In his experiment, he took bad matches, those who matched by 30 percent, and told them that they matched by 90 percent.When users believed they were a 90 percent match, they were more likely to contact and even like each other.John Gottman, a renown expert on marital stability and relationship success, has discovered that in predicting happy relationships, how couples resolve conflicts and whether they exhibit positive affect towards one another matters most.

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So while statistically online dating certainly works, with more than 10 million American couples as proof, it’s important to grasp the difference between what Gibbs calls online “relationshopping” and offline “relationshipping.”“Online dating sites are all about bringing people together, and sometimes it forms this illusion that with a few clicks of the mouse you can find your soul mate,” Gibbs said.

According to online dating literature, dating services can't really improve relationship outcomes.

Instead of focusing on how compatible we think one potential partner is to us, we perform joint evaluations, which make us prioritize traits that don't really matter to relationship success.

Algorithmic matching services like e Harmony and Ok Cupid don't fare much better.

Searchable characteristics consist of those easily taken from a person's profile, such as age, religion, income level and race.

What really matters aren't these superficial, surface-level qualities, but rather how two people interact.

Thomas, an assistant professor of sociology at the City University of New York, who collaborated on the survey.

“We estimate that 23 percent of the couples in the U. who met in the two years from 2007 to 2009 met online.

On the flip side, putting too much stock into someone with a seemingly perfect online profile and with whom you have an easy Web rapport can also lead to offline disappointment.

Researchers refer to that tendency to idealize people based on the bits and pieces of information they share online as the “hyperpersonal effect.”“There’s been some research that’s found the longer people communicate online before meeting face to face, the more like the first date is to result in rejection because they build up this fantasy persona of this person that might be hard to live up to,” Gibbs said.

When we believe a dating site can accurately match us with our most compatible partner, our likelihood of realizing success increases.