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It is possible that the mode of online dating resonates with some participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.
That is, online dating sites use the conceptual framework of a "marketplace metaphor" to help people find potential matches, with layouts and functionalities that make it easy to quickly browse and select profiles in a manner similar to how one might browse an online store.
Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.
Under this metaphor, members of a given service can both "shop" for potential relationship partners and "sell" themselves in hopes of finding a successful match.