But can a formula determine whether two people will have a successful long-term relationship? According to market research company IBISWorld, the online dating industry made 3 million in Canada in 2014.
Services like e Harmony and promise to find you the best potential matches based on complex and tightly guarded algorithms.
They also weed out people who don't want a long-term relationship, or those with whom you're basically incompatible — say, people with vastly different educational backgrounds or religious beliefs. Daniel Williams with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre said most victims are over 40, fresh out of a long-term relationship and haven't dated for decades.
"However, upon a face-to-face meeting, most of this list goes out the window — people instead rely on their gut-level reaction to another person." The other problem, according to the research, is the emphasis placed on clients' similarities.
"To be sure, similarity on some dimensions, like race and religion, does predict relationship well-being," two of the study's co-authors wrote in The New York Times.
And, as it turns out, what we find attractive in a profile doesn't sync up with what we go for in the real world.
"People have elaborate laundry lists of qualities they think they want in a partner, and they like online dating profiles that fit this laundry list," Eastwick said.
From DNA testing to personalized matchmaking, there's no shortage of services promising to help you find love — for a price.But for those of us looking to go a cheaper route, there's a solution: the internet.Take the 2012 article Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science.The study's authors sifted through decades of research about what makes people romantically compatible."It is very very difficult, if not impossible, to predict initial chemistry using variables assessed before two people meet each other," said study co-author Paul Eastwick, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
"The algorithms are not scientifically valid and are extremely unlikely to generate compatible matches." In other words, matchmaking sites simply can't account for how two people will get along in person — chemistry, if you will.