Profiles are usually quite extensive: letting you introduce yourself (anecdotal evidence suggests 90 percent of profiles begin with, "I'm not very good at this sort of thing…" or "I'm not sure why I'm here"), and prompting you to answer essay-type questions about your job, hobbies, and ideal relationship.
Most popular websites today, like e Harmony, Ok Cupid, and Match.com, feature quizzes, which ostensibly help line you up with your soul mate.
Research decades old has shown that what people say they want, and what they actually go for, are really quite different.
They certainly do a good job of making singledom look attractive, and, the better a website does this, the less inclined a person is to get or remain partnered up, and the more likely they are to return to the singles experience and the addictiveness of surfing online profiles.
The excitement of receiving a new message, the ability to scan hundreds of eligible profiles, the ease of initiating contact with an attractive single person.
These structural problems plague an industry which, to be fair, is still quite young.
The "science" of love is barely understood at all, and even the most popular researchers in the field publish papers that read more like Cosmo sex quizzes than bleeding-edge neurological research.
This the ubiquitous sales-pitch of online dating: they net you the man, woman, or vampiric lover of your dreams.