Seek and You Will [Hopefully] Find

Have you noticed that the set-up of these online dating sites gives you the impression that you don’t have to work that hard? After all, if your preferred online dating site is so dedicated to your search for an e-lationship, what do you need to do besides sit back, stretch your legs, cross your arms, and wait to click on the perfect match sent by your site?

If you’re a member of Match.com, these matches are sent to you via your Daily 5. These are five prospects for which you can’t see a complete profile, but just pictures and some general information. If you click “I’m interested,” you’ll show up as an interested person on that person’s profile. Conversely, if somebody clicks “I’m interested” when your abridged profile shows up in his or her Daily 5, you’ll receive a notification that the person is interested. Match.com professes to have a “unique algorithm” that helps them identify a Daily 5 that piques your interest, but as a good friend of mine who recently joined Match.com said to me the other day, “What the $#%&??” Match.com’s algorithms might be saying, “Yes, yes yes!” but your internal reaction to its chosen match prospects may be, “No, no no!” (Another reason why computer-generated chemistry isn’t always a sound idea.)

If you’re a member of OkCupid, you’ll notice its cupid-esque feature, Quiver, sending its generated matches your way. Similar to Match.com’s Daily 5, you may notice an uncanny lack of correlation between your actual romantic interests and the arrows Quiver shoots in your direction. As I said to a good friend the other day after scoping out my Quiver possibilities, “What the gosh darn heck??” (I’m not very profane.)

So while sitting back, crossing your arms, stretching your legs, and waiting for the computer to decide your romantic future may sound enticing, you may find that you make headway by taking a more active role in the searching process. You know what you want, so set explicit criteria (you can even refine your search by religious beliefs, political philosophy, or body type, amongst other criteria).

So today’s tip is to take control, create a search, and email the results who really catch your eye. Don’t settle for computer-generated chemistry if it’s not producing the results you’d like.

I’m going to throw out a number here. One. Not as in “The One you’ve been searching for your entire life!” but as in “You will likely send out 20 pithy yet eye-catching emails to the prospects who meet your search criteria and only receive One in return.” That’s to be expected. Some of my most eligible friends put forth great effort with an underwhelming number of replies. Don’t be discouraged. Think of this: If all 20 responded to you, you’d be going on a date every night, which – take it from an online dating guru – is exhausting.

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