Want to know the secret behind human attraction? Finding a partner who looks just like you.
Or at least that's the theory behind FindYourFaceMate.com, a dating site launched this month by New Yorker Christina Bloom.
Once you upload your picture, the site uses facial recognition technology to zoom in on nine points of your face -- your eyes, ears, nose, chin, as well as the corners and center of your mouth -- to find you a match. When it spots "face mates," it alerts the pair.
"If you look at most couples, you see that these facial features are very similar," Bloom said. "I really believe that getting this theory out there will help people."
The would-be matchmaker said her notion that people are more attracted to those that look like them came from personal experience and years of observation.
About 20 years ago, she said, she started dating her own male doppelgänger and said she felt an unparalleled attraction.
"I had such a strong attraction to him and it was like nothing I had ever experienced before," she said. "Our facial features were very similar and we were told that we looked like brother and sister everywhere we went. Then I started noticing couples everywhere I went."
She noticed the phenomenon among friends and family, as well Hollywood stars, like Iman and David Bowie, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Heidi Klum and Seal and Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
Bloom wrote a small gift book on the theory and later launched a blog, but about a year and a half ago she decided to get serious about putting her theory to work.
"I knew. I knew in my gut that there was something going on here," she said. "I realized that the only way I'd get this out there was to create a dating website."
The site, which is powered by Face.com's facial recognition technology, has attracted about 8,000 people. For testing out the service in its early days, those users get to take part for free. But once the site reaches a critical mass, Bloom said she'll likely charge a fee similar to that of other dating sites.
Because the user base is just growing, Bloom said they haven't yet used the engine to match couples. But when it has amassed enough users, it will use Face.com's biometric face recognition technology to look at key points on the users' faces and calculate the distances between them. When it finds similar proportions, the site will flag it as a match.
"It's not like an exact match. It's more about the shape and the points in the face," she said. "I see it easily, but when there's a little bit of weight involved, it's a little more difficult to see. When a man's hairline is a little higher it's difficult to see. The coloring throws people off."
Bloom said she recognizes that compatibility and similar values are also key components to finding long-lasting love, but said she hopes her site can help people get a jumpstart.
But does science actually support the theory of "face mate" attraction?