- Online is one of the most common places that people now meet romantic partners.
- The Internet gives people access to far more potential partners than they are likely to meet in the real world.
- Matchmaking algorithms likely don't work.
In just 20 years, the Internet has become one of the most common places to meet romantic partners -- a close second only to getting introductions through friends, found an exhaustive new review of research into the science behind the online relationship industry.
By far the best service that online dating sites offer, the study found, is access to other single people who are looking for love. On the other hand, there is no good evidence to support the "science-based" algorithms that supposedly find the perfect match for you.
Among other limitations, user profiles also offer an incomplete sense of a whole person. And when daters are presented with too many people to choose from, they often get overwhelmed and give up.
By taking a comprehensive look at the exploding world of online dating -- with its many strengths and weaknesses -- the study suggests ways that singles might make the most of online dating sites. The findings also point out ways that the industry might serve its clients better.