Match.com is a well-known singles site that opened in 1995, and today is considered a pioneer in making online dating into the mainstream. Match has grown to be one of the largest and most successful online dating sites for singles and now boasts more than 15 million members with active profiles posted and about one million paying subscribers from more than 246 countries around the world.
Recent research studies on online dating have examined just how effective the online dating website algorithms actually are appear to suggest that romantic relationships started online really don’t reach fruition until two people actually meet face-to-face in person. Realizing this fact, Match has recently announced it will soon take online dating offline as it employs its ‘matching’ software to create a series of 3,000 real-life singles nights events in 40 countries around the world to help more singles get to know each other face-to-face. So far, relationship experts are applauding the decision by Match because they know getting people in a room together is what can push a beginning romantic relationship to the next level, and that Internet dating really doesn’t work very well unless the people can actually meet with each other.
Although online dating has been often touted as the new way everyone would find love in the future, even Match’s President, Mandy Ginsberg admitted that “Online dating has been an effective way to meet, but it’s not always the best way to get to know someone.” Now the website will try to use its computer algorithms to carefully select couples that it hopes will match well in person, and will sort them by age and interests as well. Much like an offline version of the algorithm the site currently uses to suggest dates, the new offline meetings which Match calls “The Stir,” will include many different events to get couples together. Match anticipates that half a million people per year will attend the new events which will include bowling nights, cooking classes, tequila tastings, dance lessons, rock climbing and many other interesting variations on the meet-in-person theme. Match says the events will better address the fundamental pitfalls of a typical night out for single people that can often result in meeting people you don’t really like.
It will take some time to see just how well-received Match’s new “stir” events are, but how you meet someone is usually less important than meeting the right person, and knowing that they might meet someone in person might make single daters feel more inclined to be more open. Overall, the move by Match seems to underscore the fact that there is no substitute for communication in person, and the success or failure of a new relationship depends mainly on the degree of compatibility experienced in that all-important first fact-to-face meeting.