If you’ve read my last two blog posts on the idea and the basis stats of the great set-up service experiment of 2015, you already have the gist and the kind of numbers and demographics I was working with. So let’s get down to how I went about setting people up.
First, though, there must be an admission. The key challenge in the entire set-up process was actually me, myself, and I. The whole thing took more effort than I was willing to invest and that I actually had time and emotional energy for.
Surprisingly, it took quite a bit of work to get people to sign up for the service. This involved a lot of personal emails and text messages and many of them went un-responded to (which is totally fine because it really was a crazy idea). To get 122 signed up, the initial invites were much much larger (you all are familiar with the conversion funnel, right? So that). One friend recently reminded me that the first time I met her I tried to get her to sign up. Good thing she still likes me, haha.
But some people expected to be set up immediately while I really spent the first 1-3 months gathering enough people to have any match considerations. So it started off rough with people’s expectations.
And it seems to have “ended” rough. I discovered a few years after doing this that one person had told others that he thought I didn’t like him as a person because I never set him up. And it had nothing to do with that! I just never had a person (in my small pool) who I felt would be a good match for him. But happily for him, he’s actually getting married soon!
In fact, life has moved on for a lot of these people, with or without my help (but mostly without my help). 🙂
Of those 122 who signed up, here are the stats of where things are today:
- 3 are currently dating someone (that I know of)
- 5 are currently engaged
- 45 are married
- 10 are unknown (people who I never really knew and who have since deleted Facebook so I can’t confirm)
- 59 are not currently married
Reviewing the Profiles
But what did I actually do to set people up? Well, once I had a critical enough mass to start thinking of putting matches together, I started reviewing profiles and considering important factors. I considered the “must-haves” and the “deal breakers” very seriously, which actually precluded me from setting some people up who I thought might have been matches, based on what they think they wanted. More on that later, maybe?
Common must-haves included ideas like: driven, funny, physically fit, active in the Church, kind, “taller/shorter than me”, can hold an intelligent conversation/smart, “attractive to me”, and so on. But most included “nice-to-haves” such as similar interests or other things that are important to them.
Deal-breakers commonly centered around not having a plan for life, not having similar values, not being committed to the gospel, being rude or egotistical, being a smoker, and so on. But these had fewer commonalities among them and actually were based on some things that I couldn’t really figure out on my own, such as needing to wear deodorant (ha!). Still interesting and often seemed just the opposites of the must-haves so that was likely a failure in my survey methodology (as someone pointed out in the actual survey, haha).
I did take a look at interests, but it wasn’t a huge factor in my decision-making.
The survey did ask if there were any people that they knew I knew that people wanted to be set up with, and I did take that into consideration.
I thought that the “three most important things to you” might have a bigger impact, but it’s so interesting how faith, family, friends, relationships, and values (kindness, service, hard work, integrity) anchored those who signed up, almost without exception. Political considerations were also a factor, which was very helpful in making matches. There were a few divergences here, but mostly people who were being funny, like “showers are wonderful”, “fly fishing is a lifestyle, not a hobby”, and “I’m shallow, but at least I can admit it.” These helped me considerably as far as understanding personality, as you would imagine.
And there were some really cool insights into people’s values, like “Everyone is trying as hard as they can…everyone”; “We can change for the better; we’re not stuck being the same person we were last year, yesterday, or even an hour ago if we have the desire and rely on the Savior’s Atonement”; and “It’s not what the world holds for you; it’s what you bring to it.”
In fact, just reading through all the things people listed as their values as I’ve been writing this filled me with an extra dose of the goodness of people and humanity. There is so much goodness in the world. For me, the dating world seems to remove some of that sense sometimes, as you’ll see in some of the further feelings I had from this project.
Overall, I think that my set-up service lasted about 6 months. I can’t even accurately remember now. As I said, one of the biggest failings was just my own lack of time, my lack of keeping track of things, and ultimately, I honestly just became discouraged by the whole process and gave up.
Helpful information. By the time I started the set-up service, one person had changed her mind about wanting to be set up and backed out. Ten other people had started dating someone in that interim between signing up and when I was ready to start setting up. It’s an ever-moving target with the single peoples, so that was fun to navigate.
But as far as my records show, I attempted to set up 27 different couples.
By “attempted”, this is where things started to get discouraging. Those who had signed up had agreed that I would contact them both with each other’s contact info and they would work it from there. But as I had to check first with each person to make sure they weren’t dating someone, the men often replied that they really would like to know more about the person and would like a picture of them before they agreed to go out. That wasn’t the premise of my service because EVERY OTHER SERVICE and real life offer that option. This was a different experiment. But I had to capitulate because it was going nowhere with some matches without this added in. I totally understand looks being a factor in attraction. Trust me, I get it (this from just an average looking person who worries about that all the time. *sigh*). But, I just didn’t want it to be.
Here’s where the stats get SUPER fuzzy because I didn’t keep great track of things. And I introduced other factors. For example, if I thought after reading a profile that a certain person might really be a great match for one of my friends who didn’t sign up for my service, I still considered that as a part of my service. (This happened twice).
But I do know for sure that 9 (and I think maybe 10) actually went out. Six that I tried to set up had one or the other who had started dating someone, so those set ups didn’t work out.
I know that two of the guys contacted girls who never contacted them back. And three of the girls never heard from the guy who was supposed to contact them. One match was a no-go because the guy had contacted the gal and as they talked he discovered she wasn’t exactly who she’d told me she was (not in a bad way like catfishing, just…too hard to explain), so he let me know, which I appreciated. And at least two other matches just simply didn’t go out although I’m not sure why.
For the most part, though, of those who did go out, the responses were positive, even if they didn’t ultimately lead anywhere. I did have one couple that dated for quite a while and another that got married. What? Yeah, baby. But success is not always in the end goal, but the journey along the way, right? Sure. But those posts are for another time. To be continued…