With some goading from a friend — who somehow convinced me that the stigma against online dating was no more — I joined Ok Cupid and started scanning the thousands of matches that popped up on my screen.

Apparently, I wasn’t alone in my Valentine’s Day depression-induced hunt for Prince Charming.

It doesn’t help that these algorithms are closely guarded trade secrets.

online dating my area-66online dating my area-48online dating my area-82

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.

Miller agreed, saying: “And it accomplished what I wanted to do, which was go on a lot of dates." While online dating sites give people another tool to find potential mates, the dates themselves are not very different, other than maybe knowing a bit more about the other person before officially meeting.

“It’s no different than if you meet someone on the street.

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.

Research suggests that, while it is possible to predict whether two people could enjoy spending time together in the short term, it’s (nearly) impossible to scientifically match two people for long-term compatibility.

The strongest predictors of a good, functional relationship are how a couple interacts, and their ability to handle stress — two things that science says current dating website algorithms can't predict and online profiles can't demonstrate.

"Online dating doesn't change my taste, or how I behave on a first date, or if I will be a good partner.

It only changes the process of discovery," says Mehr in Dan Slater's new book "Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating." (Slater notes that Mehr was the only dating exec he interviewed who felt this way.) It’s the efficiency of this “process of discovery” that’s appealing to many daters.

Experts say online dating sites see a huge traffic increase between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.