This means that 19 out of 20 profiles on these sites are either past members who aren’t around anymore, or non-paying members who can’t respond.

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girlfriend and I met on e Harmony, so I’ll be the first to acknowledge that online dating can absolutely be a worthwhile experience. I dabbled with it for almost , and prior to Melissa, the most memorable thing I came away with was a tome’s worth of craptacular dating stories.

(Though, in that respect, I guess I do have e Harmony and Match to thank for my writing career.) Armed with years of slow-churned cynicism, I took to the internet to see if others shared my experiences.

What I uncovered were some harsh realities about online dating that no one ever talks about.

After the jump, some things you might not have known… Most of the member profiles you’ll find are inactive.

Online dating sites love to boast about the millions of members they have.

But as it turns out, they’re heaving shovelfuls of statistical manure at you.

A few years ago, OKCupid calculated that 96.25% of e Harmony’s profiles are inactive, using numbers provided by e Harmony themselves.

Match was only marginally better, coming in at 93.1% inactive.

One suit went as far as to accuse Match of employing shills to entice members to renew their subscriptions.

These cases were all dismissed or dropped, but the most recent one in 2011 did produce disheartening results (well, disheartening for online daters – the results were great for Match).

This time, a federal judge threw out the case, on the grounds that Match makes perfectly clear in their terms of service that they do not screen member profiles, nor will they take any responsibility for doing so.