Science may be able to predict or lend insight to many things, but when it comes to love, you’ve either got organic chemistry and a strong connection, or you have nothing at all.
For those of you who are pinning your hopes on online matchmaking sites in hopes of finding a love connection, researchers say you need to stop. Here’s why.
Digital dating services in the form of apps and websites can make it seem like you’ve found your match made in heaven. That OK CUPID or Blackpeoplemeet.com personality profile might say that you and “Mr.Successfool” have an 85% compatibility rate, but according to psychologist Samantha Joel of the University of Utah and her colleagues, it’s false hope.
Don’t shoot the messenger.
For their studied published in the August issue of Psychological Science, researchers studied 350 heterosexual college students — almost evenly split between males and females — who participated in one of 15 speed-dating events in 2005 or 2007. According to Science News, participants filled out either a 182-item or 112-item questionnaire about their personality traits and preferences when it comes to romantic partners.
Students then went on roughly 12 speed dates and rated their interest in and sexual attraction to each person they met.
Despite being matched with someone who they clicked “on paper” with, researchers found that no traits or preferences, or combinations of traits and preferences, predicted how much one person especially desired another person after a speed date.
“Joel expected that, say, a person who reported being attracted to extroverted people would generate the most chemistry with speed daters who reported being extroverted,” Bruce Bower of Science News wrote. “Or, two people who reported being good-looking and having particularly warm personalities would feel especially attracted to one another after brief dates. But that’s not what Joel and coauthors Paul Eastwick of the University of California, Davis and Eli Finkel of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., found.”
“Our findings suggest that it’s quite difficult to predict initial romantic attraction using self-report measures before two people have met,” Joel said.
In other words, you’ve got to meet someone in order to trigger romantic love, no matter how perfect you may seem on paper.
While you shouldn’t deactivate your dating profile just yet, it’s best to treat what you read with a long handled spoon.