Thursday, November 04, 2004

Annals of On-Line Dating

Joseph K is free and single these days. I generally like things the old fashion way, and have mightily resisted the false allure of on-line dating. I thought it was a world filled with desperate singles who prayed that their charming on-line personality would win over people who would flee at the sight of their ugly face.

Yet, several friends of mine have tried it, and have had some short-term success, i.e., they got sweet action from cute girls they'd never think of marrying. Newly single, this concept of efficient action seemed ideal to me.

At several friends suggestion, I signed up for e-harmony. They make you fill out a long personality profile, after which they crunch the data and give you a composite view of yourself and match you with compatible mates. My favorite observation from my e-harmony personality profile: "Your high ego traits coupled with impatience may have others read you as arrogant at times." Can I get an Amen?

And how about this gem: "You may lack empathy and hurt the feelings of others without realizing it--this is not intentional. " Have they been talking to my ex-girlfriend?

Supposedly, they utilize 29 unique characeristics to match you to the absolute right type of person. The results?

1. Apparently, I am very compatible with bears. Many women opt not to share their pictures until later in the process. I have mine up front. Several women have engaged in preliminary dialogues with me without showing me their picture. When I see their pictures, usually they are very large and hairy. One woman's picture featured some bad lighting, but I am pretty sure she was foraging. Another was standing on her front leg while holding an acrobat in her trunk, while her ringmaster looked on with pride. Or might as well have been.

2. The right match with a guy with an Ivy League law degree is a cashier from Frederick, Maryland. Seriously, this happened twice. Call me a snob, but I didn't realize the right woman for me was manning a register at Walmart. Target, maybe. But, Walmart?

3. Finally, I saw a woman who had her picture up early and was cute. We started corresponding. You reach a stage on e-harmony when you share traits you must have and traits you can't stand. Her must haves had a lot to do with hygiene. Same with her can't stands. It is clear she suffered through a traumatic relationship with a smelly guy. Or had the same disease as the boy in the bubble. Anyways, I found the prospect of having to wear sterile gloves on a date unappealing. I discontinued the dialogue.

So far none of these beasts/women have merited an actual date. More stories over the coming months, but it is clear that the only efficiency created by on-line dating for me is that I have a wider swath of undesirables to choose from. And I am helping expand the pool of undesirables for the lucky women matched with me. Zero sum game, my friends.


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