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After a rough breakup last January, I was sad and single in the Big Apple.Valentine’s Day was approaching, and this city of more than eight million people was feeling oddly lonely.
Slater believes that, as the popularity of mobile dating apps increases, sites will learn how to gather more valuable information.Plus, many big sites have been hesitant to allow independent researchers to look at their matching algorithms in depth.Whether or not the algorithms work, it's perhaps even more important if online daters they work.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.A senior editor at Fast Company, Feifer met his wife Jennifer Miller, a freelance journalist and author, through Ok Cupid after narrowing his search criteria to two requirements: "Jewish" and "journalist."Feifer and Miller told me they didn’t start using Ok Cupid with the hopes of finding their soulmates.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.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.This suggests that online dating is proving to be no more effective at creating lasting relationships than the old standards.“I really didn’t see it as any different from the way that people met each other for decades past," said Feifer. creates a relationship, is not the Other daters agreed, and so does Alex Mehr, a co-founder of the dating site Zoosk."Online dating doesn't change my taste, or how I behave on a first date, or if I will be a good partner.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.