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The last decade has seen an explosion in the number of online dating sites around the world, and the number of people using them.According to some estimates, there are over 8,000 online dating sites worldwide, and over 2,500 in the US alone.Unfortunately, when you’re reading the profiles of other people, it’s easy to forget that this rule applies to them, too.You know that what you’re seeing isn’t an accurate representation of them, but it doesn’t stop you from judging them on it anyway.And it gets worse the more prescriptive you are about your requirements.Some sites take this to an extreme degree and let you go nuts specifying the attributes you want: professional background, religion, salary, ethnicity, personal habits, even pet preferences!Suddenly there was a different way to find a partner, one that promised practically infinite possibilities, where an algorithm could find you the “right” person without you needing to do the hard work of ever actually talking to them in person.And if you don’t like what you see, you can always click on to the next profile – there is always another candidate just around the corner!
According to some estimates, over a third of marriages in the US are now from couples who first met online.
To answer this, let’s take a look at some of the main reasons online dating doesn’t work. Researchers in the UK recently calculated the odds of finding a compatible partner if they used the average person’s requirements (in terms of desired age, physical requirements, location, and so on).
They found that just over 84,440 people in the UK fit the average person’s requirements, from an adult population of 47 million. In other words, applying the average person’s filters when it comes to finding a compatible partner gives you less than a 1 in 500 chance of being successful.
If you’ve ever created an online dating profile for yourself, you know that it only scratches the surface of what you’re like.
No profile, no matter how well-written, could ever hope to capture the full extent of your personality.