As one of the most unique and interesting dating web sites around, Chemistry.com attracts both positive and negative reactions from the public. While there are years of research backing up the science behind their matching process, the web site, the customer service, and the actual results seem to leave much to be desired.
Helen Fisher, a Biological Anthropologist from Rutgers University and the mind behind Chemistry.com's matchmaking process, has put her theories about human temperament determining relationships into action. Her book Why Him? Why Her? explores this subject deeply. The web site utilizes her personality questionnaire that, once taken, will tell you what personality type you are. The four types of personalities, which are all present in every single person at different levels, will determine who you should and will be matched with on Chemistry.com.
While some users have had great success with Chemistry.com, others have had quite the opposite experience. It all depends on your goals; if you are quite serious about finding true love in online dating, you will want to take a look at it. Here, we will explore the positives, negatives, and basic features of Chemistry.com.
The initial home page at Chemistry.com will ask you for some basic information to enter to sign up, including your name, email address, birthday, zip code, and what the sex is of the person you are seeking. Once you have entered in this information, plus a password to log in again later, you will be directed to the personality questionnaire.
A Negotiator is someone who can see the big picture, is passionate, verbal, has strong people skills and has a strong imagination. A Builder is someone who is conventional, cautious, generally calm, social and quite loyal. The Explorer is somebody who is curious, creative, novelty-seeking, risk-taking, and energetic. Finally, a Director is somebody who is direct, logical, decisive, and analytical. Usually the Directors are pretty good at math.
Your matches on Chemistry.com will be determined by the profile/questionnaire you fill out upon joining. Once the questionnaire is complete and it has determined your personality type, the waiting game begins. You will be matched, according to your personality type, with someone who has a compatible personality type. Generally, Explorers are attracted to Explorers and Builders are attracted to Builders, but Directors generally like Negotiators and Negotiators like Directors. These combinations will not necessarily work out, but represent the way people unconsciously find themselves attracted to each other.
As a Chemistry.com user, you will receive five "matches" each day. These five suggested users, according to the Chemistry.com system and science, should be compatible with you for a long-lasting relationship. If you don't like the five you have been shown today, you can receive a fresh new set of five matching users the next day. However, to get a new set of matches, you must respond about the original set. Each suggested match has a "Close" and a "Communicate" option. Once you have chosen one of these for each suggested user, you will receive a new set of five matches within 24 hours.
This is the subject of much debate and numerous customer complaints. The matching process at Chemistry.com, although unique and scientific, tends to leave people waiting around. Many users are disappointed with their five matches for the day, but have no way of receiving even one more match for a full 24 hours. Although the idea of being specifically, scientifically, and carefully matched up with a limited group of possible partners can seem enticing to those seeking long-term relationships or marriage, Chemistry.com may actually prolong the process. Unlike dating sites like Match.com and Yahoo! Personals, Chemistry.com may hinder the amount of people you can meet but only allowing five matches per day. Their idea is to utilize quality over quantity; if the quality isn't there, however, what are you left with?
The Chemistry.com system has proven to work pretty well, but it has also proven frustrating for thousands of people. Since the matching criteria is a bit different from other dating sites, users are often surprised by the matches they receive. Instead of seeing romantic candidates matched according to similar education, interests or religion, the Chemistry.com system matches according to personality. While this process can and has fostered thousands of successful relationships, it can also bring people together who, simply put, have nothing in common. Many users have complained that the matching system simply offers up five people who live within their area. While that seems a bit extreme, a lack of browsing options does require Chemistry.com to take location into account, limiting matches and results.
Aside from the well-publicized questionnaire created by Dr. Fisher, Chemistry.com does not offer much else for its online dating community of millions. While competing dating services work hard to provide extensive options and tools to their users, Chemistry.com seems content to rely on their scientific methods for success.
The site does not have one massive glaring flaw, but many consistent and average ones. One major complaint about the site is its lack of distinction between actual paid members and free members who simply created a profile. Because free members can't communicate or receive matches, yet are still entered into the database of profiles, paying users become matched with free users who can't really use the site. Quite often, these free profiles will never reply to a paid user's response. The major issue here is the fact that Chemistry.com chooses to include free members in the matches they send out to paid members, and that they show no clear distinction between the two types of membership status. Eventually, users begin to reply to every match just to see if they are real. The logic behind this choice by Chemistry.com seems to revolve around the fact that many free members will choose to join once they have found a possible match. Some may like this, but some may believe it's unfair to paying members.
Another problem, one that haunts essentially any dating site, is spam. Too often, online daters looking for love are forced to deal with spammers whose only reason for being on the site is to sell something. Although most dating sites have this problem and make basic attempts to manage it, a story online suggested otherwise. An online dater decided to try using AOL Personals, but did not want to risk getting spam from them in her main email. She created a new, never-been-used email account and signed up for the site. Without using the new email address for anything else, she eventually received spam from Chemistry.com. Curious.
Even the matches they make at Chemistry.com have major problems. Many people have complained that the matches they received did not match their criteria at all. One man who specifically entered "white" for desired ethnicity consistently received matches with Asian women and others of different ethnicities. Specifications regarding subjects like religion and income are also often ignored according to customer responses.
Limiting communication is another common complaint of Chemistry.com. When a user is finally matched with someone that appeals to them, communications can begin. However, the Chemistry.com process requires you to take it one small step at a time. At first, you will only be able to briefly communicate through a couple of short questions you make for each other. Once these have been exchanged, your interactions will slowly become more and more involved. This is frustrating to many users because it takes so long to get matched successfully in the first place. Once they find someone they like, they want to talk to them! Chemistry.com believes communication should be limited and contained at the beginning of a relationship, but many people who disagree find this out after they have already become a member.
Finally, the customer service at Chemistry.com has gotten terrible user reviews. Many customers have complained that they received no reply when attempting to contact them about problems involving issues from billing to online matching. Many people who rightly deserved their money back were denied and there are many stories circulating online about the run-around their customer service causes for customers. It seems that Chemistry.com is simply focused on keeping its customers as members, rather than provide them with the best service.
Other review sites had different reactions. eDateReviews gives Chemistry.com a 1.79 out of 5, based on 27 user reviews. At Epinions, the site received a 2.5 out of 5. RateItAll.com gave Chemistry.com a 1 out of 5, and an article on HubPages.com summarizing the Chemistry.com reviews gave it a 62 out of 100.
Using chemical science to create love seems to be the goal of Chemistry.com. While they can successfully categorize personality types according to their questionnaire, it seems that they are having trouble making successful matches. While the online daters might have meshing personality types, there are many other important factors Chemistry.com seems to overlook such as location, race, and body type. While the chemistry may be there, the compatibility often isn't.
Chemistry.com can definitely work for some people. There is a chance that you will join Chemistry.com, fill out the questionnaire, and be given five perfect matches the next day. While this is possible, it is unlikely. Even if you do meet someone compatible, you might live 200 miles away from each other or they might not even be an active user. Either way, it seems that Chemistry.com is a confused company based upon sound scientific research.