Healthy online dating
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A dating site is not a magic “fix” for your dating problems.“If you don’t have a personality, it’s going to come across in an email, a phone call, or across a table,” said Larry K., 46, who met his wife on nine years ago.
“[Sites like] Ok Cupid give people a mechanism to combat the anxiety of being single,” said Ana B., 24 of New York City.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.“I think there is a possibility [that these algorithms] could evolve to better predict long-term compatibility.There’s just a disconnect between what social science says is actually possible, and what the sites say they can do,” said Slater.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.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.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.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.