Match.com functions the way it sounds: by matching its customers with whoever fulfills the most points on a very detailed checklist; but perfectly matched does not mean perfectly compatible.
People who are trying online dating probably haven’t had much luck choosing someone in the past, yet that is exactly what online dating sites tell them to do.
First-time customers begin by describing in excruciating detail exactly who they are looking for. This includes everything from ethnicity to weight to work and hobbies.
Well, what girl wouldn’t want a 6’6’’ athlete who loves snowboarding and long walks on the beach?
Online dating has been tried and failed by two of my family members.
My sister is a 20-year old college student who was tired of settling for second-best, so she joined Match.com.
She carefully filled out her checklist, while mumbling to herself, “What shouldn’t I have a hot boyfriend for once?”
The boy she was looking for would have to be very fit, tall, athletic and a Christian, of course.
She then described herself. She was very fit, very Christian and loved the outdoors. (Outdoor malls count, right?)
When she logged on a week later she was delighted to see all the winks and emails she had received. The boys she had been matched with were all looking for a girl who was fit and athletic.
And so it began.
Her first date was with a boy who loved working out. He was outside of my sister’s desired weight range, which is why he loved working out. He was trying to lose the weight.
The date was fine. He was sweet and my sister let him down easy.
Her next match was a man, just a few years outside of my sister’s desired age range.
He was thirty-three and looking to settle down. He was more than willing to pay for the air fare to fly to California to meet her, or fly her to New York.
He was also willing to give her a year or so before they started having kids.
My other example comes from my father’s experiences with eHarmony.
My dad had been dating a very specific type of woman for as long as I can remember.
His girlfriend had to be more than just a girlfriend. She was also his housekeeper, babysitter and secretary.
He needed someone to take care of his house, pick up his daughters from school, fax paperwork to his boss and feed and walk his Golden Retriever.
His somewhat archaic views of what a wife should be were reflected in his choice of women online.
The women he was looking for were always African-American, forty or older and raised in Indiana, Illinois or any of your “I” named states really.
So eHarmony continually matched him with women who were basically carbon copies of each other. And the relationships all failed one after another.
My father was matched with insecure, submissive women, who were incompatible with his confident, aggressive personality.
The truth is “The One” is hardly ever the one you expected and profiling does not make a healthy relationship.
How many happily married people can say that they found their spouse by standing in a mall, checklist at the ready?