No magic mix of personality traits on paper can discern how romantic matches will turn out in real life
Here’s some heartbreaking news for people pinning their hopes on online matchmaking sites: It’s virtually impossible to forecast a love connection.
Maybe that’s not so shocking to survivors of the dating wars. But now science is weighing in. Extensive background data on two individuals — comparable to that collected by digital dating services — can’t predict whether that pair will romantically click during a four-minute, face-to-face speed date, say psychologist Samantha Joel of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and colleagues.
People know when an in-person meeting on a speed date has gone smoothly or felt right — and that bodes well for mutual attraction, the investigators report online August 30 in Psychological Science. But on paper, no blend of personal qualities and partner preferences thought to influence mate choices pegged which