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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.
Of the 13 online daters I talked to for this article, only one believes algorithms can make successful matches. “I don’t believe that an algorithm can match me up, and I don’t want to match me up,” said Jason Feifer.
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.
With some goading from a friend — who somehow convinced me that the stigma against online dating was no more — I joined Ok Cupid and started scanning the thousands of matches that popped up on my screen.
Apparently, I wasn’t alone in my Valentine’s Day depression-induced hunt for Prince Charming.
But even if algorithms aren’t the answer, there’s no doubt that online dating has led to successful relationships — my own included.
The question is: Are those first dates and relationships really any different from connections made in more traditional ways? Even though the number of budding Internet relationships is increasing, the overall rate of partnership is not increasing at all.
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.
In many ways, online dating resembles offline dating — the resulting relationships are no different. So why do so many millions turn to the Web to find love?
While many dating sites claim the ability to find your perfect match, social scientists aren’t buying it.
On Valentine's Day, some singles may be inspired to step up their dating game. Amy Giberson, now 34, was reluctant to try internet dating again but she decided to give it one more shot in 2014. There are a slew of sites and apps to help singles find love and, for the most part, they work, according to Consumer Reports.