I recently had dinner with a friend of mine. She, too, is looking for the right partner. And so are a number of her friends. As we sat waiting for dinner to finish in the oven, she—I'll call her L—casually mentioned a conversation that she had with a friend about finding a mate. They were both apparently tired of dating duds, and they came up with an idea that shocked me. The Boyfriend Application.
Initially, I just laughed. It was amusing. Just what, exactly, would be on such a document? I had to know.
L proceeded to show me the applications she and her friend came up with. There were practical questions, such as, "Are you currently employed?" There were funny questions, such as, "Are you jealous of small appliances?" And there were a few that were kind of out there, such as "Interpret this picture" with an image of barbed wire. My personal favorite was demonstrated the applicant's intellect. It was simply "Solve this equation," which was followed by a picture similar to this:
When I was done laughing, I thought about the practicality of this. L told me that maybe this would be handed out after chatting with someone initially but before getting too "datey." This way, the guys who were not quite what the gals were looking for could be weeded out, saving endless amounts of time and effort and lots of bad dates. Sounded good. Most of us have a very limited amount of time in which to socialize, and really, why not streamline the process?
But then, I had a moment of resignation at the thought that dating had become a job instead of the enjoyable, crazy, ridiculous, and thrilling adventure it was supposed to be. That while we would be able to save time and a bit of heartache, we were loosing the opportunity for surprises and for the occasional outlandish story of a date-gone-wrong. That maybe the romance was sacrificed in the name of practicality. Was I ready to turn my search for love into a streamlined chore?
As good as this idea might be, I don't think it is quite for me. I'm a bit of a romantic, and I'm willing to roll the dice on a man because things like a goofy sense of humor and a charming, crooked smile are things I'd never be able to see on an application. And it's those bits that make all the bad dates in the world worth continuing the search.