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They accomplish this (allegedly) by analyzing responses to a lengthy survey using a proprietary algorithm, or in less fancy terms, a formula they use make money (consider it the KFC secret recipe of matching partners).In another Science of Relationships article, Paul Eastwick wrote a summary of a paper he co-authored, essentially showing that the algorithms used to match people don’t work the way that they are supposed to, and you are no better off relying on the matches made for you than if you were just meeting someone cold in the library or at a sporting event.

But despite these numbers, it’s unclear if online dating is any more effective than, or really any different from, meeting someone offline.

Plus, many big sites have been hesitant to allow independent researchers to look at their matching algorithms in depth. Of the 13 online daters I talked to for this article, only one believes algorithms can make successful matches. “I don’t believe that an algorithm can match me up, and I don’t want to match me up,” said Jason Feifer.

A senior editor at Fast Company, Feifer met his wife Jennifer Miller, a freelance journalist and author, through Ok Cupid after narrowing his search criteria to two requirements: “Jewish” and “journalist.”Feifer and Miller told me they didn’t start using Ok Cupid with the hopes of finding their soulmates.

Experts say online dating sites see a huge traffic increase between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

With the number of visitors these sites get each month, that increase is pretty significant: Some current estimates report between 10.5 and 23.8 million unique visitors per month for two major dating sites.

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Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get our articles delivered directly to your News Feed. Harman’s research examines relationship behaviors that put people at-risk for physical and psychological health problems, such as how feelings and beliefs about risk (e.g., sexual risk taking) can be biased when in a relationship.

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  1. Some daters may go for candles and flowers, but, when I want to set the mood on a date, I head straight for my playlist and queue up my favorite love songs. Certain songs strike a chord with daters by giving voice to the thoughts and feelings that make romantic relationships so worthwhile.