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An estimated 30 to 40 million North Americans now use online dating sites.

The 1,500 sites comprise an industry worth over

An estimated 30 to 40 million North Americans now use online dating sites.

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An estimated 30 to 40 million North Americans now use online dating sites.

The 1,500 sites comprise an industry worth over $1.5 billion.

And where is the incentive to work through relationship difficulty when it’s so easy to access alternatives?

.5 billion.

And where is the incentive to work through relationship difficulty when it’s so easy to access alternatives?

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As online dating becomes the dominant path to relationships, it shifts the way these unions are built.

The question, casting forward, is how that will change the very institution that many daters seek—marriage.

A quarter of all Canadians have tried Internet dating, and 16 per cent have had sex with someone they met online.

Today, online dating sites peddle a radical vision: a new future for love as we know it; a more efficient, more targeted way to meet a compatible mate. Forget about hanging out in bars, or volunteering at community functions, or awkwardly asking friends if their friends are single.

And there’s no strong evidence that computers can predict compatibility through measurable psychological variables.

In 2012, a meta-analysis of online dating research by five U. do not always improve romantic outcomes; indeed, they sometimes undermine such outcomes.” The report continues: “By suggesting that compatibility can be established from a relatively small bank of trait-based information about a person—whether by a matchmaker’s algorithm or by the user’s own glance at a profile— online dating sites may be supporting an ideology of compatibility that decades of scientific research suggests is false.” Still, the now-ubiquitous smartphone promises more of the same—with the addition of GPS technology and social network integration.

In the industry, the dominant view is that espoused by U.

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