Can a Computer Program Find Love For You?
by Devlyn Steele
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Can a Computer Program Find Love For You?
I logged on
to a dating site the other day and was greeted by a large, flashing
message. It promised that if I took the time to answer a series
of questions that they would find a "perfect match" for me. Imagine
that? All the work and worry of being single - gone! We truly have
evolved! Not only can computer programs manage the entire traffic
system of a city and make chess grandmasters cry, but now they can
lead my perfect match right to my doorstep. I always wanted a Stepford
wife, I hope it comes assembled.
The recent trend
in Internet Dating has been the use of a "computer personality test"
of some sort. Websites claim that these tests, usually developed
by a "top psychologist", have the ability to understand you and
your needs through a series of questions. Confused? Lost in love?
Problems communicating? Don't worry, the Online Dating Hal 5000
can figure you out! In fact, when you're done, this computer program
will know your needs and desires better than you do.
Broadway play “Fiddler on The Roof”? You might not, it was the first
Broadway play I went to when I was seven. A song that always stuck
in my head for some reason was “matchmaker, matchmaker, make me
a match–” The song starts as a plea to the matchmaker to bring true
love straight to the altar; someone beautiful, rich, intelligent,
But by the end
of the song, the singer realizes that the Matchmaker might not be
up to the task. She decides that “playing with matches, a girl can
So, do these
tests really work?
tests have a long history. Really, really smart guys with names
like Freud, Maslov, Fromm, and Jung developed respected psychological
theories, and these theories are used as the basis for all types
of tests. “The Big Five” theory suggests that there are five dimensions
of personality: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion,
agreeableness, and neuroticism. Some popular personality tests use
this as a foundation. Others go the “Big Three” route, which does
away with the “openness” and “agreeableness” dimensions - mostly
because it’s easier to remember.
I joke a little
about these theories, but the truth is that they’ve survived the
test of time and there is a ton of scientific research behind them.
The real question is if these tests can be effective in applying
a theory to the complexity of a human being. Add to this the additional
layer of meshing your answers with another, equally complex person.
That’s a tall order.
impulsive behavior that simply can’t be measured when they’re sitting,
relaxed and introspective, taking one of these tests. Often our
answers reflect our perfect (or hopeful) idea of ourselves. Even
if we are trying our best to be honest, our impulsive behavior in
real-life situations can be far different than we’d expect.
is attraction. We can meet someone who’s empirically good-looking,
has a similar background, is kind and successful – and yet we’re
not attracted. Often we can’t explain why we like another person.
It may be how they make us laugh, a crooked smile – even how they
smell! Sometimes little things that are immeasurable on their own
can collectively make us attracted.
and our emotions and desires are far too complex, and a computer
program can’t solve the riddles of our romantic lives. As Jung put
it, “the meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two
chemical substances; if there is a reaction both are transformed”.
It sounds good, but even Jung was hedging his bet when it comes
to love. What will cause two individuals to react to each other?
Even the developers of the study of personality would not presume
that a series of questions could predict romance.
If you rely
solely on matchmaking services, you are missing the entire beauty
of online dating. The beauty is opportunity. Online dating offers
you an almost limitless opportunity to meet and date new people.
It gives you the time and space to find what best suits you. Going
to a quality dating site that isn’t trying to sell you fantasy of
finding your match for you will mean you will have a pool of millions
of singles to meet.
options as just another fun way to explore. It can serve as an ice
breaker to start a conversation, but don’t expect them to be the
answer to finding your perfect match. Keep all options open and
explore possibilities. As a unique individual, only can you know
what works for you. You need to develop skills to communicate and
meet people. Developing both online and offline dating skills is
the best way to find the right relationship.
Next time you’re
brushing your teeth, take a look in the mirror. See that amazing
person? That’s your matchmaker with a mouthful of toothpaste. Take
charge of your life and get into action! Enjoy dating and enjoy
the process of discovery. Your experiences, both good and not-so-good,
are essential to finding the right person for you.
Steele ("America's Leading Life-Coach") is a Relationship Coach,
Life-Coach, radio host, columnist, and the developer of ToolsToLife.com.
His new program OnlineDatingKit.com
teaches Internet daters the skills they need to find their perfect
matches on their own.
little journal of love is now available for your free download.
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