Great questions for internet dating

Between the time I started online dating and now, I've discovered exactly how dating websites work.I've tracked and analyzed data, spoken to computer scientists, and figured out what makes certain profiles successful.

If you smoke a cigarette every now and again, maybe only when you're having a cocktail, does that make you a smoker? You might say that you're looking for a tall businessman, but you only click on profiles compact musicians.

The site will use your behavioral data and match you on that. Unlike online dating sites, most mobile apps are free, require just a few seconds to set up, and include a real-time geolocation feature, which is to say that they're more immediate. Set your location, age, and gender preferences and you'll see a stream of pictures showing who's available nearby.

Will anyone actually read my profile, or are they just looking at my photos?

In part because of how dating sites are designed, most of us see photos first, and that's when we determine whether to read through the rest of a profile.

I even wrote Years ago, I was just out of a terrible relationship and in no mood to date again.

I'd enjoy an exhilarating freedom—I could learn how to paint or wear yoga pants all weekend long if I wanted.

Years ago, I was just out of a terrible relationship and in no mood to date again.

My friends were all excited for my between-boyfriend time.

I'd enjoy an exhilarating freedom—I could learn how to paint or wear yoga pants all weekend long if I wanted.

Best of all, there were hundreds of online dating sites waiting for me to sign on. We'd meet up later that day, when I'd discover that he was (a) five inches shorter than he listed in his profile; (b) "fun-employed" and no longer looking for a job; (c) still in some kind of relationship; (d) possibly a serial killer; (e) all of the above.

If they do send you a message, a photo is likely to be the first thing they ask for.

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