles -- all from the comfort of your own living room.

A 2008 study found that online dating sites are only good for narrowing down potential dates by "searchable attributes," like income or religion, rather than "experiential attributes," like rapport.

Take it from the online daters themselves: A 2013 Pew Research Center poll found that 54 percent of them have felt that "someone else seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile." Trolls lurk in all corners of the Internet, and online dating sites are no exception.

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