Match.com’s Flaws

They haven’t updated their formula since forever.

You can’t do complex searches, like “All women who don’t mind men with kids”

You can’t get mutual matches by “diet”.  You can’t search for people who checked “vegetarian” but didn’t check “meat and potatoes”

You can’t do queries for “don’t mind” vs “want”.  I don’t mind dating a woman who is trying to stop smoking.  I don’t want to date a woman who has ever smoked.  Conceptually they are different.  The data sort of exists in the ‘important/not important’ field, but it isn’t searchable.

In match.com world, there are only 15 languages.  It was important enough to distinguish between Hindi and Urdu (two language that differ mostly by the alphabet the use), to include Dutch- a rare European language, but exclude Swedish and Icelandic.  And of course it doesn’t make it clear if the person actually speaks it or merely has studied it.

In match.com world, there is a new religious movement called “Spiritual but not religious” which means both hostile to religion and its ideas and friendly to religion and its ideas.

In match.com world, the people looking for you are all the indiscriminate ones, who were too lazy to check off any boxes in the “what my date should be like” section.

In match.com you have four different ways to say you don’t want kids, but only one way to say you do want kids.  I think this shows the anti-children bias of the original software developers.

In match.com world, there is are four ways to say “ugly” and almost no one checks them off: “Big and beautiful”, “Stock”, “Heavyset”, “Full-figured”.  There are three ways to say “I have no confidence about my looks”: “A few extra pounds”, “About average”, “Other”.  The remaining options mean “I have some self confidence”  A 1 to 10 rating would be more useful– websites like “Am I hot or not” have demonstrated that people seem to rate a person within one or two of what 100′s of other people would rate them.

In match.com world, it is relevant to know before the first date that someone enjoys yachting and camping, even though there is no chance you’re going to ask some one out to go yachting or camping on a first date.  On the other hand, it would be useful if people would list what 5 sort of first dates they’d like to go on.  For all the attention that people give to strangers, we have about 5 seconds to make an offer that can’t be refused.  So inviting someone to a movie when they’d rather go to a rock climbing gym just wastes everyones time.  The activities checklist is too vague, yet another field match.com should have left as freetext.

Speaking of freetext, everytime in match.com that they let users say “other”, they should have some free text to explain what they meant.  “Other” politics, does that mean you are a nazi and it wasn’t on the list?  “Other” body type, does that mean they are cyborgs?  And what good is this information? Who would search for someone with a body type of “other”.  You know, you just aren’t my type. I prefer “other”

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