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Plus, many big sites have been hesitant to allow independent researchers to look at their matching algorithms in depth.

Whether or not the algorithms work, it's perhaps even more important if online daters they work.

In many ways, online dating resembles offline dating — the resulting relationships are no different. So why do so many millions turn to the Web to find love?

While many dating sites claim the ability to find your perfect match, social scientists aren’t buying it.

“It’s no different than if you meet someone on the street.A dating site is not a magic “fix” for your dating problems.“If you don’t have a personality, it’s going to come across in an email, a phone call, or across a table,” said Larry K., 46, who met his wife on nine years ago.It only changes the process of discovery," says Mehr in Dan Slater's new book "Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating." (Slater notes that Mehr was the only dating exec he interviewed who felt this way.)It’s the efficiency of this “process of discovery” that’s appealing to many daters.“I guess maybe the promise of online dating is that it allows you to get out and have those experiences and make those mistakes and hopefully learn a lot from them,” said Slater. is to get [them] out there and get them to socialize.” Sure, you might encounter some horrific experiences — but hopefully you’ll learn from them and those lessons will benefit your search for a partner in the long run.“Even if I had married someone that I had met through a friend or whatever, online dating still would have been fun,” said Feifer.

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