The Off Chance of Online Dating

I met my significant other through an online dating site. Yay for me! But I can’t help but wonder how narrow the chances really were that we met.

First, we both had to decide to sign up on the same site out of many, or have signed up for several and of those, have at least one in common.

Then there’s the timing. It’s highly likely we signed up weeks or even months apart, which would affect our overlapping time on the site, and this ties into subscription length.

Sure, maybe we both chose the “most popular” subscription of what, six months? But which of those months overlapped providing us the opportunity for an encounter?

Let’s imagine you and your ideal partner chose different subscription lengths, which probably happens all the time. They chose 3 months, you went with 1 month. Would it not be the unluckiest thing ever if you didn’t meet because you chose the shorter subscription and your memberships didn’t overlap long enough? Maybe you and your partner could be together right now if only they had chosen the six-month subscription instead of the three-month.

But let’s say you pick the six-month subscription and you meet your partner within the first month. Now you have four months of subscription left. Most sites don’t refund the unused portion, they simply cancel the renewal of the subscription. For frugal people like myself, I’d feel obligated to keep dating just to get the usage out of it, but how weird would that be?

Other questions that come up are: How active were we on the site during our overlapping time? How particular were we about what we wanted in a partner? Did we revamp our expectations or our profiles at any point thereby affecting our search results?

To the variable of expectations and profile quality, I ask, what if your dream partner is out there but they suck at designing their profile? That’s like disqualifying an accomplished scientist because he’s not very good at writing a resume.

In our cases, my partner and I both changed up our profiles a few times over the course of our time on the site. I changed my profile many times because I was trying to filter out certain unwanted attention, and I struggled to portray the most important things in a way that captured my personality. Basically, I over analyzed my profile section to death, which clearly is something I never do. However, when my partner mentioned what caught attention about my profile, he mentioned parts that got changed during the last round editing.

I’m not sure of our activity levels, but surely waiting too long to respond to people or connect with them would affect the opportunity overall. My partner and I actually danced around each other’s profiles for at least a week before we finally connected on a chat. During that week, either of us could have met someone else and moved on.

Thankfully, the stars aligned for my partner and me within only a few months. I do feel really lucky though.