DNA Dating: Finding Your Genetic Match

Find out if you're genetically compatible with your date before you meet.

ByABC News via via logo
February 20, 2009, 11:10 AM

Feb. 21, 2009— -- Staci Rosenberg has tried just about everything in her search for Mr. Right.

"I've tried several of the dating Web sites: chemistry.com, jdate.com, match.com and eharmony.com," said Rosenberg. "I've gotten referrals from friends. I've tried speed-dating and I've gone on some singles trips as well."

She spends her nights looking for a relationship and her days trying to fix them. For the last 12 years, Rosenberg, 37, has worked as a life-coach and therapist, helping others heal their relationships -- while unable to find true love for herself.

"I've spent a lot of time working on my career and making myself the best that I can be," said Rosenberg. "And I want to find someone that has done the same thing."

Making that perfect match has always been an inexact science, and kissing a few frogs unavoidable, until now.

With the use of DNA technology, the science of dating is becoming a whole lot less inexact.

"Whether you will find somebody attractive actually depends on the specific genetic background that you have," said Tamara Brown, co-founder of Gene Partner, a company that says they've isolated the "compatibility" gene. They say the genetic rules of attraction make us predisposed to choose a mate with a matching genetic code, so our offspring will prosper.

And for $99 dollars, they will test your DNA for a love connection.

"It's really, really accurate," said Brown. "Of course, you have to keep in mind that this is biological compatibility. There's always a big portion that is social compatibility, so both of these need to match and need to be good for a relationship to work."

DNA won't help you woo your lover, but it might help you narrow the field.

"You can get into a very fancy car and know everything about the engine, but when you drive in that car, you feel that rush," said Helen Fisher, chief scientific advisor for Chemistry.com. "In the same way, I think the more you know about love, the more you can enjoy it. And knowing about your personality type, who you are and what kind of person you're dealing with gives you a great leg up. "

While Gene Partner tests your DNA, it does not provide a dating service. Rather, the service is designed to compliment other online dating Web sites.

"The idea is you would join an online dating site where 99 percent of the people have already done the test, and then you send in the sample of your saliva that we analyze," said Brown. "And within 15 days, you get the results back, and you can go back on your site, browse your matches or the people you are interested in and immediately get the results of your genetic compatibility."

Recently we asked Rosenberg and Ele Kauderer, a 34-year-old business consultant, who were out on their first date, for a dab of DNA to test their compatibility. After some initial awkwardness, the date went well.

They enjoyed a nice dinner and conversation at Harvest-on-the Hudson in Hastings-on-the-Hudson, N.Y. -- but Rosenberg said something was missing.

"If we are both getting ahead and working hard, when is the time to stop and be together and have fun and just enjoy things outside of work? I'm definitely at a point where I do that. I think we might not be compatible in that area."

The results from the DNA test, however, showed they were highly compatible. Overall, according to Gene Partner, Staci and Ele were 90 percent compatible, showing high levels of interest, attraction and biological compatibility.

The high levels of genetic compatibility were not enough for Rosenberg to overcome her doubts. Despite the results, the two have decided to remain friends.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events