Think we’re a love match? Spit into this tube!
Instant Chemistry is a new test that helps match singles, and assess couples’ likelihood of staying together for the long haul, by analyzing the DNA from your saliva.
Here’s how it works for couples who want to put their romance to the test: You and your partner order the kit, spit into your respective tubes and mail them in. There’s also an online personality test to take. Then, just sit back and wait for your compatibility score based on physical, emotional and psychological factors.
Back in the lab, Instant Chemistry’s team of scientists is looking at genes associated with your immune system and emotional processing. It’s all based on recent studies that examine the correlation between partners’ immune systems and their sexual satisfaction, level of attraction, fidelity, fertility and children’s health.
Instant Chemistry’s scores are based on the idea that the less similar a couple’s immune systems, the better their relationship may fare. The test also considers research on the serotonin transporter gene, which looks at the relationship between emotional behavior and changes in marital satisfaction over time.
There are two versions of this gene. The long version may help you maintain a more level head in emotional situations, while the short version means you’re more likely to overreact. Research shows that when both partners have the short version, couple’s are more likely to experience a decrease in relationship satisfaction over time.
“It’s kind of like science fiction almost,” said Jonathan Kirshenbaum, 33, who took the test with his then-girlfriend, now-fiance, Danielle Tennenhouse, 30.
“People can cheat on personality tests. You can’t cheat on a genetic test,” said Kirshenbaum. He and his wife-to-be said their high score, in the 90% region, helped reinforce what they already knew about their then year-long relationship. Those who don’t score as high receive relationship advice from clinical psychologists on the Instant Chemistry advisory board.
Since launching in July 2014, Instant Chemistry has sold 300 DNA kits. Fifty couples have taken the test, and most have received compatibility scores between 60% and 80%.
A similar process applies for those still looking for love and willing to spill their DNA to find it. For Instant Chemistry’s matchmaking effort, they’ve partnered with the new online dating site SingldOut, which connects busy professionals on LinkedIn.
“Without even going on a first date, you already know you have a chance of lasting chemistry,” said SingldOut CEO Jana Bayad on the advantage of partnering with the biotech company.
One couple they’ve matched has already tied the knot, and another is getting ready to say “I do” this spring.
Instant Chemistry is not for early 20-something daters or people still experimenting with their romantic lives, explained co-founder and CEO Ron Gonzalez.
“This probably wouldn’t initially appeal to the Tinder crowd,” he said.
It’s about more efficient matchmaking based on something other than just profile pictures and personality tests.
The price tag might also keep a younger crowd from submitting their saliva in the name of love. The couples kit will set you back $199. Singles get their Instant Chemistry tests free with a SingldOut membership, which runs $240 per year.
So far, business is slow-growing. Gonzalez says getting the word out and making the genetic testing more comprehensive will help convince skeptics. Another challenge is recruiting more men to take the test. Currently , two-thirds of Instant Chemistry users are women.
But the Instant Chemistry and SingldOut team say it’s worth it, and long overdue.
“Online dating has been around for 20 years with no evolution or innovation,” said Bayad. “Science will be a determining factor in [its] evolution.”