The Math of Love: How Online Dating Platforms Use Data to Find Your Perfect Match
In today’s tech-driven era ‘love at first sight’ seems to have become more like ‘love at first swipe.’ The rise of services like online dating has not just revolutionized the concept of dating but also given people more technologically advanced (and potentially foolproof) options for finding their one true love.
According to research, relationships that begin through online platforms turn into marriage more quickly as compared to relationships that begin in traditional ways. A survey conducted by revealed that couples who met online got married after an average of about 18 months together whereas couples who met offline took an average of over 40 months before they decided to tie the knot.
But how exactly does online dating work and who decides which two people are right for each other? What is the reason behind the ever-increasing popularity of online dating apps and how can you use these platforms to find your perfect match?
With about active users making more than one billion swipes per day on Tinder alone, it’s a real wonder how these platforms decide which two people are best suited for one another.
Let’s take a deeper look to find out.
How Online Dating Uses Data to Find Your Perfect Match
Matchmaking on online dating platforms is based upon the information provided by the users.
The process of finding the perfect match begins as soon as a user signs up for the online dating site or app. The sites ask numerous questions (about 300 on an average) in order to determine the hobbies, passion, likes and dislikes of the user. This helps create a profile with sufficient details that enable the system to find the person that they are looking for.
For example, when you join a certain online dating site, you will probably be asked about your height, weight, hair color, body type and other details such as piercings and tattoos to name a few. The next set of questions is usually based on your interests and preferred pastime activities. You will have to input info about your favorite movies, authors, actors, books, songs and so on. Most sites also ask about your religious beliefs, political views, and long term relationship goals such as whether you want children or not.
In the next round, you will have to answer most of these questions for a second time – except that now you will have to answer them from the point of view of your ideal partner so that these responses provide insight into what you expect from the person you are looking for.
The generated data is then compiled, analyzed, and organized by a database management system. These systems use a variety of carefully designed and highly sophisticated algorithms in order to sort the user profiles into unique ‘groups.’ The potential date for each user is then picked from the pool of people who have the highest compatibility with their group.
Different sites use different algorithms and search patterns to find the most compatible partner for a given user but some of the key factors for matchmaking include age, religion, education, income and so on. Often, facial recognition is also used to determine the person whom the user will find most attractive. This is done by image processing software that filters the results after analyzing the features of potential matches with the ideal image provided (or described) by the particular user.
How to Use Online Dating Services to Find Your Ideal Soulmate
Since the matches are made based on the user’s response, providing incomplete or inaccurate information completely defies the entire purpose of online data services. However, no matter how tremendously technology might have evolved and how uniquely two people might ‘match’ according to the search results, it goes without saying that you cannot rely solely on a machine’s prediction to decide who you should spend the rest of your life with.
It’s not that the results are incorrect, but the fact that the results are based on the limited information that might not take into account who you will be as a person in say, the next ten years. People change in myriad ways throughout their lives and a personality test or similar algorithms cannot predict the way in which you or your partner will mature in the coming years.
Therefore, to making online dating work for you, make sure to follow these top tips.
Do Some Soul Searching
Before you start searching for your soulmate, you must do some soul searching on your own. Think about your aims and aspirations in life, and what you really want from the relationship or from your partner for that matter. Setting your priorities straight allows you to describe your desired date in a better way and ultimately get better search results.
Meet in Person
Online communication should not be substituted for face-to-face communication. If you cannot meet in person, then try video calling at least once to get a more accurate and ‘real’ view of the person.
Be True to Yourself
To make sure that the results are as accurate as possible, you ought to provide accurate information about your own self first. Be unique, but write your profile clearly and truthfully. Don’t be shy to mention your priorities because if you hide them at this point, chances are it might lead to disappointments later on.
What to Look at When Searching for a Partner on Online Dating Sites
Online dating platforms will show you user profiles that closely match with what you described earlier. If you still have trouble deciding which ones to go forward with, the following tips might come in handy.
Make sure the person’s photograph matches the age mentioned. Many people, despite being honest with their age, might put older pictures because those are ‘better.’
If the system gives you a match but you don’t find the person very attractive in their photo, give it a shot and meet them anyways. You might be drawn to their personality and hit it off.
The main thing that matters when searching for a partner on online dating sites is to stay open-minded. Even if you don’t like the potential match at a first glance, lean towards positivity and the fact that there is a high probability you might actually be perfect for one another. Give the other person a chance. Have a face-to-face meeting, spend some time together and get to know them some more before deciding whether you should continue forward or start the search all over again.
Online dating services use sophisticated business models, detailed algorithms, and data mining to help users find the soulmate they have been searching for. Billions of members registered on numerous platforms all across the world are the definitive proof of how effective these services are.
Check out the success stories from various couples who met online and are now living their lives happily ever after.