Sunday, January 04, 2009

Dear Kate: Matchmaking

Dear Kate,

I'm looking for a date. I've been surfing through profiles posted in those matchmaking services in newspapers and internet. "Kontak Jodoh" in Kompas is one of my favorites. Some people sound cute, some boring. Mostly they run their ad in the following pattern: sex, age, edu, race, religion, weight and height. Then they would add some personal goodies (or so they think) like "honest, faithful, caring, responsible" along with hobbies and finally their expectation of their future date. I wonder what to make of these kinds of information. Any ideas?

Singleton @ Pejaten

Dear Singleton,

Information, in order to be useful, requires credibility. Credible information should at least satisfy two properties: measurable and verifiable. The first set of information you listed above seems to meet these criteria (let's assume that he or she has authentic letters certifying the age, edu, etc). The rest are questionable. You can't trust somebody just because he says he is honest. You should observe what he does. Yes, it is a rather tall order: you need to spend some time with him to know that. Hobbies might be easier to verify (if he says reading, test him with books). Finally, for 'expectation of future date', it is just his way to avoid being overwhelmed by inquiries by people he would not be interested in.

So, the most useless information set is the second one (the one you termed 'goodies'). Ignore it. Wait, let me put it this way: maybe it does have some value after all. It actually reveals the negatives you want to avoid (think about this: somebody puts 'humble' in his ad. Aha, isn't that a contradiction? You don't want this guy)

Happy hunting,

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