So I have signed up for an online dating thing. Call it giving up, call it desperation, call it pathetic, and call it whatever you want but you'd still be wrong. This is an experiment.
In order to have an experiment, one must have a theory. My theory is that online dating will not result in a girlfriend. A date, maybe, but not a long-term "In-Real-Life" relationship. Why the negative theory? A couple of reasons:
1) Lies. The ability to tell a falsehood or partial truth as if it were indeed true. When getting into a relationship, an individual must decide what attributes they have which others may like so they can advertise them. They must also decide what attributes matter to them. Thus begins the game, where some will figure out what attributes are desirable and pretend to have them for the purposes of getting into the relationship. The hope then is that by the time the partner realizes the con, they have discovered enough positive attributes the person does have to make up for it. Just one of many possibilities, but one that people are aware of and try and avoid.
2) Testing methods. The site I have enrolled in is called "Chemistry.com". They market themselves as being a bit more down-to-earth and secular friendly than the oft toted eHarmony.com. One reason is that it didn't take 5 years to fill out the personality profile. Another is that the doctor behind the site seems to have a better documented history in the field of relationships. Even in spite of this, the "personality profile" I got seemed to portray me as a bit more extroverted than I actually am. Herein lies the flaw of testing methods with dating services: a person may not be able to accurately identify how they respond in a given context. How a person responds to stimuli and how they think they respond to stimuli can be quite different.
3) Un-dateables. The people who couldn't cut it in the real world for various flaws that aren't covered by a questionnaire. Perhaps people have a physical tick which is quite distracting? Perhaps their hygiene is not as good as they think. Any number of factors which can't be strictly identified by personality type.
4) Lack of "normal" people signing up. Somewhat related to the un-dateables, there is still a common stigma associated with meeting people through internet sources. Many "normal" people look down on people who use internet dating services, as if by using an online service they have admitted that they are incapable of finding suitable partners in the classic fashion - which is itself a flawed concept. Even so, there are some people who may be a good match that aren't using an online dating service for any number of reasons.
Now, I do have a sotra-counter-theory. This one isn't being falsified though, so it doesn't technically count in this experiment. The counter-theory is this: Proper filtering and numerous layers of communication will prevent the opportunity and need to lie.
If this website is capable of ascertaining enough about my personality in spite of my inability to answer questions without bias, then that will require falsification through the actual relationships which come from the site. This, of course, can't happen if I don't find any relationships at all, so one step at a time.
I have a 6 month subscription, and have initiated communication through their internal system with 2 women whom I found attractive. I will see what happens in the next week, as there is no indication given on the website as to the activity level of the individuals. I will wait till the end of the subscription to pass any final opinions, but if I don't receive return information in a few days of initiating, that may be a bad sign.
And for those calling my "experiment" a cop-out excuse, I wish to say that I am happy and content with my life as it is. I am not in desperate need of a relationship. I think, if anything, this provides better objectivity. I am not "shopping for food while hungry" if you will. I wanted to see what the online dating thing would net, and am not at a loss of more than money...money which could just as easily be blown on food and drinks with dates obtained through other methods that also fail to result in a relationship.