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.
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?
Between 20, the number of people using online dating sites doubled, from 20 million to 40 million, and about one third of America’s single people participated in some sort of online dating last year.
But despite these numbers, it’s unclear if online dating is any more effective than, or really any different from, meeting someone offline.
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.