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Matchmakers

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Recently, I read an article about the secret talent of Ivanka Trump and her husband. They said they’re good at matchmaking, behind seven successful marriages. This mean she knows some key details about the people she set up, like for instance their hobbies, tastes,… I don’t see how she could set up people together without those details. It would be as if she wrote down each of the names of the single people she knows on a piece of paper, and then threw these papers in a bag and picked out two names  randomly.

Friends are better matchmakers than strangers. Because they know what their friends like and can pick someone with similar interests to set them up. It can happen, though, that the set up doesn’t work. Simply because the people don’t find each other attractive, or because their personality doesn’t match. You can have in common with people hobbies like going to museums, concert, painting,… But that doesn’t mean you could match.

Take for instance Tinder. This dating app collects all the likes you make on Facebook, as use this data to put it on your profile. When you look for a potential partner on this dating app, you can see the likes you have in common with the people you see on your smartphone.  I went to two dates with men who had at least 8 likes in common with me, and I was disappointed both time, because one of them had a problem with alcohol, while the other just simply didn’t call me or message me after the date anymore. I even saw once on Tinder a man who had 12 likes in common with me, but he didn’t swipe me right.

There’s another dating app called Once, that doesn’t work like Tinder. Instead of scrolling multiple pictures, you only get one profile per day. It’s up to you to start a conversation or not. Once uses human matchmakers who compare the profile of the users and decide to match the profiles they select. Those matchmakers try to have at least 50% of good results, which mean they try to have the people they select starting a conversation. Yet, it’s not perfect, because I had a lot of bad surprises with this app. And so far, I haven’t met anyone who met through Once.

Dating site like Match.com, Okcupid, also try to help you find the right partner, through the power of their algorithm, based on the list of our preferences. Yet, the rate of disappointing dates  is really high there too.

These dating app and online dating are made to make you come back, according to Tim Harford. 

So, what is the secret of Ivanka Trump?

 

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Married at first sight

Imagine if you get married to a guy you haven’t met and  who has 89% of compatibility with you according to the test you took on Okcupid or Elite Dating? That’s the pitch of a new TV show in my country, called Married at first sight. People choose to get married to a total stranger who has a high score of compatibility with them after taking a test.

For those who have tested OkCupid or Elite Dating, or any dating site where you have to fill a test to know your compatibility with a potential partner, it may rise eyebrows. Because it’s not because you have a high score of compatibility with someone that you may fall in love with him/her.

One explication is because you don’t really find a right answer to the questions asked in the test. Or if you hacked Okcupid like Chris McKinlay. People also lie on internet.

Another reason could be because you don’t find attractive in real life your compatible date.  It can happen. I’ve been disappointed a lot by my first encounters with the men I met through online dating. To be fair, once, I even turned back on my heels when I saw one of my date seating in the cafe where we agreed to meet.

It can also happen you feel no sparks when you meet your date for the first time. Women do use their smell cue to choose their partner. The guy in front of them can be handsome, but if they can’t smell him, they won’t go on a second date with him. One of my friends also told me she just felt cold with every guy she met online during their first date.

Besides, even if you do start a relationship with someone you met online and who has a high score of compatibility with you, it’s not guaranteed to last and to end up with wedding bells. There are many hurdles in a relationship.

So marrying someone you just met is not a really good idea.

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Tinder surprise


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In her book, “Tinder Surprise”, Ana Ker challenged herself to meet 20 men in ten days. She used Tinder to reach her goal because today, unless you go to a single resorts where all of the people are looking for a hookup or for love, it’s almost impossible to get many dates in so little time.

She’s reluctant at the beginning to use that dating app. But Tinder helped her to have the number of dates she was looking for. And she didn’t hesitate to schedule two dates on the same day, one just after the other.

She didn’t spend time chatting with her Tinder matches during a long time before meeting them. Just a few exchanges, and then her matches and her agree to meet for a drink.

A drink is absolutely non committing, and it’s very convenient if you don’t like the person who’s in front of you at the bar. The choice of the bar also tells you if your Tinder guy is putting a lot of effort in your date or not. For instance, if he chooses a bar near his apartment/house, it’s a huge signal you don’t really matter to him. But as the philosopher Alain de Botton says, a date is like an audition. You have to seduce the person who is in front of you.

Ana Ker explained she met only two men who could be more than just one date. The other ones were either liar (about their age, the most common lie with dating apps/sites), socially awkward, or just didn’t make any effort.

People, especially men, as I experienced, think their future partner should embrace them as they are, without making any effort to seduce first. To seduce someone doesn’t mean you have to dress up, pay a lot of tips, invite your date to an expensive restaurant, list all of your achievements in life, or worse, make drink your date in the hope she/he will surrender easily. To seduce someone means to ask some personal questions to your potential dates and reveal some genuine aspects of your personality. A little investigation ahead of your date can help you.

But when you have plenty of dates ahead thanks to Tinder, you can easily forget about that. No wonder why Vanity Fair wrote Tinder is a dating apocalypse. Ana Ker seems to consider Tinder as a way to consume dates like you would consume any staple goods.

Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg insist it’s important to invest in your date (and not financially) instead of collecting dates in the hope to find someone better. Nobody’s perfect. To invest in your date means to prepare your date, and consider the person who’s in front of you at the bar.

Two of my friends met their significant other thanks to Tinder. Another one met her husband thanks to a dating site. We all know couples who met each other thanks to a dating app or a dating site.

I’ve had bad luck with Tinder so far, to be fair. But I learned my mistake.

 

 

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Future sex

In her book “Future Sex“, the journalist Emily Witt explores the limit of what we would call free love. She writes about her experience with online dating, porn, polyamory, internet babes and the childless option. If I do follow her conclusions, this list may predict the future of relationship, where internet have a strong place, except for polyamory (although I have met on dating app some men who were into this type of open relationship).

 The journalist wrote she had a problem feeling attracted by the men she met online. I do understand her, because I’m  bit lost on dating app like Tinder. I don’t really feel attracted right away by a man just by looking at his picture. Emily Witt said she wasn’t  into her online date when she met them face to face. Maybe it’s because women don’t have a smell cue when they meet someone online. That smell cue can be useful when you meet someone face to face in a bar or a cafe or a concert,… The journalist compared the attraction she had for men she met in parties, bars, … and men she met online.

Emily Witt also wrote about a couple working for Google who are into polyamory. It’s not a surprise, since in the Silicon Valley, there is a new sexual revolution where love takes the form of many lovers at the same time. Elsewhere, it’s just infidelity or open relationships, which are not so sustainable on the long run , because we are jealous by nature.

This book rises a question: can we be ourselves if we multiply lovers, and if we allow the distance internet creates between people? The future looks bleak then.

On the other hand, internet remains a mean to meet people. But it’s just a way. Internet remains useless when it comes to create a bond with someone.  And it’s easy to think, thanks to dating apps, online dating,… we can always find someone better. It’s the best way to end up alone.

Yet, we can’t force people to stay into our life.

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Reunited by a dating app

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The Financial Times recently interviewed Whitney Wolfe, the founder of the dating app Bumble. That dating app forces women to make the first move.

I don’t use that dating app, because in my country, Tinder is way more popular. Perhaps because in my country, like in France, women don’t make the first move in general. Many of my female friends told me they didn’t make the first move with their significant other. One of them, who is still single, told me she would never make the first move.

But this interview is interested. The founder of Bumble said more than 5000 engagements and marriages were originated with the app.  She added most people used the app on Sunday nights and Monday.The app is the busiest during those periods of the week.

One of the couples who found themselves on Bumble used to know each other before. But they lost each other from sight. He used to have a crush on her when they were younger. By the power of an algorithm, they made a connection again. Without that algorithm, maybe they  wouldn’t have made that connection. Who knows? They could have bumped into each other in the street. But it would not make that connection so instantly.

Those who use the dating apps like Tinder and Bumble connect when they feel lonely. That’s why there’s a peak in connections on Sunday nights and Mondays. When you feel lonely, you are in generally in better conditions to look actively for someone and to jump on the first occasions. So, it might explain why these former crushes reunited.

I’ve never bumped into a former crush on Tinder. I don’t know what would be my reaction if it was the case. What would you do if you find a formal crush on a dating app?

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The right stages of a relationship

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Is there a right order in relationships? I’m not so sure. Several of my friends had their children before getting married to their significant other. Some are even not married. “Traditional” couples still get married first and have children after.

But this is an evolution of relationships because it has to start from scratch. Every relationship begins with an encounter. Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Happn,… favour those encounters. Our professional and private circles can also help to meet someone. There are many ways to find a new relationship. To be fair, my last relationships all started with Tinder.

After the first contact, there is the first date. If you are careful, the first exchanges you made with your date help you to sort those who would make a disastrous first date. The men I met through Tinder exchanged several messages with me before our first date, and I was relieved by what they wrote. I didn’t have much surprises when I met them.

After that, some people decide to lead a particular relationship. An acquaintance started to be sex friends with the man she met thanks to Tinder. Another one started to casual date a man she met through some common friends. Generally, people take their time to evaluate their date. Especially when they have experienced several relationships.  But it can happen that some people want to start right away a long term relationship. Even if only the long run can tell if the relationship is sustainable or not.

With age, people also take their time before having sex with their date. Even with the people who meet through Tinder, which is famous to be a hookup site. This may be true for the young people between 18-24, but above that age, it’s not necessarily the case. Some people wait until they are certain there are feelings involved before having sex. It can take weeks or even months. The key is to take time to know our date. It’s not that simple. But if our date don’t want to spend time with us, that’s a sign he/she doesn’t want to have a relationship.

Some people wait until they meet their date’s friends and family, which is a sign the relationship is going strong. After all, if you don’t pass that step, it’s not a good sign. Our friends and family can also help us to tell if our date is right for us. Usually, our friends and family see when there’s a problem while we’re too blind with love. This step isn’t a problem if you date someone from your private circle, who was introduced to you by common friends. The blessing is already there.

Recently, one of my coworkers told me he’s divorcing. He met his wife at our office five years ago, and people were really surprised how fast their relationship evolved. She got pregnant only four months after they started dating, and got married in a hurry. Had they have waited, he may have known she was a bad influence to him. His career stalled after they started dating. She was really jealous and made him a scene every time he talked to female coworkers.

Yes, we all know some exceptions to this. Two of my friends got pregnant really quickly after they met their significant other. So far, they are still in their relationship. But they met their significant other through common friends.

Only fools rush in, isn’t it?

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Tinder vs IRL

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Why do we need Tinder to meet other people?” asked recently my date. I was thinking about this question this morning as one of my coworkers told me her cousin met his future wife in the street. They were having a coffee in a cafe separately and he dared to ask her phone number. She accepted. My coworker was surprised about his move because “nobody ever does this anymore“, as she said. Everyone is on Tinder 😉

Is Tinder different than meeting someone in the street, asking him/her for his/her phone number, and beginning texting each other until getting  a real date? Yes, if you consider the situation where you meet in real life the object of your affection before going into a real courtship.

With Tinder, you don’t really know how your match looks like before meeting each other for a drink. You only have a picture, but also some indications like common (Facebook) friends and likes on Facebook. Some people also put their instagram account. You can see if they are into cars, sport, cats, food, just by looking at their instagram shots. You get some hints. But for the love at first sight, well, it’s not really it. But at least, you know that you match is looking for something, a hookup, or a relationship.  While asking for a phone number in the street is risky because you don’t know if the person is available. And you have a higher chance to be rejected.

With Tinder, that risk is lower, because if you just swipe many profile to the right, you may get a chance to have a match. You basically have more options on the table.

After the match, you still have to get a connection with your match. There’s not much difference than approaching directly an attractive stranger. If you’re boring, online or not, your match will simply try to get away. The nervousness is the same, online, or in real life.

Couples (or hookups) do form out of Tinder, as out of an direct approach IRL. The key is to make the first step.

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