“It was—unbelievably—not a crazy experience.” Online dating has certainly lost its lonely-hearts stigma.Just look at how many people seeking dates or mates are flocking to matchmaking sites and apps.There’s a whole range of difficult human emotions to contend with: insecurity, disappointment, rejection, maybe heartache. “Sometimes there is nothing that clicks whatsoever,” says Julien Nguyen, a 30-year-old software designer from Austin, Texas, who has used Bumble and Tinder.“Sometimes whatever chemistry we had just fizzles out.”Perhaps being in the market for a mate can’t be compared with using other services. D., a professor at the Harvard Business School who studies consumer behavior, thinks so.She signed up for JDate, an online dating site for Jewish singles.“All kinds of people are doing it,” says Caploe, 54, a publisher who lives in New York City.And we found that the free sites generally did marginally better than the paid ones, presumably because they offer a better value.
So if you live in the Denver area, you’re a single heterosexual man in his 50s who loves to travel, and you don’t believe in astrology, your matches may reflect women who have similar interests.You can find the right person more effectively by choosing the right site, which means determining the demographics it caters to and figuring out whether a large or niche site will best serve your needs.Our survey found that Ok Cupid and Tinder, both free, were more popular among millennials than Generation Xers and baby boomers, who were both more likely to use a paid subscription-based dating website or app.Collectively, we spend huge sums of money on matchmaking, not to mention all the time and substantial emotional investment. Given that we usually rate products (like refrigerators) and services (like banking), this is new and fairly unusual territory for us.But as we explored the possibility of taking on this investigation, we discovered that 20 percent of our subscribers are either divorced or have never married, and might benefit from what we found.