Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Match.com A Year Later

A year ago, just before my wedding, I wrote a short entry on my other blog about the fortune I had in using the online dating service, match.com

A few people have asked me what that was like, and since I only have good things to say, it has made some of them wonder about me (although, now that I am happily married and nearing the first anniversary, I don't think they are worrying as much.)

But I have thought about the experience, and a bit about what made it so... interesting, if not compelling. Confession: even though I am no longer signed up for the service I still go back to website now and again, as if I were visiting my alma mater. I like to see how it is evolving, and what they have cooked up next, and even what they no longer offer.

One of the tests that they used to offered was their Physical Attraction Test. The test was a very simple one.

After starting the test, the program flashed picture after picture of 6-9 average-looking women's faces of all shapes, sizes, colours, weights, horsetail, eye colors, ages, etc. The respondent's job was to pick the most physically attractive face from those being chosen. At first, the pictures flashed slowly, as if to warm things up, and then they would flash faster until the 10 minute or so of test was done. As the system started to pick up the chosen preferences, it started to narrow the choices down, and to present variations that became finer and finer. For example, if one consistently chose blonde, lighter-skinned women, it would start to present lighter-skinned women with different hair grades of hair colours, and blonde-women of darker skin to see what the respondent _really_ preferred.

I found the experience intriguing as all heck.

As the pictures flashed, I noticed that the speed was preventing me from using the logical side of my brain, and I began to respond from a very different place -- one that seemed much more basic... evolutionary... biological... subconscious. It was a place well beyond thought and judgement, and I had resist the urge to stop everything or try to slow it down so that I could have more time. I did the test twice, and the second time I decided to really let it rip -- and to click as fast I could without thinking.

The detailed results surprised me -- and I wish I had them on hand but the original website: attraction.match.com does not seem to exist.

I remember that I found out the following about myself:

  • I had a profound racial bias (which I would have denied having.) I strongly preferred darker skinned women.

  • I had a clear bias against women with red hair (I had a run-in with a teacher back in the day who was a redhead...) I also had no preference for Asian / Oriental women.

  • I preferred younger looking women (than my age of 38 at the time.) I also preferred those who had athletic "tom-boy" bodies

I wish I could find my original results online, but here is the summary that I received via email:


Thanks for taking Match.com's Ph.D.-formulated Physical Attraction Test, a revolutionary development in the world of relationships. This scientific system will help you narrow your search for those who are truly compatible with your physical preferences.

Below is the summary of your report. To view your complete test results, click here.
Or click here to search for single Match.com members who you'll find physically attractive.

Favorite Qualities
Your photo choices suggest a woman over 40 is probably getting a little old for your tastes
You seemed interested in dating a woman at least 25 or older
Pretty women
So-called "Ectomorphs," or thin angular faces
So-called "Ecto-Mesomorphs," with narrow chins and nicely angular faces
So-called "Mesomorphs," with square chins and wide faces

Favorite Looks
One type you noticed is sometimes called "Pixies." They tend to be slender and somewhat delicate in appearance. Their very short hair frames a long, narrow face. Even without big, fluffy hair, the large eyes, fair skin, and very full lips (relative to their face) convey a natural femininity. This striking look is very popular (40%) among men.

There's something about the energy and youthful appeal of "Cheerleaders" that's hard to resist. We use this name to describe a group of women who's facial features combine feminine beauty with a "tomboy" flair. They usually have blonde or light brown hair--cut short, small button noses, and wide smiles. These aren't "perfect" beauty contest winners. But their vivacious personality comes across even in photographs and makes their overall impression one of dazzling beauty. You won't be surprised to find out that more than 1 in 4 men (27%) still want to date the head cheerleader.

Favorite Face Type
Faces known scientifically as "Ecto-Mesomorphs" repeatedly caught your eye. Women express this type in two ways. One version has a rectangular face shape that is long and narrow. The other type's face shape is often compared to a diamond or a heart, because it is wide at the cheeks and then has a sharply angled jaw. Ecto-Mesomorph women have either delicate pointed chins or chins that are slightly squared-off or rounded at the base. This "classic" face type is one of the most idealized for women and can be found on most movie and music idols. These women also tend to have lean, but shapely, builds when they're young. About 57% of other men especially prefer women with this face type.


While I think it is crazy to go the next step and pick out someone who matches any particular look, match.com did sent out an email with some women that matched the physical attributes that I preferred. I stopped taking this all lightly when one of the pictures they sent me was of someone I had not only been attracted to, but actually had met online through the service, and had a very nice lunch with.

Whoaaaaa!

But the power of the experience was not so much in the wizadry, an example of which can be found at this website: Beautycheck. In fact, the picture on the site looks exactly like the ones I had to choose from in the test.

Instead, the power lay in discovering a new aspect of myself that I did not even know existed. This discovery was juicy -- yet another step in the journey of self-discovery, enlightenment or spiritual growth.

And that encapsulates what I gained the most from dating through match.com.

The entire experience was an opportunity to open my eyes, and see what it is I really wanted and why. What originally got me started was the free Personality Test that they offered. I took it, and then they offered something like a free week to test the full service, so I took that also, being quite concerned that I would meet a stalker, psycho or axe-murderer.

It was not the meat-market that I feared it would be at all. Instead, it was a powerful way to learn who I really wanted to be with, and why, and what I didn't even know that I wanted in a relationship. I learned that a part of attracting the right person is in having the kind of internal knowing that leads to the most enlightened choices.

This kind of self-knowledge might be more important in attracting the right kind of person than the right resume, make-up or haircut. After a few years of marriage to anyone, and a few thousand "morning faces" all that external stuff gets forgotten.

What does last forever, however, is that which comes from the inside, and (given that no-one is perfect) how one uses self-knowledge to heal, grow and take risks over the years. These inner qualities are much harder to pin down, and unfortunately take a back seat in the typical bar or club to physical qualities that are so much on display.

But again, a part of being able to see these inner qualities in someone else starts with an ability to see them existing or missing in oneself.

And this is the paradox: a search for the right partner necessarily involves a discovery of oneself. When I was open to this aspect of the process, I learned I could make mistakes more readily, recover more quickly, and generally understand what was happening in the search for a life partner in a much larger and empowering context that was, simply, fun for me.

To illustrate: near the end of my "hunting" days, I was surprised to find that the most useful match.com Search-phrase was one that I realized was actually true about me: "Loves Life."
















Cat: Spirit

8 Comments:

At 6/19/2006 4:45 PM, Anonymous B said...

I found this post fascinating because I don't know anyone who has used a service like this with any success. I loved hearing how you learnt about yourself in the process. Congrats on your success and belated happy anniversary. :-D

 
At 6/19/2006 10:21 PM, Anonymous B said...

Meant to say happy anniversary when it comes.

 
At 6/29/2006 11:27 AM, Blogger Jammin with Candy said...

did you meet your wife there on match.com

 
At 7/06/2006 8:03 AM, Blogger fwade said...

jammin with candy,

yep! I am among the lucky ones (some 4-5%.)

b -- the anniversary took a full week to celebrate, with a series of different events. I r3eommcn

 
At 7/06/2006 8:04 AM, Blogger fwade said...

b -- the anniversary took a full week to celebrate, with a series of different events. I recommend a that approach -- dragging out a good thing.

 
At 8/08/2006 12:50 AM, Blogger MTC said...

I see where your comming from


- Free Online College Personals

 
At 8/08/2006 11:14 PM, Blogger Cassandra3383 said...

Lucky ones huh? then I guess I'm one of the lucky ones.... I have been going out with a guy that I met at webdate_dot_com for a year now and everything was just blissful!

 
At 5/17/2007 5:45 AM, Blogger Joy said...

I met my current boyfriend at Match.com. I have had great 'luck" over the years to meet people. Current relationship is going 3 years strong !

 

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