Dating and Relationship Advice

The Science Of Matchmaking

We all have seen the commercials and heard the hype about how some dating sites use “scientific” methods to match people based on personal characteristics, compatibility, and the like. But does this really work? Is there any evidence to show that there truly is a science to matchmaking? The answer is, it depends.

Let’s start with what it means to take a scientific approach to matching singles with each other. For paid online dating sites like eHarmony.com and Match.com, this means taking known research about the things that tend to cause marriages to fail (smoking, age differences, lack of common interests, etc.) and using this information to match people together. The theory is if they can minimize the problem areas that often lead to divorce in the first place, they can match singles more successfully and get better results.

The problem has been in actually verifying this as a successful matchmaking method. EHarmony.com and Match.com recently published their “success rates”, but these are put out there in terms such as the number of emails exchanged per year, the number of “winks” sent out each year, and the number of dates their users go on each year. This is interesting information (mostly for advertisers) but doesn’t necessarily help determine if their matching methods succeed where it really counts – helping you find someone special to share your life.

Do I think dating sites that use this approach are necessarily bad? No, of course not. There are plenty of singles who have found partners using this kind of approach. All I’m saying is it’s a good idea to have an objective view of what they’re offering and promising if you’re going to choose to use their services.

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