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EHarmony asks users to fill out extensive psychological questionnaires, many based on established personality scales.Ok Cupid asks quirkier questions (e.g., “wouldn’t it be fun to chuck it all and live on a sailboat? The idea that we can use reliable tests to identify appropriate partners is certainly seductive (forgive the pun).This is known as the similarity hypothesis, or the “birds of a feather flock together" effect.However, this similarity was not shown to contribute to relationship satisfaction.The choices they made a decade earlier may seem less appealing once maturation has occurred.By virtue of being older, online daters may experience this problem to a lesser extent.This issue is compounded for those looking for love later in life, when their social circles tend to be made predominantly of other couples.Online dating substantially expands the pool of available partners, allowing singles to connect with greater numbers of people, many of whom they wouldn’t have met in their everyday lives.
It is possible that online daters, as a group, are different from the general population in ways that increase their likelihood of establishing successful romantic relationships. First, online daters tend to be older, with most being in their 30’s, 40’s, and beyond.
However, scientific research does not support it, at least when it comes to personality compatibility.
That is, there is no evidence that extroverts are best matched with introverts, or people who are open to experience prefer others who are also open to experience.
By contrast, some traditional daters may stumble into relationships that they may not have specifically sought or ardently desired to begin with.
Finally, research shows that online daters tend to be wealthier and more highly educated than traditional daters.