Do you believe an online dating site can tell you who you’ll click with—on the basis of nothing more than a short survey?
Lots of people do.
The algorithms behind eHarmony, OkCupid, and other dating sites are carefully guarded secrets. All we have is their word for it that their matching systems work.
In 2012, a group of researchers set out to test the belief that dating algorithms could match people better than conventional means. Their conclusion?
No compelling evidence supports matching sites’ claims that mathematical algorithms work….” 
They argued that personality traits, as measured by a self-administered survey, are not nearly as important as other factors when it comes to ensuring a happy long-term relationship.
They went on to say that claims about the effectiveness of dating sites should be taken with a grain of salt, given that there’s no federal oversight of the industry.
Dr. Helen Fisher respectfully disagrees.
Her theory of matching personality types is what drives Chemistry.com, a sister site of Match.com.
Dr. Fisher believes that a short survey will determine which one of 4 personality types suits you best. Armed with that knowledge, the right match for you becomes evident.
It sounds too simple.
The Myers-Briggs personality type indicator identifies 16 separate personality types. Even astrologically-minded folks distinguish among 12 star signs. How could just 4 personality types cover everyone?
The data seems to agree with the skeptics. Personality factors matter less than demographics when it comes to predicting who will marry. Married couples tend to be similar in age, educational level, religion and ethnicity—not personality.
But I have a confession to make:
I’m a HUGE fan of Dr. Fisher’s work.
She’s been writing books on love and attraction since 1983. They’re well-written and heavily researched. Wikipedia calls her “the most referenced scholar in the love research community.” 
How could she be so wrong about something she knows so much about?
Let’s find out.
Together, we’ll put Dr. Fisher’s theory to the test.
I’ll explain the 4 personality types for you, and you can determine for yourself whether her predictions match your experience.
Personality Type #1: Explorer
Explorers are driven by a desire for adventure and novelty. They’re spontaneous, curious, creative, fun-loving, and enthusiastic. They love their freedom and independence. They’re most attracted to other Explorers.
Personality Type #2: Builder
Builders are good people. They’re traditional, loyal, and a pillar of their communities. They respect the rules, plan ahead, and get things done. They’re realistic, cautious, and care about what other people think of them. They’re most attracted to other Builders.
Personality Type #3: Director
Directors are driven by testosterone. They pride themselves on being analytical, logical, and direct. They’re action-oriented, ambitious, bold and competitive. They’re often found in boardrooms, sports fields, and on stage. They’re most attracted to Negotiators.
Personality Type #4: Negotiator
Negotiators are connectors. They’re empathetic, intuitive, and sensitive to the needs of others. They’re verbally gifted and deeply introspective. They’re warm, trusting and giving. They’re most attracted to Directors.
Which one of the personality types describes you best?
Is there another personality type that also rings true for you?
Dr. Fisher admits that most people have a primary and a secondary personality type. For example, she herself is an EXPLORER/Negotiator. She’s mainly an Explorer, with some Negotiator traits.
Now comes the fun part:
Can you identify which personality type describes each of your former boyfriends?
Does Dr. Fisher’s matching theory work, in your experience?
To my surprise, I found myself understanding my past relationships in a whole new light.
No wonder I never had great success with Builders, because my primary personality type is Explorer. I’m always interested in people who can show or teach me new things.
Does that mean I’ll change how I search for partners in the future? Will I dismiss someone just because he’s not the right personality type?
I’m not so sure.
Although I enjoy understanding myself better, I tend to agree with the skeptics. There’s a lot more to falling in love than personality.
So be aware of your patterns, but don’t use them to limit you.
And never rely on an online dating site to know who’s suited for you better than you do.
Despite the easy science, attraction is still a messy business. The only person who knows your heart is you.
P.S. If you’re online dating, Your Brilliance expert author James Bauer offers a useful tip to find out if he’s just fishing or he’s actually serious about finding someone.