During the site’s highly advertised “free weekend,” six Newcity writers decided to sign up for online dating service Chemistry.com, sister site to Match.com, and each write about our experiences. Launched in 2006 and featuring the famed scientific personality test created by Dr. Helen Fisher, the Web site has more than five million members and helps set up more than 15,000 dates a week. We liked our chances.
First you take the personality quiz, which asks you an abundant amount of questions pertaining to personal preference and background. You’re assigned two of the four possible personality types: explorer, builder, negotiator, director.
You write a description of yourself for your public profile and include a headline, comparable to an outgoing message on Facebook or a headline on MySpace. Once everything is submitted—including a photo of yourself—you receive “matches” from the service, from which you indicate the ones in which you’re interested. (You archive your various rejections.) Meanwhile, your profile is being sent out to members, and they indicate if they’re interested in you. If you’re both interested, you take additional steps—which include comparing “relationship essentials,” like if it’s important to you that your partner loves pets, and an additional “Short Answers” portion—until finally there’s an email exchange, and from there you go. Needless to say, the testing and screening process is rather intensive.
We chose Chemistry.com because we imagined its free weekend would inspire some fresh, new profiles, maybe even people who were first-timers to something like this. Also because the commercial advertising the event was constantly on MSNBC while we were trying to watch our Rachel Maddow.
When I discussed the idea with my girlfriend Sarah, we agreed it would be an interesting exercise to both sign up on the site, compare our test results, inspect our matches together and, finally, see if we are actually matched up through the service.
Why we thought this was a good idea, I’ll never know.
I’m not as hard on online dating services as others; everyone knows it’s difficult in the singles sphere anyway, even if you do have the time to frequent events and bars. We’re all getting older, and the more time passes, the more difficult it feels to meet people. Plus, I have some friends who’ve had great success with sites just like Chemistry.com, and hey, they seem really happy and have met some great people, so whatever works. Read the rest of this entry »
The topic came up a few weeks ago, when a friend mentioned he met his last wife and current, very foxy girlfriend via online personals. I was stunned that the flirtatious, compelling, mischievous fellow who befriended me on the Metra platform would need or choose to sift through profile pages for a date. At any rate, the pump was primed, the process legitimized and the assignment timely. Sure, what the hell? I’ll give it a shot.
I logged in, agonized over a photo and headline (odd, considering this was just for kicks) and jotted a few notes on the personality test administered by the site. What struck me most was how clinical the whole process was; after determining my personality type—incidentally, a more accurate measure than my astrological sign or the free online Briggs-Meyers tests I was hooked on two years ago—I indicated the desirability of certain traits and habits on grids and slide rules. This was scientifically calibrated navel-gazing—even the color scheme of the site was institutional white. Read the rest of this entry »
When my girlfriend came home almost an hour late from work one day last week, I greeted her by saying, “Don’t worry, I’m just signing up for a dating site.” She gave me a look of shock/confusion, like she couldn’t believe I was calling it quits—it was only the first time she was late and it wasn’t even her fault. But I explained it was for an experiment.
I’d never used a dating site before, unless you count making a fake Gay.com profile to trick my friend Kevin in college into thinking he had a stalker or helping my straight friend Sarah find a non-douchey “meat and potatoes” kind of guy in Bloomington-Normal (no luck).
Signing up for Chemistry.com was as excruciating as an actual chemistry test. It was high school all over again, but instead of multiple choice and equations, it was: strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly agree.
Instead of straightforward questions, there were statements such as, “You enjoy the company of others.” I was stumped on whether to agree or strongly agree. Or maybe I should disagree? I mean, does it make me co-dependent if I like being around people? But I don’t want to be considered anti-social. I’m just selective. Read the rest of this entry »
The assignment intrigued me. Hang out on a new dating site called Chemistry.com, create a profile, and write about my experience. In other words, waste a good chunk of time and try to make sense out of nothingness. Like “Seinfeld” and Sartre rolled into one. Cool!
So I signed up, took the personality test, and voila! I was live in the online flesh market, ready to be sold like a bag of clams to some lucky fish. Like Jodie Foster in a floppy hat and short shorts, I was thrust before the ogling eyes of potential male buyers. Only in place of Harvey Keitel, I was my own pimp—boosting my selling points of European breeding, international education, blah and blah.
According to the personality test, I’m a Negotiator/Builder. Like Bob the Builder. Perhaps I should buy a tool belt? Read the rest of this entry »
I really dig taking online personality tests. You know, like the ones you can find on Facebook: “What kind of tree would you be?” or “What ‘Sex and the City’ character are you?” or “If you were a fascist leader, who would you be?” Because, well, they’re a joke with questions and answers that never really pertain to me.
So when Chemistry.com told me I was going to answer a few questions that would lead to my Prince Charming, well, I was ready to test it. Would I be paired with the athletic jocks because of my passion for kickball? Would I be joined with the intellectuals because of my infinite interest in “Star Trek”? Could my soul mate be just a generic answer away? Read the rest of this entry »
Chemistry.com promises to navigate the tumultuous seas of dating for you. However, is online dating really that much easier than dating in the real world?
I decide to test the waters and sign up for an account. Writing my online bio is supposed to be fun, but instead it throws me down some sort of existential rabbit hole that I am yet to climb out of. Now I’m plagued with all sorts of doubts and nagging questions about moral relativism. Who am I? Where have I been, and where am I going with my life? Read the rest of this entry »
Passionate discussion resonates from one of the tables Friday night at Cosi on Michigan Avenue. Five guys—Mike, Michael, Mitchell, Jerry and Jack—sit at the table with a small piece of white paper inserted in one of the card holders that says “Fight Big Media Meetup is Here.” Mitchell Szczepanczyk, the Chicago Fight Big Media group moderator for the past four years, has his laptop open so he can be ready to announce breaking news or to research more information on discussion topics.
They’ve just finished talking about Walter Cronkite’s death Read the rest of this entry »
Wigs, hats and antennae; wings, fake mustaches and long socks; pirates, cheerleaders and ringmasters—it’s all part of the spectacle Saturday at the Tour de Fat in Palmer Square.
The event, part of an eleven-city tour, highlights biking, beer, creativity and sustainability. New Belgium Brewing Company, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, started the annual tour ten years ago to increase awareness and participation in bike transportation. The day seems all about being as creative and green as possible—on a bike. Read the rest of this entry »
By Ilana Kowarski
This past December, women’s rights advocates Anne Ream and Randi Shafton introduced their new Web site to the blogosphere—Girl 360, a digital “safe space” for tween girls everywhere. Filled with advice columns, stories about successful women and empowering T-shirt logos, the site is meant to make girls feel good about themselves and to give them “hope,” says Ream, and “life lessons they can apply,” says Shafton. Ream asserts that advice and encouragement are particularly important for tweens, who are at “a vulnerable point in their lives,” a time when, as she puts it, “girls are getting a sense of who they are.” During this period, Ream and Shafton believe it is especially important that girls have positive female role models. Ream explains, “Every great woman started out as a great girl, one who often discovered her own ‘superpowers’ after encountering other super-cool female role models. Our mission at Girl 360 is to make encounters like this possible by bringing the stories of history’s and today’s most amazing women to the attention of a new generation of tween girls.” The goal of Girl 360, Shafton explains, is to provide a “shared dialogue” which “makes a girl that much stronger and that much smarter.” According to 10-year-old Sara Alavi, that is precisely what the site does for her. “I am very inspired by the women on the site, so, if I need inspiration to do something that isn’t easy, I go to Girl 360.” Read the rest of this entry »