It’s not a date, it’s an experiment in the lab of love

There’s a fantastic discussion on the science of dating over at Dr Petra that tackles how effective the techniques used by ‘scientific matching’ companies really are, and whether common dating advice is actually any good.

Petra recently ran a ‘Science of Pulling’ event at the British Science Festival (Americans: ‘pull’ is British slang meaning ‘to gently woo’) where she covered everything from how researchers actually go about studying couples to the myths of dating advice – in light of the extensive research on relationships.

What we have learned from social research on dating is helpful – not least because it often contradicts what single people are anxious about. Westerners can expect to spend 1/3 to 1/2 of their life single or looking for a relationship (see data from here and discussed more here). The average age for heterosexual marriage (in UK) is 34 for men and 29 for women (this report also highlights how many people are single for larger parts of their life than in the past). If you try internet dating you’ve a 1:10 chance of getting a date and going out with them more than once a month. You’re also equally likely to end up in a happy long term relationship regardless of whether it started as a one night stand or emerged through a period of dating.

The piece covers everything from pick-up-artists, to finding ‘the one’, to using science to improve your gentle wooing power.

Link to Dr Petra on ‘The Science of Pulling’.

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