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For example, many dating services ask people what they want in a partner and use their answers to find matches.
But research suggests that most of us are wrong about what we want in a partner — the qualities that appeal to us on paper may not be appealing IRL.
"For people who want to whine and moan about how online dating isn't working," says psychologist Eli Finkel, "go back in time to 1975.
Ask somebody, 'What does it feel like to not have any realistic possibility of meeting somebody that you could potentially go on a date with? Finkel is a psychologist at Northwestern University and a professor at the Kellogg School of Management; he's also the author of "The All-or-Nothing Marriage." Finkel and his colleagues have been studying online dating for years.
This matchmaking service has a signup process that is incredibly in-depth.
Along with answering preliminary questions about your age, race and body type, you’re also asked how long your longest relationship was, your birth order and whether build and lifestyle choices matter to you in finding a mate.
You answer all of these questions on scale, so you’re not boxed into simply choosing yes or no if you feel you fall somewhere in the middle.
In 2012, Finkel co-authored a lengthy review, published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, of several dating sites and apps, and outlined several limitations to online dating.Singles typically don't adopt an either/or approach to dating — either casual sex or a serious relationship.Most of them want to have fun, meet interesting people, feel sexual attraction and, at some point, settle into a serious relationship.That's because instead of going on one blah date, you've gone on 27.Ultimately, there's absolutely no guarantee you'll meet someone online.
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Then they set the students loose in a speed-dating session to see if they could predict who would like who.