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With some goading from a friend — who somehow convinced me that the stigma against online dating was no more — I joined Ok Cupid and started scanning the thousands of matches that popped up on my screen.Apparently, I wasn’t alone in my Valentine’s Day depression-induced hunt for Prince Charming.Experts say online dating sites see a huge traffic increase between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.With the number of visitors these sites get each month, that increase is pretty significant: Some current estimates report between 10.5 and 23.8 million unique visitors per month for two major dating sites.

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The strongest predictors of a good, functional relationship are how a couple interacts, and their ability to handle stress — two things that science says current dating website algorithms can’t predict and online profiles can’t demonstrate.

These sites can serve as a way to practice those skills and build up self-confidence, too.

“[Sites like] Ok Cupid give people a mechanism to combat the anxiety of being single,” said Ana B., 24, of New York City.

Instead, both joined the site after ending long-term relationships and moving to a new city without many friends.

They both used the site to meet more people and go on more dates, while using their limited free time efficiently.

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