Whatever your interest – may it be offbeat, looks-based or food-oriented – there’s a dating site for it; because after all, there has to be someone out there who likes Ayn Rand as much as you and is looking for a romantic relationship.
We seem to think we know exactly what we want in life; especially when it comes to a romantic relationship. This idea has given way to the rise of niche online dating sites today.
But are shared interests alone an indicator of long-term compatibility?
Relationships Are More Than Algorithms
According to Scientific American, similarity and complementarity – the principles that drive mathematical algorithms on dating sites – “cannot achieve any notable level of success in fostering long-term romantic compatibility.”
A better assessment of predicting long-term compatibility is taking a look at a couple’s interpersonal dynamics and life circumstances. How a couple communicates and handles life together is the best way to know if they’re truly a match, according to scientists.
This kind of information (how a couple interacts) is excluded from the algorithm on dating sites because the information they collect is based on two potential partners who have never met before. Future stresses and life changes aren’t factored in.
Dating sites will claim to match you with your “soulmate” using scientific algorithms but have yet to report “research methods and statistical analyses in sufficient detail to allow for independent replication.”
Love and Life Challenges
That is not to say you can’t find your soulmate online. It’s certainly possible. But the promise of matching you with your soulmate based on interest only is simply advertising. How you face life challenges with that person will determine if you live happily ever after.
Taking this into account, niche online dating has its place as a way for people to meet and interact in ways they couldn’t before. Just don’t get attached to the idea that your potential partner must have the same interests as you. Sometimes opposites really do attract, while people with similar interests might be better off as friends.
Relationships are hard work; and your shared love of Mickey Mouse won’t necessarily get you through the bumps in life. Plus, a narrow pool of potential mates means you could be limiting yourself to who else is out there. Even the man behind Mouse Mingle – a niche dating site for Mickey Mouse lovers – said he’s only known of two couples who have actually met in person after connecting on the site.
Niche online dating can be a great way to get to know people. It doesn’t mean you’ll find a long-term partner. But it could. It all comes down to how you adapt and communicate as a couple that determines your love story.