Instead of focusing on how compatible we think one potential partner is to us, we perform joint evaluations, which make us prioritize traits that don't really matter to relationship success.
Algorithmic matching services like e Harmony and Ok Cupid don't fare much better.
Research shows that having too many choices overwhelms us, and can cause us to make either poor decisions or no decision at all.
A second reason is that online dating uses side-by-side comparisons.
At least then you’re pretty much guaranteed to get some kind of response, right? A full third of guys who try online dating sites and apps never go on a single date, and that’s despite spending 5.2 hours a week looking at profiles, then another 6.7 hours sending out messages.
These algorithms focus on searchable traits that aren't predictive of relationship success (measured by long-lasting relationships and satisfaction).
Despite this discouraging evidence, online dating can work for several reasons.
The sheer number of singles who use online dating services has already improved dating prospects. With so many singles online -- 11 percent of the US population as of 2013 to be exact -- the probability of meeting someone and developing a successful relationship has increased.
How many Tinder swipes are necessary for me to find true love? On dating sites like Match.com, which allow users to make their own dating decisions, daters have difficulty meeting the right partners.
Flippancy aside, I realize not everyone may believe in soulmates or even marriage for that matter, but whatever your intent, do you find yourself wondering if online dating even works? Studies show that they are unable to make successful selections.