• already a member? Sign in here

Pseudoscience of Online Matching

Feb 13, 2016 | No Comments

by Motte Brown

A few years ago The Wall Street Journal highlighted a study from psychology professor Eli Finkel of Northwestern University about the merits, or lack thereof, of online dating.

It begins with Dr. Finkel acknowledging some of the benefits of online dating like expanding your pool of “relationship” minded prospects. But he goes on to question the usefulness of the compatibility algorithms sites use to make good matches.

But, the typical online dating site—where individuals view profiles of people who match certain characteristics or values—doesn’t improve one’s chance of meeting a compatible mate, according to Dr. Finkel. That is because it’s hard to judge chemistry or rapport—so-called “experiential” information—without meeting face-to-face.

A prime example is “similarity,” a category that some dating sites say is the key to finding a suitable mate and serves as the basis for complicated matching algorithms. In relationship research, similarity between couples doesn’t well predict the long-term success of the relationship, says Dr. Finkel.

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, posed a similar question as online dating services were becoming more and more popular.

Of course, some of the “science” behind these services doesn’t appear very cold or hard. The worldview represented by many of these services is deeply rooted in humanistic psychology. The basic assumption is that compatibility — measured and evaluated by various factors, depending on the service — is the key to marital happiness. Christians must wonder, however, if compatibility — however described and measured — is really the key to a faithful and fulfilling marriage that glorifies God.

The role of compatibility and marriage is something we weighed very carefully when creating Marry Well. Compatibility is important, but it’s not the key to a God-glorifying marriage. It’s why our tag line is “A Better Path to Marriage” instead “29 dimensions of compatibility.” We believe how you date can be as important as who you date.

Love is willing self-sacrifice

Jan 30, 2016 | 2 Comments

We all want to be loved, but are we able to be the person who gives the kind of love we want to receive? ... More>>

Getting Plugged In at Church

Jan 23, 2016 | 1 Comment

We believe that involving community in your search for a godly spouse is an important part of helping you marry well. But what if you really don't have a "community"? ... More>>

“Why aren’t you married?”

Jan 12, 2016 | 4 Comments

Five tips to help you through insensitive inquiries. ... More>>

Make a True Switch in the New Year

Jan 2, 2016 | No Comments

Give your resolutions momentum by applying insights from bestselling authors Dan and Chip Heath. ... More>>

God’s Inferiors?

Dec 21, 2015 | 2 Comments

Do you ever think you're not married because you're inferior? Guest blogger Neenah Pickett shares her heart on this topic. ... More>>

Addressing a sexual past

Dec 12, 2015 | 2 Comments

A girl who has been a virgin her whole life meets a great Christian man. Things seem to be going well, but she's starting to wonder about his sexual past. ... More>>

Get Married or Break Up

Nov 21, 2015 | 2 Comments

For couples who've been dating a year or more, it's as simple as this: Get married or break up. ... More>>

Be willing to risk rejection

Nov 11, 2015 | 5 Comments

God created us as men to lead and take the initiative. And that means taking risks. ... More>>

Stigma of Online Relationships

Oct 22, 2015 | 5 Comments

When it comes to meeting a potential spouse, do you have reservations about that connection occurring online? ... More>>

Don’t test-drive your girlfriend

Oct 5, 2015 | 2 Comments

Too often in dating relationships we think and act like consumers rather than servants. And not very good consumers at that. ... More>>