What The Economist Doesn’t Get About Online Dating

photo via flickr

A recent article in The Economist magazine examines a bunch of scientific papers about online dating in an attempt to figure out if any of those fancy matching algorithms are better than old-fashioned matchmakers like your grandmother. Or even if simply all that choice — and all those checkboxes! — improves your odds of finding love. Turns out there’s very little data to support either theory — which leads The Economist to conclude that “love is as hard to find on the internet as elsewhere … you may be just as likely to luck out in the local café, or by acting on the impulse to stop and talk to that stranger on the street whose glance you caught, as you are by clicking away with a mouse.” Well, yeah. As we’ve always said, online dating is a numbers game. But what the math nerds at The Economist seem to have missed is that “acting on the impulse to stop and talk to that stranger on the street” is nothing like clicking on someone’s profile and sending them a quick message.

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