To test how well we’re suited for each other, my wife and I created match.com profiles and let the website decide whether or not to hook us up.
Other than representing ourselves as never married and without children, everything we wrote about ourselves was the honest truth. We answered more than a dozen personal questions about our interests, our habits and what we seek in a mate.
Would we have ever found each other this way? (We met in a bar 11 years ago, before online dating was the norm.) Should we have found each other at all?
My wife finished fourth place in my first unfiltered search. And judging from the three women the algorithm selected ahead of her, my profile was not all that impressive.
Apparently, only females with serious things wrong with them will accept a man who is 7 inches taller than an official little person and earns the income of a freelance online journalist, yet is arrogant enough to demand a woman who stands taller and earns more than him.
Yet there my wife was, on my first page of matches, because all the other important things—religion, politics and our love of dogs (the same exact one, in fact!)—lined up.
In fact, match.com rated us 88 percent correct for each other. That’s a B-plus, my high school average, and it’s good enough to get by now, too.
I mean, this could have gone a lot worse. For instance, I know each of us wanted someone taller. (I’m 5-5, my wife is 5-3, and normal-size offspring was important to both of us in case we had a son—which, luckily, we didn’t.)
My wife’s search was a different story, however, suggesting 61 specimens of better manhood for her than me—within the surrounding 20 miles alone. I didn’t even show up until Page 4. And I almost kind of had to agree with that assessment.
“Oh, this one’s hot,” my wife cooed over a 53-year-old, 6-foot Jon Hamm look-alike who rated a 92 percent match.
His profile showed him relaxing at a lakehouse he probably purchased with his $150,000+ yearly income.
“Oh, and he’s a widower,” my wife added with a sad face. “I want to comfort him.”
Let me tell you, unless you’re a swinger, surreal does not describe what it’s like going through four solid pages of tall, wealthy hunks with the love of your life, asking her which she would want to bang.
“Oh, and this one’s funnier than you are,” my wife said, referring to his statement: “I’m willing to lie about how we met.”
At least I could discount as serious rivals the dozen who posted photos of themselves with patches of different-colored long hair falling on their shoulders.
As my wife noted: “These jack-asses couldn’t find a picture they didn’t have to crop an ex-girlfriend out of?” (Cool, I made the Top 50.)
Down below me, at 81 percent, hovered a nightmare even worse than the guy with the lazy eye flashing gang signs: someone my wife knew in real life.
Actually, it was someone we both knew but lost touch with. He just recently got divorced—something my wife learned from looking at his profile before realizing that, um, everyone on match.com can see who views their profiles.
This means that he will definitely see that my wife was on a dating site, checking him out while apparently searching for love under an assumed name, and probably apprise all our mutual close friends of the situation.
This soured my wife on our experiment after only about an hour. In that time, however, she received five chat requests. At one point, the ping noises came like baseballs from a batting machine.
“Hello pretty woman (sic),” wrote one wordsmith from Washington State.
“Hi,” wrote another. (She couldn’t answer, since our ground rules forbade outgoing communication.)
I stayed with it a day longer, because I paid for a full month and, hey, why not?
Unsurprisingly, my messages grand-totaled one. It was from my wife.
“We are married,” she wrote, something this experiment actually made me feel great about.
Actually, online dating for the night was better than a $200 dinner at making my wife feel sexy and special, and making me realize how lucky I am to have landed her.