Thursday 11 December 2008

A Parship looking like a parsnip

Feelings can become I

Clinical as some of my analysis of some issues can be, I am in fact an emotional person, if not a romantic.

At least, I believe myself to be one, I have had romance before and maybe sometime ago, I have been besotted, sometimes taken in infatuation, probably lovesick and needing.

In short, I am a social being, I love my own company and I love companionship, somehow, I am not completely fulfilled if I am not sharing my time or my interests, I am not sure about sharing my life – I have too many scars.

Compatibility or none

Maybe the reason why I have not had a long standing relationship for a long time is the question of compatibility. This is one of the collateral issues with breaking up – you learn without ambiguity what you do not want if another relationship comes up, you never really know what you want in the next one.

The bar is higher, the hurdles are tougher and being single becomes even more reinforced as a state of being and a state of mind.

In fact, I have already taken consolation in being an observer of people, relationships and sometimes offering advice to many that if you cannot be with the one you love, you should love the one you are with.

Maybe you realise how important relationships are when you have had a few, lost many and wonder where it has all been going wrong.

A snip or a ship

As I went to dinner with my neighbours on Sunday evening, the matter of meeting people came up and they had this information about joining a dating agency of sorts, they called it Parship [1]. Apparently, a couple of their friends had found lurve, both heterosexual and homosexual on this site.

Somehow, they profile you by being triaged through a multitude of personality analysis questions and then they form a profile about you that is then matched to prospective partners in some compatibility framework.

Dutch, hot Dutch and double Dutch

So, I gave it whirl and immediately found out that it was not as international as I would have liked – there is always this impression that people living in a country would all be speaking the same language such that living in the Netherlands means you should be a Dutch speaker.

There is some truth to that, but is it not the whole truth because I might well be in the Netherlands but that does not mean I want to meet a Dutch partner even though I want my partner to also live in the Netherlands.

Even if I were to be a fluent Dutch speaker, I dread the idea of doing pillow talk in double Dutch, maybe I am being unnecessarily pedantic.

Profile and test

Halfway through the profile builder as I struggled with my Dutch and Yahoo’s Babelfish [2] translator, I logged out and logged in on the UK site – I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was allowed to continue in English.

When I finished, I ended up in bilingual interaction screens which sometimes had Dutch questions for more intimate stuff and English for the general stuff so I fired off a support call to customer support on Sunday, I got an acknowledgement but 96 hours on, “as soon as possible” is beginning to feel like waiting for eternity.

Anyway, my profile suggests I am as assertive as I am generous, I am not given to self-gratification and exercise almost excessive self-control, my need for relational intimacy is just about average, I like a regulated pattern of life and I am generally unconventional.

This is love for sale laid out as an old-fashioned telephone exchange, push the right buttons and you have a connection, but going through other profiles, I might well be too boring to interest anyone.

Polish up the parsnip

Meanwhile, I am getting all sorts of tips about meeting others in Dutch and being encouraged to take on a Premium subscription when some important communication comes through.

Well, not on your life, if customer support is that useless, there is no way my money is going into that fantasy scheme, I would like to have a relationship but I am not desperate for one, it would happen and if it does not happen, well, I still have my consolation.

I just wonder if I am being sold a romantic partnership through Parship or it is a rotten parsnip.


[1] PARSHIP: Find someone really right for you

[2] Yahoo! Babel Fish - Text Translation and Web Page Translation

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