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Then comes the choice to send a person a message, or to reply to one.
Instead, the results indicate that you are probably looking for "deal breakers," harshly eliminating those who do not live up to your standards. People met their romantic partners through the recommendations of friends, family, or even at real-world locations known as "bars." Whatever signals and decisions led people to couple up were lost to science. According to the Pew Research Center, 5% of Americans in a committed romantic relationship say they met their partner through an online dating site.A team led by Elizabeth Bruch, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, tapped into this torrent of dating data.Because of a nondisclosure agreement, the researchers can't reveal the exact source of their subjects, describing it only as an "established, marriage-oriented, subscription-based dating site" from which they randomly selected 1855 people, all based in New York City.If a profile did not include a photo, for example, both men and women were 20 times less likely to even look at the rest of the person's profile.Smoking was another big deal breaker, associated with a 10-fold drop in interest.Perhaps unsurprisingly, men in their 40s tend to be more interested in younger women. "Women care quite a bit more about the height of their partners than vice-versa," Bruch says.In pairings where men were about 17 centimeters (or about 6 inches) taller than the woman, the woman was about 10 times more likely to browse the guy’s profile, whereas the man was about three times more likely to browse hers.These patterns also generally held for the second step, messaging, but with smaller effects. The results convince Ken-Hou Lin, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin, who also studies online dating."The science is absolutely solid." He suspects that deal breakers are more important at the early stage of mate selection when people are winnowing down a pool of candidates.Besides photographs, each user's profile could include any number of personal details including age, height, weight, education, marital status, number of children, and smoking and drinking habits.The data set includes some 1.1 million interactions between users.