Love in the Time of Algorithms

Online Dating Coaches Help Hapless Singles Meet Their Mates

Consultant Laurie Davis, client Chanel Omari, and fellow dating coach John Keegan. (Photo:

Michelle’s path through the world of online dating has been littered with frauds, phonies and disappointments. Take the cop who claimed he was on disability leave. On their first date, he let slip that his “leave” was actually a suspension, the result of charges that he had beaten an ex-girlfriend.

Then there was the runway model who claimed to divide his time between New York, Miami and Houston—“It’s always a red flag when there are multiple cities,” Michelle said with an eye roll—but couldn’t produce a single nonprofessional photo of himself. He had plenty of close-ups of his abs, though! That imposter turned out to have lifted his images from a Bloomingdale’s catalog.

And don’t even get her started on the innumerable married men who tried to court her online.  Read More

Love in the Time of Algorithms

Why Dating Sites Lie About Algorithms, As Told By a Dating Site CEO

Mr. Furmansky.

Many current online dating sites have found an ingenious way of defending their price points or differentiating themselves from competitors: The Hidden Algorithm, The Secret Matchmaking Analytics, or the Dr. [Insert Foreign-sounding Name]’s Guaranteed Personality Test. From a marketing perspective, the concept is brilliant – a claim that can neither be proven nor disproven. Yet in reality, these algorithms do not add any measurable probability of success. Does the fact that Person A likes fishing and Person B likes sushi mean they are meant to be? Or is this just a matter of statistically insignificant correlation rather than causality? Read More