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Friday 21 January 2011

Compatibility Dot Com

Miki, via Flickr

The husband and I were sat watching telly last night when an advert for one of those online dating websites came on. Spurred on by the promises of true love and real compatibility, Mr B looked at me and said;

 "I wonder if we would have come up as compatible if we had joined one of those dating websites?"
"What would you have put as your interests?", I wondered.
He had a think, and replied: "Skiing, Cars, Hockey, Slouching in front of the TV".
"Well, on that last one I guess we would have been ok..." I pondered; "...but I guess it's probably a bit more complicated than that these days. They probably use sophisticated algorithms based on multiple choice questions like whether you like animals...or stuff..."

As you can tell by the conversation, I've never had to use a dating website (ah, the delights of meeting your partner in the days when all it took was a drunken snog in a bar), but it did get me wondering on two counts; firstly, what sort of questions do get asked on dating websites to determine if you are compatible with someone (I was unable to ascertain this without registering on them, which seemed a little excessive even in the interests of research) and secondly, what compatibility is all about anyway.

It's fair to say that I had little or no interest in either skiing or hockey when I first met Mr B. He has since reluctantly dragged me onto the ski slopes (the things you do for love, eh?), and gave up playing hockey a long time ago. To be fair, he probably didn't share my love of women's shoes or yoga either. However, there's more to compatibility than the same hobbies - it's about a shared outlook on life, an ability to make each other laugh, and shared experiences. Physical attraction can never be of any harm either I suppose!

I guess at the end of the day a dating website (or newspaper ad, or any other form of matchmaking) is only a way of bringing people together - what people then do with that is up to them. Maybe it is just the modern equivalent of kissing a few frogs before finding a prince...


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