BBC RADIO - Apr 16 - 10 years ago very few people ever confessed to online dating and now 1 in 5 people meet online. But what actually goes into finding the perfect partner? Dr. Gonzaga is part of the team of scientists working on research for eHarmony.
Joanne: Do you actually work in a laboratory?
Dr. Gonzaga: I do. We have a lab space downstairs where we bring in couples who are engaged or married and we interview them about their relationship to figure out what makes their relationship work, what makes them strong and satisfied.
Joanne: What do you think are the most important things for making a long term relationship work?
Dr. Gonzaga: One of the most important things is sharing fundamental personality characteristics, values and interests.
Joanne: You use 29 dimensions of compatibility at eHarmony?
Dr. Gonzaga: That’s correct. The happiest couples tend to share 29 dimensions much more often than less happy couples do. The 29 dimensions include things like religion, height, and body language, energy level, etc?
Joanne: It seems that there is not quite so much emphasis on physical looks.
Dr. Gonzaga: You also have to feel that connection, that spark, that attraction to someone but it’s very hard to figure out what each individual person is attracted to because everybody is different.
Joanne: How many matches are given to each person?
Dr. Gonzaga: We give people 2, 3 or 4 matches per day.
Who doesn’t want a long term relationship but just wants a bit of fun? Who doesn’t want to sit and fill in page after page after page of questions? Somebody who doesn’t want to do that is Fabrice LeParc from Smartdate.com.
Joanne: Fabrice, why are people single?
Fabrice: I think people are being a little too demanding nowadays. And also I don’t think they rely enough on their social environment. At Smartdate, we’re trying to reinvent the way people date online.
Joanne: So you’re saying that many people know people they can be attracted to, they just haven’t bothered looking at them?
Fabrice: Yes. Smartdate is a tool that allows you to search through all the social networks you already have.
Joanne: No wonder it’s called Smart. Half the work has been done for you. The previous guest, we were talking to from eHarmony, was saying that too much attention is placed on looks. But when I look at your website, it is very aesthetically pleasing and there are no gargoyles and there's very beautiful people on it.
Fabrice: Let’s face it. People want to look at pictures and if you’re in a bar you’re going to be attracted to looks. Looks matter and pictures matter. We put together a clever tool called SmartSearch. This is exactly what Amazon.com does for books.
Joanne: Smartdate is in 6 languages, is that right? So it’s truly global.
Fabrice: Yes, we’re just launching now. You don’t need to meet a neighbor to be happy, you can also talk to somebody who happens to be in England right now and maybe you get along and you get on the phone…