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Do dating agencies really work

Or something squishier, something less precise — a factor not captured in charts and telephone surveys?

It’s a question that seems distinctly answerable: we have user data, surveys, clear metrics for success or failure, entire books full of colorful charts.Unfortunately, apps are flooding the market and Silicon Valley has discovered marketing speak, meaning harder than ever to tell what works from what merely exists. Here are the only five dating apps you need to know about. Women habitually stay single into their 30s and 40s, a tidal shift in how they viewed commitment even one or two generations ago.And while reliable data on sexual partners is hard to come by, there’s some suggestion that modern singles get around more than they used to.And a 2013 paper that suggested Internet access is boosting marriage rates.

Plus a whole host of dubious statistics, surveys and case studies from dating giants like e Harmony and Match.com, who claim — , even!!

In fact, this latest proclamation on the state of modern love joins a 2010 study that found more couples meet online than at schools, bars or parties.

And a 2012 study that found dating site algorithms aren’t effective.

That’s not much different from your neighborhood bar, except in its scale, ease of use and demographics.

But in terms of actual function, the things we think of as uniquely “online” in online dating — the algorithms, the personality profiles, the “29 dimensions of compatibility” — don’t appear to make too much of a difference in how the enterprise “works.” Meanwhile, all this is happening during a time of enormous revolution in the way we conceive of relationships and commitment.

(This one, for the record, looked at marriages and other long-term relationships; if you’re not looking to tie the knot, its conclusions aren’t for you.) Then there’s a sort of secondary issue in how we define a site’s actual function, because despite the marketing hype, that isn’t clear.