Saturday, February 27, 2010

Women CLAIM They Like a "Creative," "Romantic" Profile ;-)

I've had a profile description up that garnered a lot of positive attention, some of it welcome, a lot not, but I realized no matter how creative I get, it comes down to whether or not you managed to avoid reminding her of a former date who failed the "Women Have 300 Criteria to Agree to a Second Date" test. So I changed the following, which I thought was kind of nice, to my current "I Give Up" profile:

Hi, you. A bit about me: I like women who know what they want and confident, humourous people who love life and want the most out of it.

I like cooking Indian, Thai and Chinese from scratch and skiing off-piste through the trees, even though my skiing sucks and I often find myself flat on my butt.

I like sending my girlfriend flowers at work that match the colour of the dress she left wearing that morning. I like the blush that comes up when I do that little thing to your neck. I love the smell of skin on a hot July lying on the granite pine tree breeze off the water day.

People tell me I see the world differently than most. My blogs suggest I do, I guess.

On a date if you thought: “Oh, he’s interesting, funny, romantic, smart and sexy!” would he get a second date? I get second dates – with online dating it’s getting a FIRST date that’s the virtually insurmountable challenge!

I've lived here and there, never a dull moment, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, trundled about at the whim of the gods of advertising. Never let go of her, though, the idea of that girl. The one with the big smile, sometimes down, but never out, eclectic in ways only a 1,000 watt bulb and a big right brain can conjure. She's probably home in the Big Smoke, unaware, while I beat up Arab princes for going off-equity. Sigh. Wait a bit. Maybe she will (I hope she does...), she, denizen of seedy jazz bars, troller of used book stores, making light of those that struggle to be more than they need to. I look forward to that day, in my mind's eye, the day she'll look up, down, and back up again, the wry corners pulling northward.

Curious what my take on eHarmony is? Do a search for "Just One Cynic's Opinion" and look for my post about why it simply cannot work.

Chatting comes easily to me, whether online or face to face -- but I'm hopeless at opening lines ('buck-caught-in-the-headlights' is my reaction to a flirty girl). It’d be SO nice to find a girl who's moved past her 'princess phase' and looks beneath the surface for fulfillment.

My favourite ice cream is passion fruit on something warm, sliding through peach fuzz sweet and sticky, green with envy, flushed-blush. You might not like it, but maybe you’ve never had it served quite that way.

I tend to be attracted to women with 'trim posteriors', so I apologize to all those lovely women who I just can't imagine sparks flying with!

But let's hear a little about you. I'm curious. Un beso.

DEAL-BREAKERS: >45 min. drive, less than 3 pics, scanned/old pics, no 'confident' full-body photo &/or your profile says: "I'm attractive" (your suitors will let you know if they think you are).
That was then, this is now:
I’m not very photogenic. THAT's my problem! Offline, in person, I get a fair amount of interest from women I’m attracted to (although meeting a girl who’s both single AND can hold a conversation…). Online I get ‘click delete’ -- offline I get giggles, raised eyebrows, blushes, [i]“Oh, you’re so INTERESTING/funny/smart/romantic”[/i] and if they're attached: [i]“You should meet my single friend”[/i]. (I also get [i]"Ooo, you're better looking than your photos!"[/i]) Online? [i]"You're not my type."[/i]

300 to 3. That’s the problem. 300 is the number of criteria women have for agreeing to go on a second date (the details are at "just one cynic's opinion"). And that’s IN PERSON on a FIRST date. I’d guess that online the number of things that will lead you to click ‘delete’ is over 3,000! Men have 3 criteria: is she 1) attractive; 2) warm; 3) interesting; enough to spend another two hours with? I have no problem winning second dates, ironically, it’s getting YOU to reply to a message, let alone meet for coffee, that’s the insurmountable challenge! If all those musings on dating (amongst other things) makes you more curious, find the link to the blog I use for work-related insights. Incurious? I’m not interested, sorry.

Let’s face it, despite the theoretical appeal, online dating doesn't work as advertised, ladies, and for a good reason. Humans are social animals, designed to react face to face. While online SEEMS to be a viable ‘social medium’, in reality it's virtual, a medium we are not designed to interact naturally in. However the promise of internet dating feeds into all the Disney-like romantic fantasies you grew up on, magically you will come across Mr. Right!

Good luck, but it's simply NOT possible to recognize the cream of the crop; the full selection of guys with the highest potential to be your White Knight, via a few pics and paragraphs online, no matter how astute you're certain you are! Keep busy, glad you enjoy the fleeting ego boosts, but it's a tragic waste of precious time. In the meantime, I’m going to stop wasting so much of my precious time reading all your cute profiles and trying desperately to engage you in clever repartee, only to find you (not YOU, of course!) have posted 10 yr old pics, or don’t have a recent full body photo up because ‘average’ body type takes into account the fact that the average Canadian today is overweight.

Do a search for my insights into online dating from a boy's perspective. You'll get a kick out of them, I guarantee it!

Un beso, Rex
Will the latter profile text work where the former didn't? Not the point. The point is that the hundreds of hours we devote to online dating cannot pay out. There's a vast cost-benefit divide that the seduction of the online promise makes us ignore. Hope springs eternal and sucks us in! Get out there, folks, away from the computer and into the big wide real world filled with people, not profiles.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Believe... Maudlin, Even Cliche, Sentiments Can Still Improve Our Point of View

Some homilies I've come across that I thought you might like:

I Believe...
A Birth Certificate shows that we were born.
A Death Certificate shows that we died.
Pictures show that we lived.

I Believe...
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass,
It's about learning how to dance in the rain.

I Believe....
That just because two people argue doesn't mean they don't love each other.
Just because two people don't argue, doesn't mean they DO love each other.

I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends,
If we understand that friends change.

I Believe....
That no matter how good a friend is,
They're going to hurt you every once in a while
And you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...
That, even over the longest distance, true friendship continues to grow.
The same goes for true love.

I Believe...
That you can do something in an instant
That will give you heartache for life.

I Believe....
That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I Believe...
That you should always take your leave of people you care about in a ‘happy place’ (all that "Love you!" crap is automatic and thus artificial),
Indeed, it may be the last time you see them.

I Believe....
That you can keep going
Long after you think you can't.

I Believe....
That we are responsible for what we do,
No matter how we feel.

I Believe....
That true character is revealed in the face of adversity.

I Believe...
That either you control your attitude,
Or it controls you.

I Believe...
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done,
Regardless of the consequences.

I Believe....
That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I Believe....
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down
Will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry,
But that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe....
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them
And less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe....
That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...
That no matter how bad your heart is broken,
The world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe....
That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
But we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...
That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret.
It could change your life forever.

I Believe....
Two people can look at the exact same thing
And see something totally different.

I Believe...
That your life can be changed in a matter of hours
By people who don't even know you.

I Believe....
That even when you think you have no more to give,
When a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...
That credentials on the wall
Do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe...
That the people you care about most in life
Are taken from you too soon.

I Believe...
The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything they have.

300 Criteria for a Second Date! Need I Say More?

There's a book that a great many women are saying this about:
"I haven't read the book and have no desire to, but here's what I think about it," the author said "You're reviewing a book you've never seen, but you hate it?"
In a CNN interview, the author had a few interesting things to say about women who think 'settling for good enough' in a potential date is capitulation, like throwing their life's entire purpose away:
"In fact, in the research it shows that people who have this have-it-all attitude are depressed."

"Nobody really has it all, but I think having what will make you happy is probably a much better way to approach life -- not just dating, but life."

"We should lower our expectations in the sense of, we have to realize nobody is perfect. If you have unrealistic expectations, it's going to be hard to find a real human being who can meet them. But lowering our standards? No."
"Talking to men was eye-opening. Men and women were asked, if they had any deal-breakers for going on a second date and the men named 3 deal-breakers: If she's cute enough, warm and kind and interesting enough to talk to. Men are not going, "Am I going to marry her?" Men are like, "Do I want to spend another two hours with her?"

CNN: "How did women respond?"

"Women named 300 things that would be deal-breakers for a second date. We're talking a second date, another two hours with the person. The thing is, there's no correlation between the guy who's the nervous first dater and the guy who's going to be the great life partner that you're going to fall in love with. The smooth, charming guy who sweeps you off your feet on that first date, there's not saying he's going to be a better life partner than the other guy."

"I've been intellectualizing myself out of meeting people, kind of sabotaging myself. I've made it so much harder for myself than it ever has to be."
 After you finish reading, click here to go to the CNN interview!
"Writing the book allowed me to realize that there are lots of different kinds of people I could fall in love with. A lot of us have trouble differentiating between the overall appeal versus the specific things that may not be so appealing. Don't stop looking for Mr. Right, look for the Mr. Right who's actually going to make you happy versus the guy who fits some fantasy that you have in your head."
Again, might be wrong-headed of me, but I'm curious to find out if, in talking about 'true love', 'love at first sight', 'I'll know him the moment our eyes meet', 'Mr. Right', do the same regions of women's brains that are associated with addiction 'light up'? There must be a grad student out there looking for a thesis topic!

I suspect, while some men's brains MIGHT do the same, the fixation so many women have with the Disney-fed fantasy (tough to let go when, as an child, you re-watched every 'princess' film 200 times!) is leading to a lot of missed opportunities, especially through online dating, because the latter encourages all the wrong behaviours ("Oh no, he says he likes Austin Powers!" Click DELETE!) and makes it so much more easy to feed the fantasy and build expectations, once a date is finally agreed to, to impossibly unrealistic heights.
300 criteria for a second date!  Need I say more?
And the majority of women she surveyed said that if a guy had 80% of those 300 criteria, they STILL would not agree to a second date (another 2 hours of their time and a free dinner).  
Girls, there is something FUNDAMENTALLY wrong with what is going on inside many of your heads!  (And the answer is here, in a link to my previous post about the addictive nature of romantic love. Link)

Here's the list the author of the book in question made BEFORE beginning to research the subject with other women in their 30's:
  1. Intelligent
  2. Kind
  3. Extremely funny
  4. Curious
  5. Loves kids
  6. Financially stable
  7. Emotionally stable
  8. Sexy
  9. Romantic
  10. Passionate
  11. Compassionate
  12. Irreverent
  13. Intuitive
  14. Generous
  15. Same religion but not too religious
  16. Optimistic but not naive
  17. Ambitious but not a workaholic
  18. Talented but humble
  19. Warm but not clingy
  20. Grounded but not boring
  21. Soulful but not new-agey
  22. Vulnerable but not weak
  23. Quirky but not weird
  24. Free-spirited but responsible
  25. Charismatic but genuine
  26. Strong but sensitive
  27. Athletic but not a sports nut
  28. Open-minded but has conviction
  29. Decisive but not bossy
  30. Mature but not old
  31. Creative but not an artist
  32. Supportive of my dreams and gaols
  33. Has a sense of wonderment about the world
  34. Is close to my age (shares my cultural references)
  35. Good listener and communicator
  36. Flexible and can compromise
  37. Sophisticated-well-educated, well-traveled, has been around
  38. Over 5'10' but under 6'0'
  39. Has a full head of hair(wavy and dark would be nice - no blonds)
  40. Has shared political views
  41. Has shared values
  42. Not into sci-fi or comic hooks
  43. Has good taste/sense of aesthetics
  44. Health-conscious and physically fit
  45. Cares about the community at large
  46. Cares about animals
  47. Competent
  48. Handy around the house
  49. Cooks
  50. Likes the outdoors (hiking, biking, rollerblading)
  51. Likes my friends (and I like his)
  52. Not moody
  53. Trustworthy
  54. Is a team player
  55. Is literary and enjoys wordplay
  56. is math- or science-oriented
  57. Likes discussing (but not arguing about) politics and world events
  58. Stylish
  59. Stimulating
  60. Not a slob-respectful of our living space
  61. Is madly in love with me 

Now don't get us wrong, girls!  Guys have similar list, we just don't believe Santa Claus will ever bring us a girl who has it all in equal measure, and we assume we can't ascertain whether any woman has many of these qualities until we've been dating, and likely eventually living common-law with them for 9-12 months straight.  We all have to start somewhere, and our simple 3 criteria for whether or not we are willing to spend another 2 hours in the company of this woman seem like the most open-minded, fair place to start!  Is she:
  1. Attractive enough?
  2. Sufficiently funny/interesting?
  3. Kind/good-natured?
The title of the book is "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough" and the author is Lori Gottlieb, a 43-year-old single mother by choice.
Read the full text of the CNN article by clicking here: 'Marry Him' author answers outrage about 'settling'. For a real life example of this female phenomenon in action, see the second post below about a recent date I went on.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Online Dating's Fatal Flaw: A Real Life Example

I had a date the other night with a really great woman who agreed with me, both upfront in a few emails we exchanged, then again on the date as we discussed some of the funnier experiences we'd had, that the biggest risk of online dating is the 'set up for failure' nature of the high expectations we have in meeting for the first time.  We both agreed that, offline in the past, we'd fallen for people we'd only really come to be attracted to after many meetings through work or elsewhere.
The point being that if each of us can't find a way to get around the way we 'set up for failure' by having unrealistically high expectations of our first meeting, if we can't open up to meeting people a few times over some weeks (as we do in real life) before saying 'he/she wasn't THE ONE', then the nature of online dating will lead us to 'click delete' on most of the potentially great life partners we come across.
I'm attracted to confident, easy-going girls who don't have to be super attractive as long as they are relatively slim and have something uniquely flirty and "je ne sais pas quoi" about them that I find sexy (the confidence and "knowing what they want" thing).  Ignoring the fact that this very attractive woman had gained a few pounds since the two-year old profile pictures had been taken (a "little white lie" that can really throw off prospective partners, girls!).  In the first hour of our date she was quite nervous and the tension showed in her face and body language, so she wasn't coming across as confident and easy-going, although she had (if it's possible to read between the line accurately) via our email exchange.

In fact, her facial muscles were sufficiently taught to make her look, quite literally, distinctly different than she did in her photos and than she did once she relaxed later on (she also was developing strong shoulder pain sitting on the bar stool -- yet another of those unpredictable things that can completely throw off a first meeting).  When I pointed this phenomenon out to her later, she insisted she hadn't changed, she was the same girl she was during hour one, only more relaxed and opened up (what she called becoming "switched on") -- exactly my point!

I encouraged her to come with me to a nearby bar where she could meet a couple of single male friends I was meeting afterwards and, once there (and following my admission that it didn't feel like we'd be a good fit -- evidence of my own failure to get around the exaggeratedly high 'first date expectation bar'!) she relaxed, became more animated and really seemed like a different person -- like the kind of girl I'm very attracted to.  

[Now you can take me to task for making a snap judgment, but (in my mind) if she was nervous in meeting me for the first time, I thought that spoke to a fundamental confidence issue that she'd have anywhere with anyone...  Was I off-base?  Hm.]

After some casual contact sitting next to her we ended up holding hands.  Sensing that we'd reached a new level of comfort, I asked if she wanted to drive me home.  She did, then came in for tea and turned out to be a really great kisser.   No, nothing very racy happened!  She left, demurely, and I sent her a mail in the morning to say I'd really enjoyed meeting her, especially the more relaxed version of her.  Her response? 
"I can tell right away if a guy is into me, and you weren't at first, so I don't think it would work between us." (That plus a few other unfair assumptions, tainted by some insecurities, I'd surmise.) 
So much for being open to attraction developing over time versus demanding the Disney-fed, "chemistry at first sight" fantasy!  I was really quite flabbergasted, given the compatibility I'd experienced with her after the initial 'misalignment'.  

Even a few calm, rational and heart-felt discussions up-front to try to pry open Pandora's box and allow reality to have a chance to win out over that tightly-clung-to fantasy cannot shake it!
That little thing comes back, in online dating, to shoot down opportunities that, if they'd been untainted by the expectations that online builds up, would have very possibly led to something beautiful.  It's that simple little thing that is responsible, irrationally, for the fatal flaw in online dating.  And yes, I'm as guilty of it as she was, so very likely it was me and my big mouth that ruined what could have gone on to dates two, three and beyond.

Did I learn a lesson?  Yeah, I should have followed my own advice in the previous post below and insisted on a video chat upfront!  If nothing else, as I learned in trying it with another girl, later, chatting via video take SOOO much of the pressure off that initial first face-to-face date (although I should have insisted that she get up and do a little pirouette to see her full figure...).

[Full Disclosure:  Serendipity might have doomed things from the start.  Upon coming into the restaurant there was an attractive waitress who I mistook for my date.  As I walked in she stood up and said hi, smiling.  I walked up, smiling broadly as well, saying 'hi' back, then took one shoulder in hand and kissed her on both cheeks.  She blushed and stammered, said "Wow!  You certainly make a strong first impression!" then corrected my error by telling me her name wasn't what I thought it was.  Oops!  My turn to blush.

She brought me my drink, touching my shoulder and making lots of eye contact, smiling a lot, then asked me to come sit at the bar so we could chat.  Once my date arrived I had to lock onto her eyes to avoid the waitress's who hovered around for the rest of our time there, brushing past behind me several times and continuing to beam at me throughout.  Likely it was all tip-inducing, professional flirtation -- I owned a bar and did a lot of the same in the past -- but the initial 'connection' seemed genuine.

Yes, I returned shortly after my date and I left to "retrieve my hat" and the waitress asked what was up with the date girl, then, as I steered the conversation back to the two of us, looked guiltily over my shoulder at the bartender (who'd since arrived after I came in the first time) and mentioned her husband.  I exited stage left, disappointed, but with a freshly clear focus.  

Could my date's nerves been somehow related?  Certainly, but my core point here remains the same!  Regardless of how the unrealistically high expectations get built up, on both people's parts, it is all about trying to get past them to see whether the other person has a side to them you'd really click with, if given some time and more meetings.]

Monday, February 15, 2010

Video Chat Just Might Make Online Dating Viable...

You may be here to read "Some Online Dating Advice from a Marketing Strategist" or "Why do all the Couples in eHarmony Ads Look Like Brothers and Sisters?", in which case just click on the preceding titles, but here's a thought about improving the online dating experience.  A friend of mine who's single has been comparing notes with me and we've come to the same conclusion:
Online dating simply doesn't work in its current state --  video dates BEFORE an initial face-to-face could fix it!
Oh, it SEEMS like it is the perfect alternative to the bar scene, or to blind dates set up by friends, or being single forever, but talk to dozens of singles who have tried it for a significant period of time and they'll all report the same things:
  1. It is extremely time consuming IF you actually want to make any progress (hence the tendency of a lot of guys to start playing the numbers game and firing off dozens of one liners hoping to get any response at all).
  2. No matter how many photos the other individual has up (or sends you), or even videos of them talking to camera, it all comes down to the first meeting when the way they interact, move, body language, look, smell, meet your eye, etc. makes or breaks it within a few seconds or minutes, so you waste an incredible amount of time trying to suss out decent prospects!
The other day I heard a female dating advisor being interviewed on the radio who was telling girls to stop being so quick to click 'delete'.  Her point was that women cut out 95% (if not 99%) of potentially ideal partners online because they use criteria they'd NEVER use in face-to-face, accidental meetings with new guys: "No, he has black hair. No, he says he likes sushi.  No, this one looks shifty in that one picture.  No, he says his favourite city is LA -- I can't stand LA!"

Hey, I do the same thing.  Why?  Because there are simply so many profiles out there and I can't pick up on the cues I'd normally get in meeting a woman in person offline.

And there's the rub!  The premise of online dating is SO seductive that we all fall for it hook, line and sinker.
"You mean all I have to do to find my ideal mate (hugely unrealistic expectation, but we all feel it subconsciously) is fiddle about online in my spare time and I'll never have to hang out in another bar?  Sign me up!"  
Yet what we all forget, just like the people telling us that 'social media' are going to be the future of marketing efforts -- NOT! -- is that we are human, first and foremost social creatures, but we evolved interacting face to face, not in an environment that cancels out virtually all human social cues.

Think about it.  The very best relationships any of us have ever experienced or heard about just about ALL began as friendships and gradually (or all of a sudden) evolved into physical and romantic attraction.  'Love at first sight,' despite the fact that so many women of a certain age are, quite literally, addicted to the notion (just listen to a heroin addict talk about her first hit and a woman talking about her first experience with 'true love' -- which so often was actually no more than a post-pubescent, hormonal infatuation -- both types of addicts are desperate to re-create/find/re-live that initial high), is based upon a TON of dangerously seductive, but emotionally unhealthy, things.

In their profiles so many women say, quite correctly, that it will 'all come down to chemistry at our first meeting,' but, think about the expectations they/we are setting up!  Instead of being truly open to the potential of the other person, we walk in with every nerve ending on intense high-alert, our brains are processing every incoming signal like a navy frigate's computer defense system.  Few guys (or gals) are ever going to get through that electronic cloud of hair-trigger "IS THIS LOVE AT FIRST MEETING" sensors!

Many, many times what people remember as 'love at first sight' was actually something quite different, 9 times out of 10 what could have become one of those stories never happens because the other person just walks on by.  Love at first sight only gets talked about when BOTH people happen to feel similarly about the other in that initial encounter -- most of the time one person's eyebrows fly up in recognition when faced with someone they are instantaneously hot for, only to have the object of their desire walk through the doors of the bank and disappear forever.  Given that we're often most attracted by our mirror reflection (see the post about why eHarmony is the biggest rip-off ever, below), many, many times people who report having felt love at first sight are talking about someone who looks like a sibling.  Most often, however, so-called love at first sight was not quite.

We humans are incredibly highly evolved in social ways that we often fail to understand.  The scientists and sociologists have long known that two people can be attracted to each other in a crowd simply via pheromones.  60 people at a party and two of them find themselves oddly drawn together.  They might brush past each other a few times without even noticing each other, but there's something happening in the base of their brains due to miniscule 'parts per million' floating in the ether.  She sits where he sat and is strangely attracted to him when he returns to give her a hard time about taking his seat, etc.

People SAY it was love at first sight, but what it really was was more than a dozen glances, eye-meets, wry smiles and head movements across a room, or noticing the other person telling a joke at a distance, or hearing that he/she is Chief of Surgery, surfing instructor, author, etc. before setting eyes on him/her.  The way he took your hand, the way she moved in when you kissed her cheek upon being introduced, a head flick, a put-down, feigned (or real) initial disinterest -- all precursors to love at first sight.

So what does all this say about online dating?  That it can (does) consume an INORDINATE amount of time and delivers very low potential success of a first meeting.  My 'online dating advice' post was a laundry list of things you can try in order to improve the odds, but looking back, while all the 'tips' are essential to attempting to beat the odds, you still can't compare online dating to meeting potential partners at a singles function.  Even 'speed dating' isn't all that effective since it overwhelms the participants and means they're still pissed off at the last person's arrogance as they meet the most ideal potential partner ever, or they end up just too emotionally exhausted by #5 to be in any way engaging with numbers 6-10.

It's grist for another post, but I won't even get into how addictive this artificial world of online socializing becomes for many people.  They stop even bothering to accept invitations to go out for drinks with single friends so that they can 'focus' on their online prospects.  The ego-boost that comes from having 20 men/women sending you flirty mails each day can make people check their profiles 30 times a day.  This 'arms length' interaction starts to make people feel like they are back in high school again, but this time they're actually being flirted with by EVERY player on the football team!  (It's not real, folks!)

So here's a new idea, NOT online video speed dating, per se, but BEFORE you have a coffee date with an online contact you've found attractive (from pics) and interesting (from their profile description), you both agree to a minimum of three 2-way video meetings a few days apart:
  1. The first is max. 5 minutes
  2. Second is max. 10 minutes
  3. The last before deciding to meet in person is max. 15 minutes
The time limits vastly improve the odds that neither will make a critical faux pas due to nervousness that you would not once familiar with the other person.  (I find it's also important to state upfront that you should both have very low expectations -- what might come out of this might be nothing more than realizing you have single friends you'd like to introduce the other person to.)  The point is that the video dates should help deliver cues to each other that you'd normally get from 'across the room' that should help to cut out a bunch of wasted time on 'coffee dates' that are almost guaranteed to go nowhere because people look differently in real (live) life than in photos, move/behave in ways you don't (or do) find intriguing, etc.

Will this 'Graduated Video Intro' concept work in improving the chances that 'coffee dates' won't end before they really get started?  I don't know, I haven't tried it yet!  I'll update here once I have, but Skype video is free and USB video cameras are really inexpensive these days.


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