Tonight I signed up for match.com. Soon I’ll be flirting away with thousands of singles from in and around Los Angeles. Typically I wouldn’t do something like this, but I’ve spent too much time dwelling on the past and maybe it’s time to move on.

The site for all intent and purpose is well organized and simple to navigate. The first thing you see is the option to search, which is effective for all the skeptics. The premise is that if you see someone interesting you may join (worked for me) and more importantly buy a subscription – which is exactly what I am doing. I took up the task of setting up my profile and uploading some pictures. Let’s start with the process of setting up my profile. First you answer some questions from a visualization test that I’ve yet to divulge a purpose for taking other than maybe identifying who the customers of the site are and their various backgrounds. I can’t help but think that the visual questionnaire is more of a sales tactic than one of any real purpose in my use of their site to meet someone. Questions asked are what body type I prefer, what I notice first in a woman, what I’d like to see them order at a bar, what my date and I would do for fun and one about what types of movies I enjoy. Keep in mind each questions answers are represented in pictures. Someone must have told match.com that people respond well to visual stimulus and not words. The survey itself claims to help them select what types of people you’ll be interested in and vice-versa, but once you get to the part where you actually fill out your profile and the sites first suggested matches, you’ll realize that is determined by your answers to the questions that will create your match.com profile and not the 5 minutes you spent picking out high quality pictures to answer the same questions you’re being asked again. Still, it’s a brilliant sales tactic. After taking the visual survey you’d be hard pressed not to explore the site more and match.com makes it clear that you can’t explore as a stranger. Back to my profile, so far they’ve taken out the awkwardness of having to describe ones self in words by turning the task into a simple Q & A session and placing character limits on the only time you write anything at all about yourself in your own words. I learned later that this automates the process of matching you up, no science, just conformity here folks.

The part I found most interesting is the final piece where you’re asked to choose a headline for your profile. A chance to say something that grabs attention and will get you noticed…I got nothing. I think how about “Hi, let’s meet for coffee?” but what if she hates coffee and prefers tea? I’ve already lost dates if my matches dislike caffeine, and I haven’t even uploaded photos yet. Snap out of it, this is exactly why you’re here, proceed…

ANYWAY, after my quasi-interview I get to answer questions about my preferences in a potential date. Albeit, this time without photos. If you thought the world was vain enough wait until you realize these questions have everything to do with appearances and not personality, with the exception of the religion question. Now, to be fair, science tells us that we’re programmed to base our dating choices off first impressions and it’s true. If you aren’t visually appealing you won’t get far in the dating world, especially the online dating world. So now that I’ve picked her preferred body type, hair style(s), eye color, religious views, and workout schedule It’s time to upload some photos. I initially thought that I should seek outside counsel in selecting photos to upload, but I went with my gut and uploaded 3 descent (by my standards of course) photos. Nothing fancy, no self portraits or shirtless bathroom mirror photos. After all, this is going to be seen by other people on the internet, you gotta keep it classy online, right?

To my surprise, there’s a profile and photo approval process at match.com and it may take up to 24 hours for my profile to appear on their site. All of the profile and photo submissions must be reviewed by a real person. This makes sense, there’s enough subscription porn on the internet as it is. Goodnight single ladies.