Dating profiles are one of the most common methods for forming connections with others in the digital era.
According to a now-famous study from the University of Chicago, more than a third of marriages start online, and couples who meet online tend to have happier, longer marriages than couples who meet in person. There are a multitude of apps and dating sites that a person can choose from to find such happiness: Tinder, Zoosk, OkCupid, Bumble, Match, eHarmony, and the list goes on.
Ruminating on this led me to ask myself some questions: Do these apps and profiles really use the best or most valuable methods to connect people? How can we make our ability to match with people online even better? In our fast-paced technological society, businesses must constantly be searching for how to improve products and services in order to provide the most valuable experience for consumers.
In truth, most dating profiles are simply based on how well you market yourself. You only post your best pictures, present the best parts of your personality, and highlight the specific ideal traits you’re looking for in a significant other, and an algorithm matches you up with a person based on your information. This is based on the art of attraction, which is a fundamental aspect of the dating process. Yet I can’t help but think that what we really need is a dating profile where the science of connection takes precedence.
Connection Through Popular Personality Indicators
People these days love personality indicators, and for good reason. Assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and attributions like astrological signs go beyond simply highlighting the major aspects of a person’s behavior. Both provide in-depth looks at the way a person acts and how they respond to people and the world around them.
For many, these indicators offer context into their own personalities and help them understand themselves in a new light. Through learning other peoples’ Myers-Briggs type or astrological sign, you also gain insight into others and develop a greater sense of empathy and awareness in your interactions. Both MBTI and astrology identify strengths and weaknesses in various personality types, and promote self-awareness in order to reach your best self.
It seems that as a society, we are starting to put more value on personality, self-improvement and understanding ourselves (and others) better. And as a result, we are looking for meaningful connections with other people based on personality. So why don’t our dating profiles and apps reflect this?
Instead of matching with someone just because you both like Game of Thrones, you could connect with someone because of complementary traits — perhaps you are adventurous, and would mesh well with someone who matches your lively spirit. Or maybe an extrovert would pair well with an introvert, providing for a balanced relationship. By incorporating Myers-Briggs and astrology into dating profiles, we can make online dating much more effective.
How This Helps Dating Algorithms
Dating profiles typically run off of AI algorithms to match people. Algorithmic dating arose because “people think they know what they want, but they don’t know what they actually need,” according to Bela Ghandi, creator of Smart Dating Academy. That reasoning makes sense: it’s the same reason why personality indicators are so popular, and why implementing MBTI and astrology would work in dating profiles as well.
As it stands, however, current algorithms lack the sort of staunchness that might provide consumers with the connections they need. Algorithms are meant to take the information and give recommendations based on those inputs. The algorithm gets to know individuals and then tries to find the best match for that person.
This is where it gets tricky because algorithms learn and adjust based on a person’s behavior. If a person passes over potential matches with particular traits — for instance, multiple individuals with visible tattoos — the algorithm will stop presenting people with those traits, even if someone doesn’t mean or want to exclude that type of person. This can shut people out of the potential connections that might come from unexpected places. The algorithm’s adaptability actually ends up making it more rigid and can have a negative impact on the online dating experience.
By providing room for the algorithms to consider complex personality types like Myers-Briggs and astrological signs, AI algorithms will be able to take into account the multiple factors of personality at play within an individual, while also providing a strong foundation for the AI to base its recommendations on. This would allow the AI to be flexible while still keeping options open for users.
The bottom line is that people find these types of personality tests fulfilling and exciting. Bumble has already started using astrological sign filters in its dating app, which comes as no surprise, considering astrology’s popularity. This is why I propose taking this concept one step further and using the MBTI measurement alongside astrology as essential parts of the matching process in dating profiles. This way, users get a fuller picture of one’s own personality and are subsequently able to find highly compatible companions through this.
Jessica Baker, CEO and founder of Aligned Signs shares, “We have multiple facets to our personalities. I am a mother, a daughter, a friend, and a business person. So it only makes sense to get to know others and others to get to know me multi dimensionally as well. Connecting with people intrinsically is much more fundamentally fulfilling and open for a long-term viable relationship. Hence why I brought together the time tested tools in hopes that others might find the same kind of happiness and content pleasure with individuals in their lives as well.”
When I saw the current state of dating profiles and their prominence, I asked myself about the untapped potential that might be there, and I saw the overlap between Myers-Briggs/astrology and dating profiles. I realized that this was something valuable to consumers, and any entrepreneur would be lucky to provide for such huge overlapping addressable markets. Keep an eye out for a continuation of this piece, where I will discuss why this concept is valuable not just from a consumer perspective, but a business one as well.
Disclosure: I am a shareholder of Aligned Signs