Advice from a Matchmaker: How to Overcome the
Unfairness of Online Dating
Once upon a time I thought, on a scale of 1 to 10, I was an 8. On a very good day (like my wedding) I was a full-on 10 and on a bad day (like when I’m super sick) a 4. Never lower.
But then I started noticing the Brazilian models at my gym who, even when sweating and not wearing make-up, were still stunning. They’re literally 10s wearing Lululemons and lifting weights so imagine them on their wedding day. They’d probably be a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10.
That’s when I realized when I’m giving myself an 8 out of 10, I’m rating myself on the Ariadna scale. On my wedding day I was a 10 out of 10 on the Ariadna scale and when I’ve got the flu I’m a 4 out of 10 on the Ariadna scale.
But I will never be a real 10 out of 10 when I consider the most beautiful women on the planet. Between those Brazilian models at the top and <insert the ugliest person you know> at the bottom realistically speaking I’m just a 5 out of 10.
Don’t worry, this epiphany won’t crush my ego. I’ll still think of myself as an 8 out of 10 because I will continue rating myself on the Ariadna scale and so will my friends & family. In fact, anyone who knows (and likes) me will always rate me on the Ariadna scale.
But…and here’s my point…people who haven’t had the chance to know and like me yet, and have looked at a photo of me without any context of who I am, will not rate me on the Ariadna scale because they haven’t seen me at my best and my worst.
Since they don’t have any context about me they will rate me using a different scale where the Brazilian models are at the top and I’m just mediocre.
I can’t complain because I’m no saint either….I will do the exact same thing to people whose photos I view but whose personalities and histories I know nothing about.
And you know what? So. Will. You.
This is the inherent unfairness of online dating.
In the Age of Swiping we are too quick to pass judgement on a person’s ability to satisfy our romantic desires. We base our decision after a few moments looking at their photos and maybe a cursory glance at their bio. We draw our conclusion almost 100% based on their looks, which means the super-hot get the great majority of right swipes while everyone else gets slim pickings.
Remember if you are quickly judging people based on looks then they are doing the exact same thing to you. We all need to slow down and give ourselves a chance.
Here are some tips on how to tackle the inherent unfairness of online dating:
- When you see a photo of someone remind yourself that you’re not seeing the whole picture;
- Take a moment to rate each person and then add 2 points. If you get to know him/her I promise you he/she will become better looking to you.
- Expect people will not consider you to be as good looking as you think you are because they can’t see the whole picture; and
- Give a chance to unconventionally looking people.
The idea is, if you can be a less knee-jerk-y to people’s photos you will find yourself with a larger pool of promising matches.
This may sound completely unrealistic but think back to the first time you met each & every one of your past Significant Others and remember that it wasn’t always love at first sight. In fact, in many cases we found them to not fit our ideal of attractiveness and it was with time that we saw the beauty in their flaws and fell in love.
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