Thursday, January 10, 2008

Focus on the Flaws: An alternative approach to dating

A revolutionary dating site in the works takes an unorthodox approach to the meet-and-mingle process.

You sign up and commence a search that will allow you to only enter basic criteria: preferred age range and location.

Click submit. Your screen fills with several faceless profiles of people in your selected area. Unlike traditional dating sites, you can’t tell if someone is “fun-loving” or “enjoys long walks on the beach.” Not yet. Instead, each profile lists “Insecurities,” “Weaknesses,” “Bad Habits,” “Health Issues,” “Jail Time: Yes/No” and “What My Ex Would Say About Me.”

You scroll past confessions ranging from gay tendencies to chronically broke to extremely low libido. It is not until you click on a set of flaws you can handle that you can view photos, education level, occupation, etc.

This Web site, if it ever exists outside my imagination, would be called something like,,, etc.

This funky concept took root in my brain a few years ago after running across this passage in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand:

If you tell a beautiful woman that she is beautiful, what have you given her? It’s no more than a fact and it cost you nothing. But if you tell an ugly woman that she is beautiful, you offer her the great homage of corrupting the concept of beauty. To love a woman for her virtues is meaningless. She’s earned it, it’s a payment, not a gift. But to love her for her vices is a real gift, unearned and undeserved. To love her for her vices is to defile all virtue for her sake—and that is a real tribute of love, because you sacrifice your conscience, your reason, your integrity and your invaluable self-esteem.
The argument struck me as so profound that I immediately set the book down and began a poem called, "Unconditional."

The character’s point in this passage is one that is undeniably honest. My take on it is this: It’s not the virtues that make you stay; it’s the willingness to accept the vices. In other words, we stay in relationships not because of how great our partners are, but because we are willing to deal with and accept their issues. If we are not willing to deal, we bounce.

Okay, so people leave bad relationships because they’re bad. Duh. Yes. But, human nature persuades us to cast an unforgiving, all encompassing shadow of triflin’ on folks when a relationship goes sour much in the manner that Kool-Aid takes over a pitcher of water. We assume “bad” to be an absolute. That a bad relationship, a bad marriage, a bad boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband exists in the total and complete absence of “good.”

Due to this lapse of rationale in human nature, there’s an excellent possibility that the good attributes that originally attracted one person to another are still intact, even when matters have gone downhill.

Allow me to play Frankenstein for a minute. Let’s create a man built like LL Cool J (hello!), intelligent as Cornell West (alright now!), and wealthy as Bill Gates (yessir!). Sounds like a great guy--and he is--except for one thing. He’s (fill in the flaw of your choice…I’ll use “a workaholic.”). He’s away from home 22 days a month on business and doesn’t call as much as I like. I need attention. I’m lonely. I leave.

Is the man not still good-looking, intelligent, and wealthy? Certainly. All of the attributes that attracted me to him are still there, but I can’t deal with his inattentiveness.

It's the unfavorable aspects that force people to walk out on relationships, regardless of the favorable aspects remaining in place. I have yet to hear a woman complain that she dumped her man because he had too much money, or a man complaining that his woman is too fine or too nurturing.

Conclusion: The good things just don’t matter. A good man isn’t hard to find and a good woman isn’t hard to find, it’s finding a man or woman whose issues you can deal with.

There’s something rattling in everybody’s closet. We’ve all got our baggage, our issues, our hang-ups. Yet we spit-shine ourselves, step into the world putting our best foot forward, praying we can impress someone by our representative so much so that he or she will overlook our mess.

Yet at the end of the day, the mess is the deciding factor. Not the merit.

So as I browse the candidates on, candidates are viewing my profile as well. They can't see my caramel skin, full lips, and curvy figure, nor are they privy to my bachelors degrees, silly sense of humor, or accomplishments. They have no idea that I'm reasonably intelligent and that I enjoy live entertainment and traveling.

But they'll know that I've got procrastination down to a science. They'll know that I snore, and that I'm easily distracted, which is why I often don't answer my phone. They'll know that on any given day there are dishes in my sink and clothes littering the bedroom floor.

And several of them will scroll right past.


Anonymous said...

I disagree. I think that the good things you mentioned weren't things of internal value. The good things you mentioned in your example were superficial.

You didn't say he spends a lot of time with me, he's romantic, he's caring and shows it in many different ways, he makes me a better person, he thinks of me first, etc. IMO these are true virtues. Things like that are things of substance which are reasons why ppl fall in love.

If two or three of the above examples that I gave are the reasons why a woman fell in love with a man, and those things are still intact, then I feel the woman will stay with her man through the hard times.

However, if you're with a man for superficial reasons like his money, his physique, etc. Then I think that your example will hold true.

Rob said...

Damn girl, that was hot. Its not often that I can read something so interesting that I do not have to skim. I think I probably stopped every few paragraphs just to kinda soak in and absorb your points. It was quite intriguing indeed. I look forward to the next one :).

As for the previous comment, I understand and respect your observation however I do not believe you are viewing her reasoning in context. When she builds her imaginary man, she is referring more to the initial attraction not the endless concept of love. Anyone that says they are attracted to ugly, broke, & dumb people are obviously deluded or has so many issues them-self that they are perfect together.

Now granted, yes, these are superficial qualities and in the end are not the most important aspect of a long, enduring relationship, but to think they have no major influence on the good outcome of a union is comparable to politicians ignoring the minority and women vote. Foolishness.

Anonymous said...

I see. If we're talking about the superficial things that attract you to another person, then I agree.

Delect said...

Well Mr. Anonymous (and I know who you are...)

I think I need to revisit this next week in a Part II. I'm feelin' like I barely scratched the surface here...

It doesn't matter what the attributes are. Caring, romantic, considerate, whatever. This is not about the people who stay together. This about the people who break up. What I'm saying is, could it be that most people who leave someone leave despite the things that they like about the person?

Ask anyone two questions about a previous relationship: 1) Why did you break up? and 2) Why did you two get together?

You will have two totally different answers.

Anonymous said...

Then I disagree. I think people break up not because of the bad, but because of the lack of the good. In other words "He doesn't do the things he used to do. He's not romantic anymore. He used to be happy to see me, now when I come home, he doesn't even care."

And all the other crap you woman need. I swear if it wasn't for the sex, I'd be gay. Then I'm just chillin' with my boys. We could take a car ride for an hr, listen to tunes, not say a damn word and everything's fine. There's not underlying problems. I could just come home, say what up, and not say a word for 20 min. And there's no problems. I've learned that when a man comes home, a woman is like a pet dog. A dog needs three things from his/her master. A look, a touch, and a sense of appreciation. A woman longs for the same.

But to get back to the topic, a woman will leave a man, if the things that she first fell in love with are no longer present. If the things that you love about a man are still there, then you don't mind the flaws. You can deal with them (the same goes for a man leaving a woman). And you accept your mate for who they are.

Văn Sát said...

Công ty vận chuyển hàng hóa trong nước chuyên nhận vận tải giá rẻ tốt nhất hiện nay. Hãy đến với chúng tôi, sàn giao dịch vận tải hàng hóa bạn sẽ được tận hưởng những dịch vụ vận chuyển tốt nhất hiện nay. Có thể kể đến dịch vụ tìm xe vận chuyển hàng hóa, vận chuyển hàng đông lạnh, tìm hàng hóa vận chuyển, vận chuyển hàng tươi sống, nhận chở hàng giá rẻ , dịch vụ vận chuyển hàng hóa bằng đường sắt, vận chuyển hàng đi Hà Nội giá rẻ... Và còn rất nhiều dịch vụ đang chờ đón bạn. Nếu như bạn có thắc mắc hay cần sử dụng hãy liên hệ với chúng tôi nhé.