Cyber Connections Cafe\’

Real Stories of People Riding the Internet Wave

Was MIT the first place that started computer dating?

Posted by carron on November 28, 2006

Year: 1966

Aim: meet some smart guys

Technique:  The Computer!

 

Lounging in the common room, at

Wellesley
College, my friends and I were hanging out talking about the mixer that weekend at Harvard when a young guy from MIT strolled in and asked my friends and me if we’d be interested in a free computer dating service to connect us with guys from MIT and Harvard.  After our initial reservations, we’d never heard of anything like this, we decided it might be a fun, goofy thing to try and we accepted the forms he was handing around.  Each form was about four pages long and asked a series of questions ranging from basic information like name, age, height and religion to what we were studying, our interests, likes and dislikes.  Next to the questions was a scale of 1-5 on how strongly you liked or disliked something and another scale of 1-5 that rated how strongly you felt about a prospective partner needing to like or dislike the same thing.  You could, for instance, state that you were Jewish and only wanted to date someone else who was Jewish or that your prospective partner must be taller than you and like, say, opera.  You also had to rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 of how good looking you were physically and what level of handsomeness you required in a prospective partner!  It seemed as though you could customize your perfect partner.  We giggled over our choices, some of us rating ourselves as honestly as we could and other girls putting down a 5 on looks in the hopes of attracting lots of answers. It sounded like a lot of fun and we all looked forward to meet some wonderful guys from Harvard.  I have to admit we Wellesley girls preferred the Ivy league group, we all agreed that we would rather date a guy from Harvard than MIT.

 

These were exciting times and I couldn’t wait for the first call.  I had received a list of about 15 guys with their name and phone numbers but declined to call any of them, if they were interested, I figured, they should make the first call.  In the meantime, us girls got together and went over our lists.  Some people had a long list of names and others had just three or four names so we tried to work out what part of the forms had given us more or less guys on the list.  Was it how attractive we had rated ourselves, our interests or hobbies?  We couldn’t find any rhyme or reason to the lists. As we began to date the guys we came to the conclusion that none of the questionnaire had mattered except for our age and height!  All the guys were always older and taller but even major issues like religion had been ignored with some of the Jewish girls being connected with non-Jewish partners.  It didn’t really seem to make much sense.  We wondered what had been important to the guys except for age and height!

I had a number of calls and got together with two different guys from Harvard but was disappointed with the outcomes.  I spoke to others on the telephone but declined to meet them, disillusioned with the whole thing.  One guy from MIT called trying to get a date but I brushed him off saying I had to wash my hair that night and I was busy the following week.  The guy called back again and tried once more to get a date but I kept insisting I was too busy.  Eventually, in frustration, he complained “I’ve paid $5 to join this computer group so the least you could do is meet me and have a coffee!”  Reluctantly, and rather guiltily, I agreed to have one date and told him where I was housed at
Wellesley.  At least I wouldn’t have to go out of my way to meet the guy.  That Friday, at 6pm, the desk clerk called up to say I had a caller.  A “caller” meant a man was waiting as opposed to a “visitor” which would have meant a female friend.  I really didn’t want to meet this guy and I made no effort to do my hair or put on make up except for a quick swipe of lipstick, I wandered down the hall and peered over the banister to see what this unfortunate guy looked like, expecting some nerdy, pimply youth.  At the desk stood a young man with thick black hair and as he looked up a stunning pair of true blue eyes met mine.  Aaargh!  I want to run back to my room and do my hair, change my sweater, put on makeup and collect myself but he had already seen me and I had to continue down the stairs wondering how I could possibly have thought poorly of an MIT student.  He was gorgeous.  If there is such a thing as love at first sight then cupid had definitely struck me.

We went for coffee at the shop on campus and he completely charmed me and ended my computer dating career right then and there.  We were inseparable from then on and married five years later. 

Computer worked even back in 1966

 

 

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