So why is it that someone can sound so completely right on paper but in person the vibe is totally off? As it turns out, there’s a scientific reason for that.
For finding that in-person, undeniable chemistry, there’s just not an app for that.
A recent study in Psychological Science found that there just isn’t a formula for predicting how well people will hit it off IRL. Prior to two different speed dating events, scientists had participants fill out a questionnaire and then used a machine to predict who would have chemistry when they met in person. It was legit, too: Over 100 questions. Then, the speed dating commenced. But what was predicted ended up being irrelevant. In person, the results were a lot more random.
To be fair, answering questions about your long-term relationship goals are still somewhat helpful for finding a partner—according to the study’s author, Samantha Joel, a psychology professor at the University of Utah. “By narrowing one’s dating pool to compatible potential partners, a person may be able to increase the odds that when they do meet someone they click with, that relationship is more likely to thrive long-term,” Joel tells The Cut.
But as for finding that in-person, undeniable chemistry, there’s just not an app for that. At least, not yet.
Here’s how to keep your long-term relationship exciting, once you actually find someone you like. Still in the just-hooking-up stage? Here’s what to know about good sex and relationship success.