Is ‘Compatible’ Fallible?
On dating and relationship forums you read the same comment so often: ‘I like my dating site but their compatibility test is garbage.’
But, many of these tests are extremely well thought out and help lots of people find other folks who are simpatico. And, deeply simpatico, too.
So, what gives?
Compatibility tests are often the cornerstone of successful e-dating sites. Most are scientifically based. They can set you up long term with people who are like you and who will like you.
Whether it is eHarmony, Perfectmatch or Plenty of Fish, you join up, complete the test and the algorithm finds the best. Some online, dating site assessments involve a survey of over 200 questions that can be based on things as obtuse as the neural chemical reactions within the brains of people in love. You can almost picture the PhD lab-coats and the nerdy computer code cutters working out how to find you perfect match (even though they me be the most needy). High-end psychology and technology meets love and lust.
So why do people say bad things about compatibility tests?
One aspect quickly springs to mind: time.
Relationships are, by their nature, long-term, maturing experiences. And, anyone looking for ‘love-at-first-sight’ emotional explosions would be better off at their local cinema. If you are chasing a Prince (or Princess) Charming, many dating sites could be wrong for you.
Compatibility tests are about traditional things: how to marry and why to tarry.
And, that could be the primary problem. People want now and current. They want wow and electricity. And, it seems, the older you are, the less you seek long term. Apparently, many Baby Boomers, for example, want bedroom boom-boom rather than restaurant meals with croon and swoon.
So, the forums’ negative feelings may not be really about compatibility tests at all. Some people want to know how their partner is feeling today because they don’t want to be led astray.
But, maybe, dating in the modern world is more about fun, change and refreshing the spirit. If that’s so, the compatibility test should be about today’s buffet rather than house buying and grocery shopping.
So, how is he feeling right now? How is she dealing with this very moment?
Once you know for sure, you can steer your way confidently through the shoals and reefs of the every day. You need something that says, this is how I feel and this is what I think.
Only then can you micro-manage your way forward. You can accept or reject. You can engage or reflect.
That’s the problem with compatibility tests. They leave you to do the daily grind.
And, that’s the challenge. Can they change to continually assess the mood of now? That’s what we need. And, we need it now.