Guest post: Dr. Timothy Sexton is the Founder of DNA Romance, a platform which predicts chemical attraction between users based on their DNA profile and personality types.
Online dating has changed the way we meet new people, connecting us across different time zones, social circles and geographies. Despite the successes of dating apps, however, widespread use the term “online dating fatigue” highlights the frustrating and overwhelming nature of the current online matchmaking process. A single person using online dating platforms can expect to go on countless dates before they meet a compatible partner. Here, I argue that online dating sites and dating apps are mismatching people because they only consider two forms of human attraction: 1) appearance and 2) personality! The important element of 3) “romantic chemistry” has been completely ignored by online dating companies despite this being a critical component of human attraction.
The genetic basis for “chemical attraction” was first convincingly described in humans by Professor Claus Wedekind and his colleagues, who performed the sweaty T-shirt experiments. They found that people with very different MHC genes will tend to have chemistry, while people with similar MHC genes will find each other’s scent repulsive. The results from these experiments were validated in independent populations and laboratories.
“Romantic Chemistry” is strongly controlled by the unique DNA code in the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC): a set of genes that encode cell surface proteins important for immune responses. Importantly, the same compatibility results aren’t gender specific, and even hold true for friendships and LGBT relationships. A recent study found that MHC-based attraction (romantic chemistry) is just as important as personality attributes in predicting second date offers (see Wu et al., 2018).
MHC genes also play a role partner choice in other vertebrates. Did you know that “chemistry” guides mate choice in birds that mate for life, and even salmon? An interesting study in obligate pair-living lemurs showed that couples with mismatched MHC genes tend to make an extra-pair partner selection – evidently these genes can explain lemur affairs. Scientists have hypothesized that humans invented kissing as a way to test for MHC-based attraction, and this biological phenomenon can even help explain the strength of the female orgasm.
In real life, your sense of smell is a natural radar to detect romantic chemistry and assist with partner choice in-person, so a good place to meet a prospective partner is actually your local gym. While your sense of smell does not work online with a dating app, it is still theoretically possible to bring predictions/forecasts of Romantic Chemistry online using DNA Matchmaking.
Since there is a genetic basis for “Romantic Chemistry” and that is well understood, DNA matchmaking has huge potential to forecast romantic chemistry online. Further, this DNA Matchmaking approach maybe more powerful than the signals from in-person meetings, as the contraception pill and menstrual cycles are known to confound our sense of romantic chemistry. DNA Romance is a real genetic matchmaking site that uses information hidden in your DNA to predict romantic chemistry between you and your match online. They also use Myers–Briggs personality types to determine personality compatibility. DNA Romance is used by people in over 93 countries, and all 50 states in the USA.
DNA Romance is easy to use – users just enter biographic data, Myers-Briggs personality types, then upload their photograph and raw autosomal DNA data file. Within 30 minutes, their matches are ready!
Users can then interact by sending emojis or messages, adding matches to a “maybe” list to review later, or simply deleting them permanently. DNA Romance is free to use, monetised by in-app advertisements. Who better to talk to than somebody with genetic compatibility?
Visit the DNA Romance website here.