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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dating sites - do we need them?

I have a friend, let’s call her Ann, who is looking for a man.  Not just any man of course, an individual between the ages of 25 and 35.  Additional requirements are that he should be reasonably good looking, of sound mind and body, have a job, and be good natured.  In other words, a nice guy.

I have another friend, let’s call him John, who is looking for a girl.  Not just any girl of course, a creature between the ages of 25 and 35.  Additional requirements are that she should be reasonably good looking, of sound mind and body, have a job, and be good natured.  In other words, a nice girl.

Their friends told them not to worry, that there’s plenty of fish in the sea, so when Ann and John went fishing, they insured they had good bait.  

They created a profile listing all their qualities and uploaded a flattering picture for good measure.  They tried Lavalife ($18 p/m), then eHarmony ($55 p/m) and eventually Match ($35 p/m).  

Their profiles received hits, but neither Anne nor John were impressed with the “fish” they attracted. 
Some were from men and women living thousands of miles away.  Some from people who didn’t fit the age group.  Some were just not appealing for one reason or another, while some were of candidates in various states of undress.  Where they looking for a date or a client?

Tired of online dating they decided to explore another avenue to love, contacting a dating agency.  After some research they decided upon LifeMates.

An appointment was made and Ann received an invitation to meet with Carla (not here real name), one of the LifeMates representatives.  

After a short interview, Ann was given a questionnaire to create a profile.  The document roughly counted 100 questions, asking anything from Ann’s name and contact details to the size of her underwear and what brand she preferred (Fruit of the Loom or La Perla).

Ann battled through the questions, felt quite exhausted by the time she reached #100, but saw it through because she desperately wanted to meet the man of her dreams.

With the questionnaire completed, she met once again with Carla, who briefly perused the answers to the questions and deemed Ann a suitable addition to the agency.

“How long before I can meet candidates?” Ann asked.

“Just as soon as you hand over your credit card and pay the fee,” Carla replied.

Ann nodded, of course, there would be a fee, nobody works for nothing.

“How much?” she asked.

“Our services our rather pricey?” Carla thinly smiled.

Ann took a deep breath and asked somewhat hesitant, “A few hundred?”

Carla bobbed her head from side to side.  “More like a few thousand.”

A few thousand! Dollars?

The way Carla explained it, the price went up depending on how many candidates Ann wanted to meet.  For $2,000 she would be introduced to two or three candidates.  If she was willing to pay more, she would be presented with additional candidates.

Ann kept her credit card in her purse and walked out.  She was upset to say the least.  Not only was she not prepared to fork over a few thousand dollars to meet a man, she had just wasted the better part of the afternoon.

On her way home, Ann stopped by the drugstore to pick up a new lipstick and while waiting at the till she saw a man (John) browsing through a magazine, pausing at the article “Where to meet women”.

If Ann had been braver she would have tapped John on the shoulder and said “Hello-o, I’m right here”.  If John had turned around he would have falling hook, line and sinker for Ann. 

Instead, John put the magazine down, paid for his shaving gel, left the store and turned right.  Ann paid for her lipstick, left the store and turned left. 

Do singles need dating websites and dating agencies?  Whatever happened to just approaching a man or a woman and starting a conversation?  There is the chance that a woman is not interested, gives a man the brush off and says “No”.  Then again, she might say “Yes”, and all it costs them is a cup of coffee, a glass of juice or a smile and that costs nothing at all.

Whatever happened to, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again?

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