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In a previous post I summarized statistics showing that online dating is not only prevalent, but also slightly more successful than offline dating in producing stable (i.e., less likely to result in divorce) and satisfying long-term romantic partnerships. There is no definitive research on this question, but we can certainly engage in some informed speculations.

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When it comes to values, attitudes, and beliefs, research supports the notion that long-term couples tend to be more similar with each other than random strangers.

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.

This being said, to rigorously test dating companies’ claims, the scientific community would need access to their exact compatibility algorithms, which we currently do not have.2) Greater pool of partners.

As discussed in my previous post, traditional dating is based on physical proximity, with individuals choosing partners with whom they intersect frequently in everyday life, such as at work or school.

This offline pool of partners is by definition restrictive.

That is, individuals typically encounter relatively small numbers of potential partners from whom they can choose.

Further, the diversity of these partners is limited, with, say, teachers meeting other teachers, students from a small town meeting others just like them, etc.

Below, I will present a list of possibilities, and look forward to your thoughts and feedback! Dating companies such as EHarmony and Ok Cupid argue that their proprietary compatibility algorithms enable users to sift through undesirable matches and identify the suitable ones.