Whether it’s athletic or bookish, free-spirited or conservative, people have a “type.” This is not a revelation; it’s common knowledge in the dating sphere. For years, Match.com has been able to match its users with personality “types” that are compatible with their profile. But things are about to get physical. People not only tend to gravitate toward a certain personality, but a particular physical appearance. Put someone’s exes in a lineup, and–more likely than not–their faces will share similar features. Match.com is taking advantage of this tendency.
The dating site recently partnered with Three Day Rule, a Los Angeles-based company that uses facial recognition software to match users with ex-boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse lookalikes. Talia Goldstein, founder of Three Day Rule, told Mashable: “People have a type and it’s not necessarily about height or race or hair color, but a lot of it is about face shape.”
In the next month, members of Match.com can access TDR’s service. Users send in photos of their exes, and the service determines which matches the user will be attracted to based on the photos. Members who opt for this premium package will be able to meet with a dating consultant who helps them determine what they want in a partner, and the consultant will sift through the profiles in both Match.com and Three Day Rule’s databases to create a list of potential dates. The Match user can also have the consultant go on “pre-dates” with all of the matches so that the user does not have to waste his or her time with someone who is not worth it.
But the option to customize your relationship in such detail comes at a price: $5,000 (the equivalent of a six-month membership) and your opportunity to meet a diverse group of people. Part of the fun of online dating is meeting someone you would never have met otherwise. By limiting yourself to a particular type of person in both personality and appearance, you forgo this kind of opportunity. And for the Match users on the other end of this transaction, I have what might be a disturbing question to consider: how comfortable can you really be knowing that you were chosen like a doll from a toy aisle?