This is my lonely hearts club confession: Im jumping back into the world of online dating.
I use the word confession because there still is some stigma attached to the practice.
When I asked my friends to share their Internet dating stories, many were only willing to talk if they could remain anonymous.
According to a 2013 report from the Pew Research Center, 21 percent of polled Internet users agree that People who use online dating sites are desperate. More heartening, though, is the fact that thats an 8-point decline from the 29 percent of people who thought the same in 2005. According to the same Pew report, one in 10 American adults has used an online dating site, and 38 percent of single people actively looking for a partner have used an online dating site. Before e Harmony and Match.com, there was a computer-based dating program developed in 1965 by a group of students at Harvard, who thought matchmaking was an excellent use of the exciting new computer technology available to them.
Thousands of people sent the students and completed questionnaires.
Six weeks later, they received lists of matches with phone numbers.
Today it takes significantly less time to find potential matches and there are plenty of sites to chose from.
There are sites you pay to join and free sites, sites aimed at fostering long-term relationships and sites with reputations for finding casual hookups.
If youre looking for something specific, the Internet can probably help, with options such as Christian Mingle, which trademarked the phrase, Find Gods Match for You, and Our Time, reserved for romantics over age 50. Try a site like Farmers Only or Glutenfree Singles.Then theres How About We, where users propose a date idea, like, How about we get sushi and see a metal band? What I and thousands of others like me want to know, though, is: Does it work?If you can think of a way to find a romantic partner, someone has probably already created a dating site based on that concept. Can you really find a partner based on a series of often seemingly random questions?I know plenty of couples who have told me that if they saw their significant others profile, they probably wouldnt have chosen them off a dating site.All the characteristics and qualities these sites filter religious and political beliefs, preferences for cats versus dogs, or whether youd rather eat tofu or steak may not actually make a bit of difference when it comes connecting with someone in person. University of Iowa assistant professor Kang Zhao and UI doctoral student Xi Wang are part of a team of researchers which recently developed an algorithm aimed at helping online daters overcome their tendency to cling to what they think they want.The algorithm uses a persons past contact history on a site to attempt to predict who theyd like to contact in the future.