Unlike the stereotype of an older woman from , our matchmakers looked pretty similar to the couples they were matching.
They were young (most often in their 20s, as were most of the survey respondents), half of them were men, and roughly half of them were single (much like most of the future couple’s other friends).
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We counted the number of mutual friends each person in the couple had with the matchmaker before the relationship started, a common proxy for relationship closeness.
Single and secretly wondering which of your friends might be able to introduce you to your future soulmate?
Sociologists have long studied the dating pool problem, noting that an acquaintance is more likely to introduce you to your mate than a close friend is.
(Note that when we say “matchmaker” we mean “a friend who introduced you” rather than a professional.) To answer these questions, we surveyed approximately 1500 English speakers around the world who had listed a relationship on their profile at least one year ago but no more than two years, asking them how they met their partner and who introduced them (if anyone).
We analyzed network properties of couples and their matchmakers using de-identified, aggregated data.