The Basics of Algorithms
Dating algorithms are mathematical equations used by dating sites to try to determine how compatible you will be with other people.
The site chooses who to show you based on how well you match based on the algorithm.
Some sites send you daily matches based on the algorithm, and others simply filter who you see in your search results.
Nearly every dating site has its own algorithm that it considers highly secret. However, there are a few basic types of algorithms used.
Matching algorithms take data from your profile and compare it with data from potential partners profiles using mathematical equations.
The specific methods used are kept secret, and different services use algorithms differently.
However, they all use algorithms to determine who to match you with or who you see in your feed and search results.
Sites attempt to making online dating more successful and efficient by showing you people that they think you are compatible with based on their algorithm.
Yes and No. Matching algorithms are no more effective than chance at predicting long term relationships and marriages.
However, they are great for measuring short term compatibility. Matching algorithms can help narrow down your potential partners efficiently, and pair you with people that you have at least a surface level compatibility with.
Algorithms aren't very effective for finding Mr. or Mrs. Right, but they can certainly help you find Mr. or Mrs. Right now.
The greatest benefit to using a matching algorithm is it saves time by helping filter through potential dates.
It brings you people that you have some compatibility with, without you having to filter through search results.
The biggest downside to using a matching algorithm is that your matches will likely be similar to each other.
This means that you may miss out on meeting unique people.
Most algorithms also work based on what you say you want, and that can turn out to be far from what you truly desire.
When an algorithm only delivers what you think you want, you don't get an opportunity to see if someone who doesn't meet those criteria might be a better fit.
How Specific Sites Use Algorithms
Since Tinder profiles are so minimal, its algorithm relies on age and location. However, it also works based on your popularity.
The more people that swipe right on you, the more popular you are. The more popular you are, the more attractive potential matches you will get.
Tinder takes how picky you are into account as well. Many men mention swiping right on 1 out of every 6 profiles to register as discerning users with higher standards.
Ok Cupid asks lots of questions about your personality and lifestyle in addition to using your basic information.
For each question, you'll give your answer, how you would like a potential partner to answer, and how important it is to you.
These answers are then compared with users you may be interested in, and percentages are given based on how well your answers match.
eHarmony asks personality questions based on 29 dimensions of compatibility.
Once you've completed the quiz, eHarmony will start sending you compatible matches.
Similar to Ok Cupid, eHarmony will give you a compatibility percentage for different areas.
However, you are limited to the matches eHarmony sends you, so you are relying completely on their algorithm for potential dates.
Match's algorithm seems to be more effective than most, because it takes your behavior on the site into account. Match adjusts your preferences based on who you react to positively on the site.
This solves the problem of people saying they want one thing but then actually wanting another.
Match uses it's algorithm to recommend "Daily 5" and to suggest other users similar to the one you are viewing.
Daily 5 requires you to say yes, no, or maybe to each of the 5 profiles. Yes's have gone up 100% since Match updated their algorithm, suggesting it might know what you want, even if you don't.
Chemistry is a sister site to Match. It was created by Dr. Helen Fisher, who has over 30 years experience researching relationships.
Chemistry uses an extensive personality test to match you with other members, and assigns you a personality type.
Unlike most sites, you can only communicate with your matches, which are determined through the algorithm.
Chemistry claims it's algorithm is more in depth than most, and it is geared towards long term relationship compatibility.
Making Algorithms Work For You
Nearly every dating service today uses some type of algorithm, so you have little choice if you don't want to use a matching algorithm.
The best thing to do is keep realistic expectations when using a dating service with a matching algorithm.
It can help to narrow down your search and help you find people you have at least superficial compatibility with.
It's helpful to choose sites that allow you to search on your own as well, so you aren't relying completely on their algorithm.
Keep in mind when you are answering profile questions, particularly personality questions, you want to answer in the way the other person is looking for.
If you have a few women friends or family, you may want to get them to help you.
Ask them what answer they would prefer, and choose that one. It's also important to stay positive and confident when answering these questions. This is one time when it's ok to act like you are completely perfect and have no flaws.
You'll want to answer some questions on Ok Cupid, but don't go overboard.
100 questions is actually the magic number. Answer 100 personality questions and stop there.
You'll also want to answer questions that you consider important (or important to potential partners) and mark them as important.
Questions are given a point value based on the level of importance that you assign, so unimportant questions have no real impact.
Answer each question decisively, either with your real answer or what you think a partner would prefer. Strongly agree instead of agree for example. This will give you a stronger match percentage with someone that answers the same way.
Tinder's algorithm works with your basic information like age and location and your popularity.
Your popularity is measured by an ELO score. This score is never revealed, but it is determined by how many people like you on Tinder.
Essentially Tinder will attempt to match people it views as being in your "league" (similar elo score).
The best way to take advantage of this is to have great profile photos. Adding your Spotify account can help as well, making you 84% more likely to get matches.
Be a little picky. Right swiping on everyone will cause Tinder to show you less people and possibly lower your elo score.
You'll want to swipe right somewhere between 3-7 profiles out of every 10.
Lastly, message your matches. Some people suggest messaging every match for an optimum elo score. I recommend messaging at least 50% of the people you match with.
Match is the best dating service based on its algorithm. Match's algorithm evolves and becomes more accurate the more you interact on the site.
Match also allows you to search yourself without input from the algorithm which allows you to view different types of users than you are getting in your matches.