Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Relationship Network

October 2003

Having obtained Maggie's password, I signed into her account with The Relationship Network, and did some investigation. I was surprised to find that she had saved a number of profiles of prospective men, all of whom seemed rather old and unattractive. Maggie always placed significant emphasis on how good looking a person was, as if looks were a guide to character. So why did she choose such unattractive men?

I then proceeded to set up my own profile. A western guy aged 38, living in Hong Kong. I didn't post a picture, mainly because I didn't have one at the time.

I wanted to see how online dating worked, and this seemed like a harmless introduction. I was a two hour flight from Hong Kong, so there seemed little chance that I would ever meet anyone, even if I got a reply. So what harm could I do?

I also hoped it might give me some insight into how and why Maggie had used online dating. I couldn't see any evidence that she'd had any success with it. All she had in her email account, was 'prospective matches'. I was curious to see how people who met this way communicated.
How did a 'match' become a relationship? Did Maggie meet anyone this way?

A day later, I received an email confirming acceptance of my profile. I had no idea what to do next though. As it happens, I didn't need to do anything, except sit back and wait.

I had a very pleasant surprise.

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