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And, as it turns out, what we find attractive in a profile doesn't sync up with what we go for in the real world."People have elaborate laundry lists of qualities they think they want in a partner, and they like online dating profiles that fit this laundry list," Eastwick said."However, upon a face-to-face meeting, most of this list goes out the window — people instead rely on their gut-level reaction to another person."The other problem, according to the research, is the emphasis placed on clients' similarities."To be sure, similarity on some dimensions, like race and religion, does predict relationship well-being," two of the study's co-authors wrote in The New York Times."However, the vast majority of people mate with demographically similar partners anyway, so such findings aren't especially useful in helping dating sites narrow a client's pool of potential partners."The Times piece goes on to say, "None of this suggests that online dating is any worse a method of meeting potential romantic partners than meeting in a bar or on the subway.
But it's no better either."So an algorithm isn't smart enough to figure out if two strangers are soulmates.
But the sites do have their benefits."Mainly, online dating sites give you more options beyond your existing social network that you wouldn't have had otherwise," Eastwick said.
But for those of us looking to go a cheaper route, there's a solution: the internet.
But can a formula determine whether two people will have a successful long-term relationship? According to market research company IBISWorld, the online dating industry made 3 million in Canada in 2014.