The 6 Signs That You're Compatible With An Online Match

Between creepy messages, cliché profiles, and spelling and grammar mistakes that would make your first-grade teacher shudder, online dating can be draining well before you've even scheduled a date. So, what factors lead someone to want to take the plunge and meet a match IRL?

To answer that question, the data team at online dating site Hinge partnered with researchers from MIT, NYU, and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management to analyze Hinge stats and find out what leads people to take their online connections into the meet space.

"Hinge aims to bring people together in the real world and create lasting relationships," Hinge's marketing director Karen Fein tells us. "An 'effective match' is one where users move from interacting online to interacting in person. This is most clearly demonstrated by users exchanging phone numbers so they can coordinate a date."

Led by Jon Levy, a research associate at Kellogg, the team anonymized over a billion data points related to Hinge users' characteristics and interactions, then identified six factors that raise the likelihood that users will swap digits.

Click through to discover some of the biggest — and most surprising — drivers of compatibility.
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1 of 6
You want the same thing.

This one is obvious, but crucial. The Hinge research team divided what users are seeking into three categories: relationships, dates, and "something casual" (i.e., uncommitted sexy time).

Two users who both say they want a relationship are 45% more likely to exchange numbers than two users who are split — where only one wants a relationship; while two users who both want dates are 40% more likely to swap digits than if only one wants dates. Two users who both state that they want something casual, meanwhile, are 19% more likely to exchange phone numbers than if only one does. This suggests that users looking for something casual are more willing to pursue matches who have different dating priorities than users looking for dates or a relationship are willing to pursue — which makes sense!
2 of 6
You share religious beliefs.

Overall, Hinge users with the same religious background are a whopping 97.5% more likely than others to exchange numbers. The research team notes that men are generally more interested in matching with women of the same religion than women are — with the exception of Jewish women, who are twice as likely to seek a phone-number exchange with a Jewish man than with a non-Jewish man.
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3 of 6
You have similar educational backgrounds.

Users who both went to Ivy League schools and liberal arts colleges are respectively 64% and 38% more likely to exchange numbers than other pairs. Users whose schools were in the same NCAA conference are 21% more likely to exchange numbers on average, but this figure varies widely across conferences — from as little as 7% more likely for the Big Ten Conference to 91% more likely for the West Coast Conference.
4 of 6
One of you is an extrovert.

It's hard to tell if someone is an introvert or extrovert from afar, but researchers developed a simple way of guessing: They used number of Facebook friends as a proxy for social inclination, dividing users' numbers of friends by the average number of friends for users of comparable gender, age, and location to yield a number either lower than one (signifying an introvert) or higher than one (signifying an extrovert). Unsurprisingly, matches in which at least one user is an extrovert are more likely to swap numbers than matches in which both are introverts. In opposite-sex pairings, if the man in the pair is an extrovert, the likelihood of a phone-number exchange doubles; if the woman is an extrovert, it triples.
5 of 6
You use the same type of phone.

Users with the same type of phone are 14% more likely to exchange numbers than those with different devices — and this is without knowing what the other person uses. It's possible that similar educational backgrounds, financial abilities, and lifestyles lead people to use phones with similar functions and price points, as well as giving them a lot more than their phones in common.
6 of 6
You have the same initials.

You may not think you're more likely to date someone with the same initials — how dumb of a criterion is that? — but the Hinge researchers suggest that you are, at least by a little. They found that users with the same initials are 11.3% more likely to exchange phone numbers. Citing the concept of implicit egotism, by which "people gravitate toward people, places, and things that resemble the self," they hypothesize that familiarity breeds subconscious attraction. At the very least, your future towels will be a cinch to monogram.
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