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After all, dating sites are predicated on singledom.
And while presumably there is no nefarious conspiracy to keep the world's singles out of wedlock and stuck on the internet, you do have to wonder just how smart it is for a dating site to pair anyone up at all.
More than 48% of people over 50 turn to online dating for a serious relationship, 26% for friendship, and 14% for casual dating.
The closest you'll find to a sincere sales pitch is at Ok Cupid, 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 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. Claims about "science" and "mathematical algorithms" that will capture your life partner have not been substantiated, and certainly not favorably peer-reviewed.
Perfect Match and e Harmony say they cannot open their studies to scrutiny because they'd be giving away their "secret sauce".
They certainly do a good job of making singledom look attractive, and, the better a website does this, the less inclined a person is to get or remain partnered up, and the more likely they are to return to the singles experience and the addictiveness of surfing online profiles.
The excitement of receiving a new message, the ability to scan hundreds of eligible profiles, the ease of initiating contact with an attractive single person.
How long before phone numbers are exchanged, for example — which means that yes, these companies are scanning your private messages, wading through the dirty talk with algorithms to discover trends.