Saturday, September 04, 2004

Kick A Man While He's Down

I've been a user of match.com for over a year now, with pretty much no success. I think I've gotten 2 or 3 dates out of it the whole time. There are a number of reasons for this, not the least of which is that I'm about as good at picking up women as fish are at breathing air.

Match.com does provide a bunch of tools to try and do better quality searches rather than just throwing loads of faces at you, but I think sometimes it backfires. I just took their Physical Attraction test, which gathers up some self-reported info about your body type, along with a little survey of who you find attractive, and isolates certain physical features and whether you find them attractive. The little report they mailed to me seemed pretty spot-on for who I like, so I started flipping through the search results and clicking on the "physical attraction" tab (and, for those of you who will quickly point out that beauty is only skin-deep, there is also a "personality" tab, which I have given up on long ago).

My problem with the physical attraction tab isn't the women it picks for me -- it's certainly not 100%, but it does a better job than throwing darts at a wall, so I'll run with that. It's that when I click on the little tab, it gives me a) how attractive they are to me, and b) how attractive I am to them, on a 1-4 scale.

The problem is, in short, my ego. Because on every one of the 20-odd tabs I've clicked on so far, the women find me "not at all" attractive (the lowest of the four). It's a little rough for someone whose dating career is, shall we say, less than entirely successful, to find that most women on the planet would rather date a peniless Mick Jagger than you.

I'm going to go stick a bag on my head. Maybe that will improve my odds.

Update:
After searching through over 40 entries (most women have not filled out the physical attraction profile, so there only 2-3 tabs per page of 10 results), I finally found one that found me "somewhat" attractive (2 out of 4). At this point I wisely called it quits and went foraging.

3 comments:

neb.frank. said...

are they all local? they're clearly all loco. i've heard nothing but compliments about your looks from my/our friends and coworkers over the years. i remember somebody at hank's asked if we were cousins because "you're both handsome fellows"...
have you tried okcupid? that and the spark have had the most draw for me and other web-comrades. i admit after my one blind date with rosewater, i balk at the whole concept. so i've never actually used the services to the extent of actual contact. what i like most about the two i mentioned is the tests they run you through. okcupid's was surprisingly sobering to myself and peter, and a friend of ours marie in portland.

Guy said...

To be fair, the women here haven't actually said anything. They fill out an "attraction profile", do a self-eval on their features, and a program takes their input and my input and computes some sort of attraction number.

So, the "attraction" listed above is the computer's *estimated* physical attraction (and it's not very accurate, judging by numbers I'm getting). Not to mention that either its failing some basic statistical checks, or I look like Quasimodo.

Thanks for the "not Quasimodo" vote. :)

neb.frank. said...

i don't know how much more or less scientific it is, but okcupid has the same gig. sometimes it's even hilarious. as long as you don't get stuck in the pathetic made-by-users-quizzes the moderators can't seem to avoid letting pass inspection...