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Our survey found that Ok Cupid and Tinder, both free, were more popular among millennials than Generation Xers and baby boomers, who were both more likely to use a paid subscription-based dating website or app.

And we found that the free sites generally did marginally better than the paid ones, presumably because they offer a better value.

“It’s a product of the growing normalcy of using social media apps,” says Moira Weigel, author of “Labor of Love: The Invention of Online Dating” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016).

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In other words, there’s no incentive for them to make the experience speedy.If you find your life partner on your first date, the site doesn’t make much money off you.“Sometimes whatever chemistry we had just fizzles out.”Perhaps being in the market for a mate can’t be compared with using other services. D., a professor at the Harvard Business School who studies consumer behavior, thinks so.Online dating is different from shopping for, say, a sweater, he explains: “Once you decide on the sweater you want, you can get it.They are gatekeepers to a massive population of potential partners; they control who we meet and how. So Consumer Reports decided to survey almost 115,000 subscribers about online dating and their experiences with it.

Collectively, we spend huge sums of money on matchmaking, not to mention all the time and substantial emotional investment. Given that we usually rate products (like refrigerators) and services (like banking), this is new and fairly unusual territory for us.Our survey found that among respondents who stopped online dating, 20 percent of men and 40 percent of women said they did so because they didn’t like the quality of their matches.Perhaps that’s why, among those who said they had used multiple dating sites, 28 percent had tried four or more.But with dating, the sweater has to agree, too.”Another reason for the low satisfaction scores may be that “most dating sites have some misalignment between profit model and user experience because they are financed through subscription fees or advertising,” says Scott Kominers, Ph.D., a junior fellow in economics at Harvard University.But as we explored the possibility of taking on this investigation, we discovered that 20 percent of our subscribers are either divorced or have never married, and might benefit from what we found.