Dating Sites Would Prefer to Keep You Single

#Internet

Sun, Jan 12th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

This should not come as a surprise, but dating sites would prefer if your quest to find "the one" was never successful. According to The Week, while a "successful matchmaker needs some couples to flourish, for the testimonials," these businesses also need a "ready supply of unhappy singles." I particularly liked the part below explaining how the sites work and the article only gets better from there:

The basics of online dating are pretty straightforward. People create profiles, which they fill with basic physical and personality traits in the hope of getting matched up with someone who is looking for that particular mix, while hoping that they find satisfaction themselves in the person concerned. It's rare for this to be the only thing a website will want its users to do, though. Profiles are usually quite extensive: letting you introduce yourself (anecdotal evidence suggests 90 percent of profiles begin with, "I'm not very good at this sort of thing…" or "I'm not sure why I'm here"), and prompting you to answer essay-type questions about your job, hobbies, and ideal relationship. Most popular websites today, like eHarmony, OkCupid, and Match.com, feature quizzes, which ostensibly help line you up with your soul mate.

This the ubiquitous sales-pitch of online dating: they net you the man, woman, or vampiric lover of your dreams. These sites occasionally make very grand — and sometimes implausible-sounding — claims. The closest you'll find to a sincere sales pitch is at OkCupid, which says: "We don't claim to evaluate you perfectly, but we do claim to find someone who claims to fulfill your claimed requirements." I think that translates as: 'We're just middlemen: finding someone, and making it work, is up to you." So that's what these sites do: they're a go-between.

Everything else is just smoke and mirrors. Claims about "science" and "mathematical algorithms" that will capture your life partner have not been substantiated, and certainly not favorably peer-reviewed. PerfectMatch and eHarmony say they cannot open their studies to scrutiny because they'd be giving away their "secret sauce". In the meantime, they are welcome to toot their "science" liberally while never having to explain what it is they actually do behind the scenes..

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