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“[T]hese sites,” the authors continue, “are in a poor position to know how the two partners will grow and mature over time, what life circumstances they will confront and coping responses they will exhibit in the future, and how the dynamics of their interaction will ultimately promote or undermine romantic attraction and long-term relationship well-being.” When you finally get that note-perfect message from a total cutie—who, OMG, is This tendency of ours to think that superficially alike should mean romantically compatible, Lewis notes, plays out in another predictably disappointing way: Ok Cupid users stick almost exclusively to people of their own race.

I called Lewis from the third-floor Somerville, Massachusetts apartment that used to belong to my ex-girlfriend and me, a young woman I met on Ok Cupid. Looking back on our two-year relationship from that dreary place—I would move out in less than a month’s time—I felt eaten alive by pain and regret.

Never having met each other, I thought, would have been preferable to what actually happened. K, in fact, was just one in a series of several attempts to salve the heart wound that resulted from the -so-serendipitous union with my 99 percent match.

It’s an over $2 billion a year industry that, as far as we know, produces no greater happiness than meeting people more or less at random through the happenstance of everyday life.

What’s more, for every rhapsodical success story, there’s (at least) one of devastating heartbreak.

” or “Would you rather be tied up during sex or do the tying?

”—you input both your answer and the answers you’ll accept from a potential love interest.“My big finding is that people are more likely to be open to interracial interaction when the other person makes the first move,” he said.“In addition, a person of another race contacting me makes me more likely to contact someone from another race.“And people are heavily self-segregating online, just as they are in real life.” In Lewis’s eyes, this kind of self-segregation doesn’t necessarily mean that online date-seekers all harbor latent racist attitudes; rather, it reflects a psychological tendency to assume that people of other races don’t want us to contact them.His research on Ok Cupid messaging data lends some support to that conclusion.Assuming both you and your would-be sweetheart have answered enough questions to ensure a reliable read, getting a 99 percent match with someone—the highest possible—might sound like a ringing endorsement (assuming, of course, you both like each other’s looks in the photos as well).

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