Love, Relationships

Would You Date Someone Who Looks Like Your Ex? – Vanessa Tai

Online dating website Match.com has partnered with an LA-based dating agency to find you potential partners who look like your ex. Vanessa Tai finds the idea creepy, and frankly a little depressing. 

Yesterday, I chanced upon the news that world’s biggest dating website Match.com has partnered with an LA-based “personalised dating service” called Three Day Rule, to pair people up using a facial recognition software. All you need to do is provide them with pictures of your ex and the technology will trawl through the database to search for people with a similar facial structure. (On a slightly unrelated note, I wonder if they’ll accept pictures of our favourite celebs? Haha!)

According to Three Day Rule’s founder Talia Goldstein, “I noticed over the years that people have a type, and it’s not based on ethnicity, hair colour, or body type. Their faces look very similar.”

Fair enough. While I agree that each of us may have a certain type that we go for — whether consciously or sub-consciously — why would anyone want someone who looks like their ex? Wouldn’t it be awkward, not to mention painful? Personally, I prefer to start afresh. Yes, perhaps these sophisticated computer algorithms may determine from past lovers that I have a “type” and perhaps I may even be attracted to these matches, but the idea of having a “genetically profiled partner” creeps me out on so many levels.

Maybe it’s because I still believe falling in love is a spontaneous act, not something that can whittled down to numbers or arbitrary perimeters. While I can understand the rationale behind searching for a compatible partner based on certain set rules, I still think it’s contrived to try and find a match based on a particular “checklist”. As you may already know, even if someone ticks all the boxes on your checklist, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll definitely fall in love with or even get along with them. On more than one occasion, I’ve tried setting up friends whom I thought were very compatible — in terms of work, interests, and values — but nothing ever came out of it. And almost all of them told me the same thing – “There was no connection.”

A great connection is crucial, especially when you're still getting to know the person.

A great connection is crucial, especially when you’re still getting to know the person.

Being able to connect with a person, I believe, is ultimately the most important factor in determining whether you’ll like to continue dating him or her. Of course, later on in the relationship, other factors like timing, being able to give and take, and so on will come into play. But at the beginning, a solid connection is absolutely necessary. In the past, I’ve met guys who ticked almost all the boxes on my so-called “checklist” but there was simply no spark or connection between us, no matter how we tried to force it. Then there were guys whom I never thought I would be compatible with but as it turned out, we had so much in common and so much to say to each other.

That said, I don’t deny that dating websites and dating agencies are still viable resources for finding a mate. However, my point is, algorithms can only get us so far. Love and the emotions that come along with it are capricious and unpredictable. It’s pretty impossible to use science or math to craft “the perfect partner”. And by the way, newsflash: there’s no such thing as the perfect partner. Finding and sustaining love is still about putting in work. We need to work on ourselves by engaging in activities that help us discover our identity and build self-confidence. In addition, we need to continually push ourselves out of our comfort zone to go out and meet people from all walks of life. Believe me, your dating experience will be far more rewarding than if you left it entirely to a computer software.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 27-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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