Online Dating & Matchmaking: Science Can't Forecast Love, Study Says

Erika Miranda

Online dating and matchmaking have been a trend since the dawn of the internet age, but a new study now claims that forecasting love based on information collected on digital channels is not backed by science.

Love, as most people know, can be broken down as a surge of chemicals in one's brain due to situations the person encounters.

According to a 2012 article in Psychopharmacology, as featured in Examined Existence, "love" is a natural emotion that a person simply cannot fight.

"There is a chemical chain of reaction triggered in our bodies ultimately instigating the feeling of love to strike our minds. Actually, falling in love is getting into a beautiful trap set up by nature, a natural occurrence we cannot fight."

In the article, researchers explained that there are three points to the science of love: body language, the decision to love, and the person's reaction to words and deeds from his or her lover.

However, a more recent study is now claiming that science cannot forecast love, debunking what some online dating sites promise their clients, according to Science News.

According to the outlet that cited an article from Psychological Science in August, it is "virtually impossible to forecast a love connection" and promises of predicting whether one will romantically react to another person or the so-called "matchmaking" is not based on true science.

"Matchmaking companies and theoretical perspectives on close relationships suggest that initial attraction is, to some extent, a product of two people's self-reported traits and preferences," the source article explained.

University of Utah psychologist Samantha Joel from Salt Lake City explained that their study implies that data collected by digital dating services is not enough to accurately determine if one will have a chance at falling in love with another person.

While a person can "feel" if he or she has a certain level of connection or attraction to another after participating in online dating or four-minute speed-dating services, it is still not enough to predict whether two people can have a relationship that will last more than the allotted time for the encounter.

"Random forests models predicted 4% to 18% of actor variance and 7% to 27% of partner variance; crucially, however, they were unable to predict relationship variance using any combination of traits and preferences reported before the dates," the study explained.

"These results suggest that compatibility elements of human mating are challenging to predict before two people meet."

As it turns out, two people should have longer physical encounters -- not virtual ones emphasized in online dating services -- for love to manifest. After all, the natural emotion can only come when a person meets someone physically, as an expert explained.

"You've got to meet someone in person to trigger the brain circuitry for romantic love," Indiana University Kinsey Institute senior researcher and biological anthropologist Helen Fisher agrees.

She also noted that virtual dating services provided by sites like and don't actually promise romantic connection and are merely platforms for meeting people from backgrounds based on one's preference. In short, they are simply like social media except for the fact that people who use them aim to meet someone they could possibly share a romantic connection with.

Are you convinced that online dating and matchmaking is not supported by science? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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