A Social Experiment in Dating

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This week’s Guest post was submitted by Ashley, a serial dater and blogger. Ashley’s done what some of us at SLCS have only thought about doing in our dating lives – instead of taking dating matters into her own hands, she entrusts her best friend to pose as her on match.com account. Curious how it all went down? Read on…

The Hypothesis

Simply put, my dating life is dismal. I’ve tried to take advantage of every situation where I can meet interesting and different people. This means that I’ve shared plenty of winks on OKCupid and Plenty of Fish, have swiped right and left many-a-time on Tinder, not to mention speed dating, speed friending, Grouper, meeting guys at the bar, and so on – all of which have given me disaster after disaster.

I can’t help but wonder: Is it me? After all, I am the common denominator in all of these situations.

I decided to test this theory by putting my dating life into the hands of my best friend, Kira. Kira is a married mother of one with another on the way. She works full-time and just bought a house. In other words? She’s busy.

This is how desperate we’d both become for me to find a worthy date.

The Preparation

I bought a one month subscription to match.com and asked Kira to essentially “be Ashley” for the month. The profile itself was all me – my pictures, my answers to questions, my information. The username and password were then forwarded to Kira, who did the searching, the “winking”, the chatting, the messaging, and the vetting.

When it came time to exchange numbers, I went online and gave the final OK: was he someone with whom I wanted to go on a date? Once my phone number was given, the rest of the work came back to me. Within this month, I went on first dates with four guys, second dates with three of them, and a handful of dates with only one of the original four.

Spoiler alert: there was no love story in the end, but I did learn a thing or two about dating multiple people at the same time and not getting too eager about one nice guy.

The Field Work

All of the guys I went out with were great catches – they were nice, funny and fun. While each of the first dates I went on stretched on for hours, in the end it was all about chemistry – or in some cases, the lack thereof. No matter how hard Kira would’ve tried, no one can predict in-person chemistry.

For example, Date #2 – we’ll call him Philip – was lovely, but he talked, and talked, and talked. By the end of the date, I knew which country his ex-girlfriend was from, why they broke up, and her address (kidding). While Philip was superb on paper, he blew me away with how much he could talk.

And then there was Date #3, who we’ll call Tim. He was hilarious and I could see him being a fun friend… a fun gay best friend. I knew it was doomed when I screeched out mid-date: “Tim, just so you know – we won’t be kissing at the end of this date!”

Needless to say, it was a fun ride – but this little “experiment” has come and gone… and I’m still single.

To get another perspective, I asked Kira to share her experience for this post:

AC: Why did you decide to take on the task of “being Ashley”?

 Kira: It wasn’t so much that I wanted to be you – I wanted to help you get out of your own way. I know your dating history and tendencies and I knew that if you were left to your own devices, you wouldn’t take full advantage of all of the available opportunities.

 AC: On a scale of 1-10, how do you think the social experiment turned out? Why?

 K: Do I have to pick a number? I mean, I think you’ve gotten to meet a lot of guys and you’ve gotten a lot of free drinks, but it’s a work in progress. I feel like you’re starting to see the value of not trying to push monogamy too early, so that’s a win!

 AC: What did your husband think of the experiment?

 K: I’m pretty sure he was a bit taken aback the first time he saw me cruising through match.com, but he is used to a little ridiculousness from me and he was always happy to weigh in with his opinions on who was the “right” kind of guy. 

 AC: Approximately how much time did you spend on Match?

 K: It varied quite a bit from week to week. In the beginning, I dedicated a few hours to just looking at profiles and trying to wink or send emails to guys I thought would be a good fit. I also spent more time reading and responding to contacts from guys. Then there was just general maintenance – keeping up with the guys I thought would be a good fit, and then if things slowed down, I would go out and try to dig up some more interesting matches. I probably spent 10-15 hours on the website or app over the course of the month.

 AC: Would you recommend this type of experiment to other people who are having difficulties finding a perfect match?

 K: If they have a friend who they trust and they don’t take themselves too seriously, why not?

 AC: Were there any added benefits to the experience?

 K: It reminded me how fun and horrible dating can be.

The Analysis

 This month was almost as hard for me as it was for Kira. While she did all of the hard work, I had to restrain myself from not continuously checking messages and winking at hordes of hotties. Once I was finally able to step away from the match, I enjoyed the process a bit more. Going out on dates, meeting random dudes, getting caught in situations where I didn’t know the answers (“Uhh, I told you that already…” “Oh, you did? Right!”) were all a fun part of the process.

The End Result

But by the end of the month, Kira and I had had it. We were spent. Thank goodness I didn’t go for the three-month plan!



About the Author

To read more from Ashley, check out her blog, New Girl in the New City.

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Contributor - Newcomer, Yogi, Road-tripper, World Traveler, Overachiever, Goodie Two-Shoes, Bookworm, Salsera, Writer http://newcitylifeadventure.wordpress.com/

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