I have to admit that Match.com has done an impressive job with isolating traits that are most important to people looking to find their better half. :)
I was asked to identify my hometown, input my height, describe my physique, and check boxes that showed my interests in a variety of activities. I am a single 36 year old woman, I am 5'2, and would describe myself as athletic and toned because I weigh 115 pounds. I wondered as I chose the description, if other people would be as forthcoming, as honest, and as objective. For activities, I was careful to choose activities that I really do - i.e. I chose running because I am an avid runner. In addition, I chose billiards, bowling, hiking, walking, biking, and yoga.
There was another section for more cultural interests. I love the theatre, opera, musicals, the ballet, museums, wine tastings, sporting events, book clubs, and dining out and chose accordingly. My single friends and I also like to go to the newest clubs to make fools of ourselves and dance the night away - so I also chose clubs and dancing. Do I smoke? No. What type of drinker am I? A social drinker.
What types of movies do I like? All genres. If I could take one vacation, where would it be? The beach.
Then it got interesting. Have I ever been married? No. Do I have children? No? Do I have pets? Yes. What kind? A cute little 15 pound shih tzu poodle with the most adorable underbite!! What is my education level? I have a MBA in finance and accounting. What is my profession? Executive/Management. What is my religion? Christian/Catholic. What are my political views? Middle of the road.
Then it got REALLY interesting. I was asked to identify the traits that I was looking for in a potential significant other. No problems for me here. I know exactly what I want. He must have at least a bachelor's degree. He should be between the ages of 35 and 45. Is there a career path that he must conform to? In reality, I know that the artist type would not appeal to me. I am too much of a type A personality. But I left the career path question open by indicating no preference. That way, I could assess on my own based on the individual profile if there was any hope of an intellectual connection. I love to learn new things and who knows? A person who runs his own art gallery would definitely pique my intellectual curiosity!
Could he be divorced? Hmmmm... I was hesitant about this one because quite frankly, I am looking for a person with no emotional baggage. Plus, if he is divorced, there must be something wrong right? But I thought about people who divorced because of cheating spouses, people who divorced because they want different lifestyles, etc. and concluded I would be cheating myself out of a good person by assuming the worst of divorcees. So yes - it's okay if he is divorced. Could he have children? This also took a great deal of soul searching on my part. I want to have children of my own but would I be ready to be a stepmom to other children? No. Sigh.
Does he smoke? Definitely not!! What type of drinker? I want him to be like me - i.e. a social drinker. What type of physique? I indicated slender and athletic and toned. Height? Full disclosure for this category. I have an intense attraction to tall men. He must be 6'0 or taller or he is invisible to me. So I indicated as such.
What is his income level? What about my income? I decided to leave these blank because I really don't want to decide to meet someone based on how much money he makes and wouldn't want my income to be a basis for his decision either.
As I went through all the questions and identified my criteria, I realized the efficiency of the profile and questionnaire process. I have spent fifteen years dining out with my girlfriends and doing fun cultural events in DC and not once have I learned even half the characteristics for one eligible person that would be available to me at a click of a button.