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Economy & Business

20 Years Ago, Match.Com Revolutionized How To Find A Date

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Whether you get dumped in person or over the Internet, another potential soulmate is only a click away. It so happens that the first online dating site is celebrating a big anniversary.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Match.com turned 20 years old yesterday.

ELI FINKEL: I think it's difficult to overstate the impact of match.com in the way that people date.

GREENE: That's the voice of Eli Finkel, a professor of psychology and management at Northwestern University who studies, yes, online dating.

FINKEL: It's completely unrecognizable in 2015 from the way people used to date in 1995.

MONTAGNE: Finkel says match.com didn't totally revolutionized romance.

GREENE: That's right. There are still plenty of people who are coy about their online dating habits. But let's remember, in the beginning, nobody wanted to admit they'd found a date on the Internet.

FINKEL: In the late 1990s, you used to find people being sort of embarrassed that they met online. And now almost nobody's embarrassed about that.

MONTAGNE: The Pew Research Center says nearly 25 percent of married couples met their true love online. Match.com is the biggest dating site, with more than 20 million users. But there are plenty of more specialized sites - JDate for Jewish singles or farmersonly.com.

FINKEL: One of my personal favorites is Stache Passions for people who like men with mustaches. But there's no question that if you like Apple products or you're a pescetarian or, you know, you like slow walks in the park, there's a site for you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU'LL NEVER FIND ANOTHER LOVE LIKE MINE")

LOU RAWLS: (Singing) You'll never find another love like mine, someone who needs you like I do.

GREENE: And if you like getting up early in the morning, listening to the radio, taking long walks on the beach with, say, a tote bag, we've got the perfect match for you. That would be MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.