Plus, many big sites have been hesitant to allow independent researchers to look at their matching algorithms in depth.

Instead, both joined the site after ending long-term relationships and moving to a new city without many friends.

They both used the site to meet more people and go on more dates, while using their limited free time efficiently.

The same rules apply,” said Steven C., a yoga instructor who met his partner on [email protected] (a dating site that’s no longer active) 15 years ago.

The majority of the daters I interviewed (and Slater, too) at some point referred to online dating as a tool, and that’s just what it is.

Research suggests that, while it is possible to predict whether two people could enjoy spending time together in the short term, it’s (nearly) impossible to scientifically match two people for long-term compatibility.

The strongest predictors of a good, functional relationship are how a couple interacts, and their ability to handle stress — two things that science says current dating website algorithms can't predict and online profiles can't demonstrate.

It doesn’t help that these algorithms are closely guarded trade secrets.

The majority of the surveys, studies, and reports evaluating online dating sites’ efficacy are paid for by the companies themselves, leading to some possibility for biased results.

Miller agreed, saying: “And it accomplished what I wanted to do, which was go on a lot of dates."While online dating sites give people another tool to find potential mates, the dates themselves are not very different, other than maybe knowing a bit more about the other person before officially meeting.

“It’s no different than if you meet someone on the street.

These sites can serve as a way to practice those skills and build up self-confidence, too.