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This suggests that online dating is proving to be no more effective at creating lasting relationships than the old standards.“I really didn’t see it as any different from the way that people met each other for decades past," said Feifer. creates a relationship, is not the Other daters agreed, and so does Alex Mehr, a co-founder of the dating site Zoosk.

“It’s no different than if you meet someone on the street.But even if algorithms aren’t the answer, there’s no doubt that online dating has led to successful relationships — my own included.The question is: Are those first dates and relationships really any different from connections made in more traditional ways? Even though the number of budding Internet relationships is increasing, the overall rate of partnership is not increasing at all.These sites can serve as a way to practice those skills and build up self-confidence, too.“[Sites like] Ok Cupid give people a mechanism to combat the anxiety of being single,” said Ana B., 24 of New York City.After a rough breakup last January, I was sad and single in the Big Apple.

Valentine’s Day was approaching, and this city of more than eight million people was feeling oddly lonely.

Plus, many big sites have been hesitant to allow independent researchers to look at their matching algorithms in depth.

Whether or not the algorithms work, it's perhaps even more important if online daters they work.

Between 20, the number of people using online dating sites doubled, from 20 million to 40 million, and about one third of America’s single people participated in some sort of online dating last year.

But despite these numbers, it’s unclear if online dating is any more effective than, or really any different from, meeting someone offline.

Of the 13 online daters I talked to for this article, only one believes algorithms can make successful matches. “I don’t believe that an algorithm can match me up, and I don’t want to match me up,” said Jason Feifer.