Dating Site Instant Chemistry Uses DNA to Make Romantic Matches, But What About Fate?

STOCKPORT, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 17: A nurse examines blood samples taken from volunteers that are labelled and ready to be stored in the UK Biobank on April 17, 2007, Manchester, England. The new UK Biobank is the largest blood based research project in the world. The research project will involve 500,000 people across the UK and follow their health for next 30 years or more providing a resource for scientists battling diseases. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
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Do you know a lot of romantic types who say their love was written in the stars? Well they may be fooling themselves. A partnership between LinkedIn dating site SingldOut and a company called Instant Chemistry uses DNA to make love matches, so maybe your romantic future is written in your genetic code. 

The folks over at Instant Chemistry and SingldOut think that love can actually be determined by science, and that online dating sites can use your DNA to find you the person of your dreams. Here's how it works — Instant Chemistry sends home an envelope that contains a tube that customers then send back with a sample of their saliva. After the tube is shipped back, the company processes the customers' genetic personality, and the results are put up on SingldOut, a service that uses LinkedIn to match members who have been genetically tested. These two companies claim that DNA results can identify up to 40 percent of the chemistry of attraction between two people, and they're certainly not the first to assert this claim.

A study done in 1995 gave women a simple task: to smell sweaters worn by men. It turned out that most women were inclined to pick sweaters that had been worn by men with different MCH genes, the genes which control our immune responses. The study concluded that the attraction stemmed from the mammalian reproductive desire to protect offspring from a wider variety of harmful organisms, which can be achieved by mating with someone who has different MCH genes. In the case of this study, genetics did seem to play a part in attraction, but only when the other persons pheromones were an isolated factor — isolated from what could have been an undesirable face, personality, demeanor, or other trait that could only have been analyzed from face-to-face interaction

Though genetic diversity has been long sought out as a means of survival and adaptation, perpetuating a genetic rationale for love in the context of a world full of cultures can be worrisome and problematic. Take, for example, the classic argument that homosexuality is unnatural because it doesn't allow for our species' biological prerogative: reproduction. If we are genetically hardwired to find the partner that would be the best match for us in terms of what they offer when it comes to reproducing, then homosexuality would not exist. But it does. Women shouldn't be able to fall in love or have sex after menopause. But they do. The cultural politics of attraction, love, and companionship oftentimes outweigh or build upon the biology running through us all. Biology isn't destiny. Someone else's genetic makeup won't tell you if they'll bring you breakfast in bed or tell great jokes.

All that being said, there's nothing wrong with online dating or personally sending a vial of your saliva to a stranger all in the name of love, as long as you're happy. It's worth remembering that when you're in a space or forum to meet people, you could get matched with anyone for any random reason and fall in love, or not. It could be their smile, their flair, the fact that they listed Enchanted as their favorite movie, their genetics, their socks, or their pick-up line. But it will most likely be a combination of several factors, or, if you like to think of dating and love like I do, it'll just be magic.

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