Instead, both joined the site after ending long-term relationships and moving to a new city without many friends.
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.
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.
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.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.“It’s no different than if you meet someone on the street.It doesn’t help that these algorithms are closely guarded trade secrets.