Eliminating the algorithm from the equation of modern dating is not the worst idea.
Online dating can be really hard. You can spend hours scrolling through matches and end up nowhere closer to finding a partner. The exercise of going on one date after another only to see the chemistry fizzle out each and every time can be extremely exhausting. According to a survey by the online dating research platform The Single’s Report, 78.37% of Americans aged 18-54 experience emotional fatigue or burnout when online dating.
This dissatisfaction with dating applications has led to singles ditching dating apps and trying other ways of finding love on the internet. One such method is creating “date me” Google Docs. These act like your own personal Wikipedia page that someone can go through before they decide to meet you. If this has sparked your interest, here is a complete breakdown of the date me docs and what they tell us about modern dating.
What do the date me docs look like?
The reason these “date me” Google Docs suddenly exploded in popularity is because of a tweet made by neural network engineer Chris Olah. In the tweet, he shared his desire to create a long-form, earnest dating profile. Olah self-reports that the tweet and the date me doc got so much attention that around 10,000 people viewed it. It even garnered the attention of Google, which found this suspicious and eventually shut down the document. And so, Olah went on to share it as a blog post.
The blog post starts with the information you typically find on an online dating platform: age, gender, location, sexual orientation and the kind of relationship he is looking for. As you move on, it gets more detailed, with Olah highlighting his desire for a moral connection with his partner, his love for math and science as well as the pros and cons of dating him.
While Olah certainly popularized the idea of using date me Google Docs, he isn’t the first to try them. His colleague, Catherine Olsson, had done the same thing before him, but instead of publicizing it with a tweet, she only quietly added it to her Twitter bio. Unlike Olah, Olsson has less text and more pictures in her profile. As of writing this article, Olsson has taken down the Google doc link from her bio and has taken a break from dating.
Other ways to date on the G-suite
Creating dating profiles isn’t the only way to use Google Docs in your romantic life. There have been reported cases of people using Google Docs to communicate with each other. Earlier in the year, the online news publication site Quartz interviewed a couple, Kevin Pu and Sophia Sun, that fell in love on Google Docs. Pu and Sun found each other on Facebook and then used Google Docs as their second channel of communication, where they kept tabs on the topics they wanted to discuss on Google Docs.
Similarly, The New York Post shared the story of Emma King, who was taking her boyfriend’s help in editing her master’s thesis. The couple eventually ended up sharing flirty messages with each other in the comments of the document. Some people have even been using other parts of the G-suite to find dates. Blogger Jacob Falkovich has shared Google forms on his blog that people can fill out to meet him platonically and romantically.
Out with the new and in with the old again?
When I first went through Olah’s profile, the first thing that popped into my head was the Netflix show Indian Matchmaking. If you are unfamiliar with it, the show discusses the concept of arranged marriages within the Indian community through a reality TV format. Throughout the series, Indian men and women are given detailed biodatas of prospective matches before they meet them and decide to pursue a relationship.
I found little to no difference between the biodatas people received on Indian Matchmaking and Olah’s date me Google Doc. The only difference is that instead of hiring a matchmaker, they rely on the internet to act like one.
As we previously discussed, when people use dating apps, they tend to focus more on the fact that there are always more fish in the sea than actually nurturing the relationships they find through the app. So, it is not a bad idea to make the dating pool smaller and only get those matches that actually have the same values as you.
However, the issue with algorithms directing possible matches to you is that you are simply waiting for someone to stumble on your Google Doc. So, chances are no one will find your date me doc and connect with you unless you actively share it among your friend groups.
When we go into the nitty-gritty of it, these date me docs are simply a more extended version of your Tinder or Bumble profile. So, if you don’t want to entirely eliminate the algorithm from your dating process, you can always add links to your date me docs to your profiles on dating apps. If the dating platform does not allow you to add clickable links to your profile, you can share your date me doc with your matches to ensure you are on the same page about your expectations before your first date.
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