Column Editor’s Note: Dating apps and online matchmaking are now a commonplace way for couples to meet and relationships to form. As human communications expert Liesel Sharabi explains, the algorithms underlying the matchmaking have evolved enormously in complexity over recent years, and our relationship with online dating apps have become a long-term prospect.
Online dating has become the most common way for couples to meet in the United States (Rosenfeld et al., 2019). Fifty-two percent of Americans who have never been married say they have tried their luck with online dating (Anderson et al., 2020). There is also evidence that online dating may be changing the composition of real-world relationships. According to a 2013 study by Cacioppo et al., one-third of marriages in the United States are between partners who were introduced to each other online. Outside of the United States, millions of people use online dating services ().
One of the first commercial forays into computerized dating took place at Harvard University in 1965 (Mathews, 1965), but it would be with the arrival of Match in the mid-1990s
Although success can mean different things depending on the person, meeting face-to-face (be it for casual sex or for a committed relationship) is generally a good indicator that a platform has done its job (Ellison et al., 2006).