Too Busy to Date? Get a Virtual Dating Assistant!
Denise Ngo | YourTango
June 11, 2010
In theory, online dating is easy. Making a profile takes only about 20 minutes. After that, you click around either at your own volition or through the guidance of an algorithm that picks your matches for you. All this can be done while watching TV or eating bagels. You don’t even need to go outside. Sounds like a total no-brainer, right?
Wrong. All of us who have tried online dating know that unless you’re supremely lucky, it’s hard to find someone whose profile is interesting and who expresses an interest in you. You can shoot messages and “pokes” out for days before getting a response, and even then, not all of the responses will strike your fancy.
According to this article in the Washington Post, some men have grown so weary of sending cold messages en masse that they have outsourced their online dating life; that is, they’ve hired people to scout out appealing profiles and write flirty messages for them. The men profiled in the article recruited everyone from their secretaries to professional virtual dating assistants to online date for them.
The latter are actually paid on commission while guaranteeing clients at least two dates a month. While many clients outsourced their dating life because they lacked effective online dating skills, most of the men profiled were simply too busy to even click through profiles. If that weren’t time-consuming enough, some outsourcing companies go as far as to write the client’s profile, send introductory emails, chat back and forth, and plan the date.
When it comes to the dates themselves, however, the clients must go on them in person (thankfully). Whether or not he reveals that it wasn’t actually him writing the messages is up to his discretion. Although at least one interview subject acknowledged that the practice was a little callous, he did argue that the process isn’t too deceptive, as his assistant represented him accurately.
There are a number of things you can take away from this article: people are deceptive, people are lazy, businesses are smart, love is an industry, and when it comes to online dating, what you see is definitely not always what you get. What struck us the most, though, was the underlying question of dating and time management. If you’re too busy to work at dating, should you be dating in the first place?
Relationships are wonderful, but they’re also time-consuming. Will someone who’s too busy to date for himself have the time to maintain a healthy relationship once he’s coupled up?