Unfortunately, Webb says, "very few of us have the ability to be totally and brutally honest with ourselves" As a result, we get "matches" that don't match us at all. In a recent study of undergrads, 60% of participants lied at least once during a 10-minute casual conversation with a stranger.
"After watching football games and going to New Year's Day parties solo, singles often think about new beginnings," online dating expert Julie Spira wrote last year on
"From joining a gym to going on a diet, the list often includes finding someone to have a meaningful relationship with." Other reasons for the New Year's sign up explosion, according to Spira, include the prevalence of December breakups and the toll that watching couples having romantic holidays can take on people who aren't in relationships.
Then, just before the waiter dropped off the massive bill, the date left, never to be seen again. When the dates didn't improve, she started logging them in a spreadsheet, pulling out dozens of data points on her alleged "matches" in an attempt to discover what was going wrong.
Webb tracked everything from the number of times a date made her high-five him to how often he made an awkward sexual remark. "It turns out that these probably weren't bad guys," she says in a TED talk.
Tired of break-ups and looking for a lifetime partner, she signed up for a handful of online dating sites.