But it seems as if hooking you up with the right person is less about what you say you want and more about how you, or others like you, behave online.
To gain a little insight into what makes people tick when they look for romance online, we've studied the behaviour of 200,000 people on Baihe.com, a dating site in China that has more than 60m registered users.
A profile all about you might come across as self-absorbed.
70 percent stuff about you, 30 percent what you’re lookin’ for.
Many of our results on user messaging behavior align with notions in social and evolutionary psychology: males tend to look for younger females while females put more emphasis on the socioeconomic status (e.g., income, education level) of a potential date.
In addition, we observe that the geographic distance between two users and the photo count of users play an important role in their dating behaviors.
And yet, can you really blame marginalized people for seeking out safety and comfort?
The biases and snap judgments that permeate our society are amplified through technology, and the swipe-to-reject models of popular dating sites can be utterly frustrating for people of color, because judgments based on photos are highly susceptible to the stereotypes and implicit biases that come into play when viewing photos of strangers. While these sites can seem to offer safe spaces for people looking to exclusively date people with shared cultural identities, the need for separate, race-siloed spaces to feel safe strikes me as outdated.
We're talking about perceptual junk that gets in the way of seeing another person as an individual worthy of the same respect we would hope others would give us. There are few things unsexier than being told that you must not a valid ethnic person because you don't know how to do the thing that white people saw someone do in that one TV show. Microaggressions are real, and it's no one's job to pretend you're not a clueless boob when you persist in acting like one.) Race Devaluation I wish this wasn't even a thing to have to talk about, but race devaluation is the ugly, ugly flipside of race fetishization.
Here are some common ways that racial bias in online dating is experienced by people of color. And then when you respond with a flattened, "Nope," often the well-intended responses are: "Why are you so sensitive? Photo-based dating apps, paired with implicit bias, have the unfortunate consequence of really reinforcing toxic and pervasive stereotypes that undermine individual dignity.
In the UK, 9.1m people have used an online dating site and one in every five new committed relationships starts online.
With more users, comes greater demand for these sites to match the right people together.