Here’s the latest on online dating, from journalist Dan Slater. He dug into the psychology of online dating, for his new book Love In The Time of Algorithm. He not only talked to hundreds of online daters – he talked to the people who created dating websites. And here’s what he learned:

  • First: Always trust your instincts. For example, say you’re trading messages with someone who seems flaky, like they disappear for a week and then email you back. Slater says if they’re flaky online, they’ll be flaky in real life. Or if they’re needy online, expect them to be needy in real life. Basically, if something seems off, trust your gut – it is.

  • Another online dating lesson: Beware of the wounded. Slater found that a lot of people join dating sites following a breakup. And some are just looking for a rebound relationship to help them forget their ex. So, be wary of people online who can’t talk about the past without referencing their ex. That’s a red flag that they’re not ready for a long-term relationship.

  • One more online dating lesson: Manage your expectations. Slater says having more choices online tends to encourage higher expectations – because we think we can find someone perfect, who fits every criteria on our list.

But relationships can’t succeed if you’re always thinking there may be someone better, who’s just a click away.