DNA testing has been around for a long time now. Many of us make use of simple at-home kits to learn more about ourselves and our ancestry. This was the initial plan with DNA kits on a commercial level. Users could find out the lineage, with many tracking that goal of Viking blood. Others use it for health reasons, such as looking for genes that determine health issues, weight gain links, and other biologically determined factors.
The easier it becomes to sequence a genome and understand the component, the more we can learn about ourselves. One area that is interesting to both singles and couples is the idea of DNA matchmaking.
What Is DNA Matchmaking And What Can Users Learn?
Many people say that love is chemical, that there are scientific principles at play that determine who we are best suited to. Now some researchers and scientists believe that this compatibility is traceable deep down in our DNA. A simple DNA test and sequence provide details on behavior and biocompatibility that helps us to understand the deep-rooted attraction to the ideal partner. There are different purposes for this test. Some will see it as a fun gift for singles stuck in a dating rut, while others might consider being a true solution to the problem. There is also the opportunity for couples to learn more about their current relationship.
Why should we turn to our DNA as the best indicator of attraction and compatibility?
There is the idea here of a deeper attraction that goes beyond physical attraction. There are chemical signatures that the body can’t ignore. DNA sequencing then determines what those signatures are and the type of person we should be with. It is this idea of “true” undeniable attraction to the right person. Testers determine this through factors such as the serotonin transporter gene, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and other immune system genes.
Biological compatibility is the key to all of this. Scientists show that compatibility with a partner works in different ways. There is the psychological approach, often shown on profile and dating sites with the icon of the brain. This is where we look at similar personality traits and elements of our mindset that may complement each other. Then there is the emotional approach, attributed to the heart, where we connect on that emotional, empathetic level. Finally, there is the deep biochemistry. This is the way that our bodies react to those chemical signatures from another person. As this is something we cannot control, many people hold onto this approach as a means of determining true compatibility.
There is a lot of appeal in these DNA matchmaking services and dating sites for the right people.
Some people will find this idea of compatibility in DNA as something quite romantic. Many believe that there is one special person destined for them in the universe. This idea that we have this connection and compatibility built into our genes from birth cement that idea. It suggests that we don’t have any control over who we fall for and that perfect person.
The benefit of this DNA test is that now we don’t have to wait for destiny to place us in the path of that perfect person. We can use the result of the test to narrow down the findings and point ourselves in the right direction. It immediately rules out people where we may have once wasted our time.
On the other hand, there are those horrified by this development, and say that it takes much of the romance out of the situation of dating. There is that anticipation of meeting someone for the first time. There is that spark when you meet someone and make an instant connection. This moment can be exhilarating as you wonder what may come from the encounter. There is the chance that it could work out brilliantly and you enjoy a long and happy relationship with this person.
There are times when that moment is fleeting, and you learn that they aren’t quite as they seem. Part of the fun is in the discovery. Is it a good idea to meet someone on a date, cross reference a sheet of genetic matches and codes and determine a percentage probability?
The good news for DNA matchmaking virgins is that the process isn’t quite as sterile and clinical as all that. You are not left with massive charts and all the hard work to carry out on your own. Instead, there are now many different dating sites that focus on DNA matches for a more accurate result. At least, that is the promise.
So how does a DNA test dating site work?
The principles here are pretty much the same as any other dating site. You sign up, put your details into the profile and let the system match you up with apparently compatible people. The gimmick here is that the DNA results and gene sequence are that extra edges to a true scientific match over other dating sites. This DNA element is part of a wider system that also looks at the usual factors like personality traits and physical appearance that would normally go into one of these searches. From there it is up to the applicants and members to do all the hard work of setting up a date and making a good impression.
How does the site get the DNA information to make these judgments?
This is one of the caveats with this approach. There are plenty of sites that promise a free trial of this interesting new scientific approach, but this is only really half true. The sign-up process and profile generation may be free, but there is the issue of the DNA test.
If you already have a DNA test record on file, having already looked up your heritage in the past, you can just send your details to the company. This is how DNA Romance works. They accept results from all kinds of testers, such as 23andMe and myHeritage, and offer a platform where you can add the results. However, if you haven’t got any results yet, you need to take this step before you can sign up with most of these dating sites. These tests are much cheaper now than they once were, but it’s still an expense with a waiting period.
Just how effective and reliable is this approach?
The problem with this idea of DNA matchmaking from an online portal like this is that you are still at the mercy of algorithms concocted by a group of data specialists somewhere. They have created their formula of compatibility based on the data they get about DNA and use this to find the most compatible match on the site.
First of all, there is no guarantee that this approach is accurate, as there could be flaws in the approach. This is especially true for sites such as DNA Romance that are currently on their beta, tester mode. They need to fine-tune the methods with more users. There is also the fact that you can only find a match with those on the site. The formula may do its best to find the best match available based on DNA sequencing and other elements, but it all depends on the sample of other users available.
DNA matchmaking options for couples
These dating sites and personal DNA test are great for those looking for an alternative path to finding love. This is arguably still the case even if the results are currently a little dubious. This is not the only approach for DNA matchmaking. There are also some companies that market their solutions toward couples. The sales pitch here is that it is for those that want to strengthen their relationship – but reasons may vary.
Many couples want some sort of scientific proof that they were born to be together. Destiny and fate are fine in concept, but not in biology. There are stories of couples taking the test together around the period of their engagement. Perhaps it is something fun to do together to mark the occasion. Perhaps it is a symbol of cold feet. Many feel that the scientific nature of the results gives some justification and weight behind a relationship.
There are sites like Instant Chemistry that provide “Couples Kits” where each partner has the joy of spitting into a tube and waiting for results. It is a shared process of discovery that ends with what they call a “customized relationship roadmap.” This map indicates key areas of interests and similarities and differences between partners. The main aim here is to indicate compatibility through three main areas. They are biocompatibility, neuro-compatibility, and psychological compatibility. This fits in well with the processes of matchmaking mentioned above.
(Source: maikischer )
What does the final percentage score mean for these couples?
Couples with high percentages are always going to praise this approach and show off their results to all that will listen. They see their score as proof of their love and certification of their match. Some may not take it too seriously if they get 70%, and end up joking about the differences that make up the remainder. Others may take it very seriously if they get 80% or more and see it is a sign that the marriage is set to last a long time. It all depends on that purpose of taking the test in the first place. What exactly are these couples out to prove?
But what about the couples with low percentages? There is a necessary range of compatibility seen as acceptable here, usually from 60 and above. The average for truly compatible couples is in the 80s. This raises questions for those that assume they are in the 90s but only get a score in the 60s.
What about those even lower in the 40s? Testers and companies providing services insist that they would not encourage couples to break up based on these low scores. Instead, couples can use the detailed data to understand their similarities and differences and use that to build upon cracks and issues. It may help them to work on communication or the way they handle disputes, improving the relationship along the way. Still, some with a low score may end up left with a sense of doubt.
The deeper implications of these DNA matchmaking tests lead to one final question: is this a good idea?
No users of these schemes should place too much stock in the results gained from this sort of test. There is no guarantee that the results are accurate, and that the type of person deemed appropriate is the person you end up falling for. What happens if couples take this and find that they aren’t genetically compatible? This could be the case even if they have had a long, happy relationship together so far. Does it change anything, or does start to sow those seeds of doubt.
Then there is the fact that opposites often attract more than similarities in relationships, and we don’t know how well these algorithms and profiles will account for that. We like to be two halves of a complete picture. We like to find people that challenge us and make us better people. Conflicting personalities can collide to find an interesting balance and allow for personal growth. New experiences and perspectives create strong relationships.
How much do we want to know about the “perfect partner”?
In the end, we have to question just how much we want to know about our future partners. Do we want to know that they are the “ideal” match from day one, or do we want to enjoy that journey of discovery? Those that use these DNA matchmaking dating services and couples tests as a bit of fun shouldn’t have too much to worry about. They can shake off the weird results and matches and enjoy the positives. For them, it is just another variable in the dating game. Those that take them too seriously may need to look at some deeper issues in their relationships.