It’s funny. When I was dating, I cared more about how a man looked in his jeans, not at all about his genes. But maybe I was wrong and I was attracted because of his genes and just didn’t know it! Scientists are now telling us that we are attracted to our significant others by much more than meets the eye, and they have found a way to match people based on these unseen forces.
I know plenty of people in the dating world and they all tell me the same thing – it stinks. While online dating sites are wildly popular these days, it can take a ton of work and trial and error to find that diamond in the rough. Profiles can be outright faked, or at the very least exaggerated. Someone can sound like Prince Charming on paper, but in real life, no thanks. My friends tell me dating apps are great if you are willing to invest a ton of wasted time waiting for the right match.
Most people in long term relationships will say that they “knew” pretty quickly whether or not they were compatible. While some base this on “fate” or the belief in a “soul mate,” scientists are saying it is much more primal than that. They believe they have unlocked the key to attraction and it is something we have known all along about animals, and they are called pheromones. Pheromones are chemical communicators, usually excreted by the female of a species to send the message to a male that she is interested in mating.
Now, a new company, called Pheramor, is launching a dating app like no other. Interested parties will submit a DNA sample via a simple cheek swab. The DNA will then be analyzed to match up applicants by their pheromones by isolating 11 genes linked to attraction. The geneticist behind the app, Brittany Barreto, says “I won’t know what you look like, what your heritage is, what your disease status is. I won’t know any of that. All I know is the 11 genes for attractions, from which I’ll know who you think is hot and who you won’t like.”
However, while the scientists behind the idea say that pheromones are what will initially bring people together for the “chemistry” part, true relationships need a bit more than that to actually stand the test of time. So, in addition to the pheromone profile match, the team also matches people up in more traditional ways. Personality profiles and interests are gleaned from the applicants’ social media accounts, instead of through self reporting like traditional dating sites. That way, people can’t stretch the truth as much and the match is more likely to be based on a higher degree of factual information.
The Pheramor app isn’t set to launch until February 2018, perhaps in time for Valentine’s Day? I can see a big market for this type of matching considering all the horror stories I have heard from traditional dating sites. If nothing else, it can match science geeks with science nerds, because I would think they would be most likely to test drive this new idea! Who knows? Maybe we have been approaching this whole dating thing wrong all these years?