You all know that I’m all about the shortcomings of dating sites. I’m like a truffle pig, digging in the dirt, looking for fungus. Alright, that wasn’t one of my best analogies but still, paid or unpaid, flaws abound, making it sometimes seem like I’m wasting my time using these ridiculous platforms that have essentially failed to move me towards any successful relationship to date (ha, unintended pun).
I’ve often found myself entertaining the notion of creating my own dating app. I mean, hell, I’ve used so many different apps/sites/services that I could practically write an entire dissertation on the ins and outs of online/mobile dating (PhD in social anthropology, here I come! Kidding kidding kidding). The other day I was chatting with a fellow Single Sally and she’s quite keen on the concept of developing a better way to date. She recently came across a podcast on Planet Money (Episode 513: “Dear Economist, I Need a Date”) about a woman who quantifies her dating experiences, tracking how well her dates went in an excel spreadsheet. In a year and half: 50 first dates, 22 second dates, 6 columns in the spreadsheet. Following a date she would record the general details of date (the who/what/where/when) and then include one comment about the date and what made it memorable. As the reporter put it, this woman was taking something “mysterious and squishy” (human attraction) and stripping it down to data and statistics. The story on planet money reminded me of the story of Amy Webb, a woman who built a list of 75 traits/characteristics she wanted in a mate and ranked them according to importance (read more about it – and my own interpretation of it…. – here). And, after reading all of this, I couldn’t help but think:
Is success in dating, really just a numbers game?yup. That happened.
One of the things they always tell you is that you’ll know when you know (which, frankly, seems quite outrageous to me.) But really, how much of it is about luck and love, stars aligning and hearts racing, and how much of it really comes down to facts, figures, analysis. I’ve been on more dates than I can count over the last two [and a half] years and yet, here I am, still aghast by most of the pictures Tinder has to offer and sufficiently over all the “Intrigue” [read: not dates] HowAboutWe has produced. So who knows, maybe its time to pretend I’ve got some math skills and get technical here. Dating isn’t what it used to be, so maybe how we look at it should shift as well.
What do y’all think? Give up on the traditional expectations of hopeless romantics and opt for a more modern, fast-paced, hyper-critical view on dating that aligns with how we seem to do everything these days (don’t sit around and wait, make it happen, you deserve it, if you just work hard enough, if you’re just qualified enough, set goals, set deadlines, utilize technology, analyze, reason, sensibility.) Or rather, do you think there should be an app that does it for you? For me, well, we all know I’ve still got 2 years, 9 months and 19 days to figure it out (per: The Countdown) so in the meanwhile, I’m just gonna think on it (cause that’s what you do on a Friday):