The allure of online dating lies in each dating site’s promise that your days of weeding through losers, cheaters, and creepers is over. Their service boasts the most complex, scientifically valid algorithm that will undoubtedly connect you with THE most compatible mate in your geographical area.
To help you sort out which is the right dating site for you, it’s important to understand the inside strategies behind how each service follows through on their promise of helping you find your soulmate. Here’s the skinny on four top dating sites and how to make them work for you.
The pioneers at 19-year-old Match.com have the online dating game down to a statistical science. Match.com President Mandy Ginsberg tells Mashable that the Match.com team recommends compatible matches to users based on four main factors: what you say in your survey, what you actually do on the site regardless of your survey answers, what people like you do, and your history. In other words, Match.com’s analysis doesn’t stop at survey questions; over time, their team has noticed certain patterns that tend to develop once users are given free reign of the site.
For example, 57% of women who say a mate’s willingness to have kids is a “must” on Match.com have still ended up reaching out to men who claim they don’t want to have kids. Ultimately, Match.com’s recommendation engine observes your behavior, translates it into what you appear to be willing to compromise on, and the algorithm quietly works some outliers into your pool of matches.
With this knowledge, keep in mind that if you find some surprisingly undesirable potentials in your pool of recommendations, it can’t hurt to try them out. That crafty engine may know you better than you know yourself!
Owned by the same parent company as Match.com, Chemistry.com caters to a slightly older demographic interested in finding more long-term relationships. The site’s initial subscriber survey is actually a personality quiz developed by highly regarded anthropologist Helen Fisher that asks the kinds of questions you might anticipate upon the first visit to a psychiatrist. The quiz classifies users into one of four personality categories — director, builder, negotiator, and explorer — while sometimes assigning a secondary personality type to the more complex users. The resulting assessment seems to be pretty spot on, and it serves as the basis for recommendations of others personality types suitable to yours in addition to being compatible with the criteria you’ve expressed you’re looking for.
The key to mastering this site is not to overthink the questions in the personality quiz and instead go with your gut response. You’ll be surprised at how eerily the simple, seemingly random questions peg your personality and behaviors, which can only lead to more compatible matches.
This 17-year-old site is known for its older demographic and propensity toward arranging almost exclusively serious relationships, but its precious formula remains a secret. Lucky for us, a sociologist who previously worked at marriage research lab where eHarmony sourced its data revealed to the New York Times the six factors on which its algorithm focuses: how argumentative a person is, desire for emotional intimacy, degree of sexual passion, level of extroversion, and how optimistic and spiritual each is. eHarmony holds that the more compatible two peoples’ answers to these questions, the more compatible they are in real life; this claim is solidified by a survey that showed that 400 married couple’s scores on their initial eHarmony quizzes correlated to their happiness four years later.
Because eHarmony is one of the only dating sites that doesn’t allow you to proactively search for mates and thus rely solely on their recommendations, it’s key that you answer the questions accurately. In this case, I recommend fleshing out your thoughts on how you’d answer questions around each of these factors to ensure you’re provided with the highest quality matches.
OkCupid’s free, non-subscription based service appeals to a younger crowd and carries with it a higher volume of users looking for casual hook ups. Nevertheless, OkCupid is fairly open and confident in their “Match Percentage” strategy. Their unique survey not only asks a series of typical compatibility questions, but it goes on to ask each dater how they’d like their potential mate to answer as well as how important the question is. The service then uses the percentage that results from its computer’s calculations to both match and communicate compatibility to users.
Because it can take some time, energy and a strong gag reflex to filter through the creepers who use OkCupid as a free booty call service, it will serve you best to answer the extensive survey questions thoughtfully. And to avoid any confusion or ward off undesirables, make sure to state clearly in your written profile if you’re looking for something more serious.