Trajectories Of Disclosure

Progressive self-disclosure constitutes a major part of the development of a romantic relationship. The mystery presented by a new friend or lover enhances their appeal, and gradual disclosure builds intimacy even as the rush of novelty diminishes.

Online personals systems provide a wealth of information at the outset, perhaps eliminating the opportunity for delight at discovering shared musical tastes or favorite books. On the other hand, much of the information, as we have seen, might be exaggerated or falsified, so perhaps users do not have as much information as they think they do.

After users identify someone they like, they can contact the person through a private messaging system.Typically, these systems function like simple Web-based email clients. This is the venue in which much of the initial self-disclosure occurs in online dating. Popular advice columns and books about online dating often suggest

Some newer systems, such as eHarmony, deliberately foster self-disclosure that the site's architects think will facilitate interpersonal affinity. In the initial stages of private messaging, the system does not allow users to send arbitrary text messages, instead asking them to select pre-written questions to that seem intended to encourage mutual self-revelation, such as:

If you were taken by your date to a party where you knew no one, how would you respond?

a) stay close to my date, letting him/her introduce me b) find a spot at the back bar and relax alone, letting him/her work the room c) strike out on my own, introducing myself and making friends d) I would ask my partner if I could skip this particular event

How often do you lose your temper?

a) practically never b) once in a while c) on occasion during the week d) probably once a day on average

(eHarmony.com)

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