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Does Online Dating Work?

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Online Dating is it Worth It
Credit: Daniel M Viero via Flickr

The things people do for love are immensely variable and at times beyond any sense and rationality, which may or may not include things that are far too graphic to be described here without resorting to copious censorship. The saying “love makes the world go round” may not be possible literally (angular momentum, gravity, and assorted physics are responsible for that) but it does drive the world in a societal and psychological sense. Conquests, literal and metaphorical alike, are waged regularly in the name of love, and the quest for romance is as arduous as ever. One of these things considered as odd is online dating. But, does online dating work?

With the advent of the Internet and the so – called Age of Information, the quest for love has evolved as well. Romance shows, dating simulators, and so on have come to the forefront (almost every movie now has love as a main point), and notably, even looking for a partner has become digitized. Early on in the online dating scene, people addressed it with the same amount of disdain and derision as they would a dreadfully dirty downed dog, saying that the entire concept was rather ridiculous.

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Now that the online dating scene has had time to root itself in the Internet (not too hard a feat) and somewhat clear out the stigma of being “ridiculous” (much harder, thanks to the nature of many of the Internet’s denizens) to find itself steadily getting accepted, a different question begs to be asked. Does it indeed work? And will it end up matching you with someone suitable? Or will it somehow find a dog sitting at a computer pressing random buttons as a match?

Short answer (to the first two – the third one is technically possible but hard) is: maybe. A longer answer is, yes, but there are a lot of variables.

Before you go on and start giving up on the process, consider how it works first. Most dating services work by having a person filling out a profile, which is then put up on the database for others to ogle and analyze whether or not they’d like to give physical dating a shot. It essentially works as a “front page” at this point, where people get information they can use to weigh their chances. From here the process varies a bit, as some use fancy algorithms (or so they say – most simply rely on a simple comparison engine to find similar entries) to find a match. Matchmaking assigns people with others that have a “compatibility rating”, based on how well the information both parties put on their profiles match. Once a match is made, the two then come into online conversation.

It sounds simple – because it mostly is. The effort on the part of the user at this point is simply filling out some questions. Here, we can clearly say that it works – online dating does match people up with others (save for the unlucky / highly specific people). However, long – term relationships (or whatever kind one looks for) are not guaranteed. Online dating is actually a bit of a misnomer – it is more of an online friendship or matchmaking of sorts. The actual dating comes into play at the user’s discretion – the user decides if the relationship goes anywhere. In that case, we cannot for certain say that the online dating works. It depends on the person.

But then again, so does romance in general, so it is safe to say that online dating at least fulfills its purpose properly. Just beware of any suspicious canines.




Jun 26, 2014 4:31am
Somebody once said that if love makes the world go round, whisky can do the same job twice as fast!

I have been married for 27 years, having met my wife via computer dating - pre-online it is true, but the same process of completing a profile and getting a list of matches was involved. I reckon that counts as "working"!
Jun 30, 2014 10:32pm
pre-online computer dating... please tell me more?
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