Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A Response to Alain de Botton ‏@alaindebotton Dating sites pretend to want to unite people, but in essence, they break them apart: http://www.philosophersmail.com/180314-relationships-match.php



Match.com has got it right and this fact is justified through the evidence. A high number of people, as much as 30% in 2010, who subscribed to the site found their marital partner yet how they came to finding them is not as clear cut as it would seem.

Match.com appears to put all your preferences through a filtering system that designates your profile with others, which matches yours. However, this is not the only way that members on the site have operated and used this. Match.com gives you the option to chose and search what to look for and there is much flexibility to be as ruthless or as lenient about the person you would like to meet.

Admittedly, as convenient it might be to meet someone who is your 'match', who likes to watch the same movies, read the same books or drink the same beers as you, these similarities are not enough to hold down a worthwhile relationship. Interests and hobbies work well in the short term as a temporary measure for a pleasant honey mood period, but it does not compensate for when it gets serious and house bills need to be paid, personal dramas develop and arranging child minders to look after the kids, for example.

It is an ideal to have someone who can match all your preferences whether it be personality, intellectual equivalent or simply interests alone. Compatibility is entirely separate thing and means more than associated interests. Compatibility is when one can structure a life around someone else who they genuinely care about and can see a future with. You can look at various examples in literature. Refer to Shakespeare's sonnets as he had much to say about love being blind (I am sure.) There is the prominent ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and what a mess considering the feud between their families. Another great example is the couple in Ian McEwan's 'Enduring Love' where the protagonist is an atheist scientist while is wife is his antithesis, an English literary academic that spends her time studying books of love and poetry by Keats. You may shake your head in disagreement and tell me that love stories are not true representations of reality, but one thing is certain and that is we do not chose who to love. Our emotions decide that (or chemical reactions, not pheromones, for the modern day scientist.)
There is a lot of value to be had from dating websites and match.com is just one option. Unfortunately, we also have to deal with the useless fakers on these sites but, there are obvious clues and alarm bells of those who take advantage looking for a fling or mere company. If one is head strong, they will see through the smoke screens and get out of the date fast. It is simple - if you don't think the person in front of you is compatible with you and even if it is your gut instinct, just walk away. You cannot rationalise a relationship nor can you calculate who you will be your perfect match. 

Perhaps, we should have a www.compatibility.com instead...