Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dating CV

"Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again."
- Franklin P. Jones

Why do we write a CV (curriculum vitae)? To chronicle our experience, in the hopes of conveying our skills, ability and knowledge to potential future employers. A CV (a.k.a. résumé in North America) is a short description of how we want the working world to view us. We list what we can do, and the experience it took to gain such skills, and provide references on request. This cannot give a perfect picture of us as an employee, but certainly creates an image for the people who need to evaluate our suitability.

I think we need to extend this concept to the realm of dating. After all, dating is one of the areas of our lives that has the greatest bearing on our personal happiness, and yet it's basically a crapshoot. We go on dates to learn about the other person, but from the get-go we know next to nothing about them; we essentially choose randomly for something that is intrinsic to our personal contentment. Maybe it's time to start culling the herd before we leap into the fray of dating.

Just as in the job market, there is no "perfect" CV. Different skills are required for different jobs, and different attributes apply to different people. But we cannot gauge the attributes of a potential suitor until it's too late and we're dating them. What if we could pre-filter "applicants" by looking for those with skills we desire? You want someone who knows how to cook? That had better be on their CV. Prefer to date only short (or tall, thin, fat, whatever) partners? Why not have that listed right up front? It wouldn't guarantee a match, but might boost your odds.

Of course, this removes some of the spontaneity, the joy inherent in discovering the attributes that make up your partner; truly this is one of the best things about the early stages of dating, you feel like an intrepid explorer charting new territory. But this joy is tempered with a major risk of failure-you might find out something that's an absolute deal-breaker in your view, something that with adequate warning could have been noted before any risk of heartbreak. This is already done to a degree by those engaging in online dating sites: when you get a list of a potential date's likes, dislikes and more, you are already filtering people based on your criteria. So why not formalise the concept?

Of course, getting references might be tricky. How can you expect an honest reference from an ex if the relationship ended badly? Though you might have many wonderful qualities, the enmity they feel since your breakup could forever colour their feelings. And of course, like any other CV, people will stretch the truth. "I can make a frozen pizza" suddenly becomes "I have an affinity for and exemplary skill in Italian cuisine".

Who knows? Maybe one day we'll enact this, and we'll soon enough see couples on the dance floors of popular clubs, exchanging two-page CVs detailing the highlights of their dating abilities. Past partners will be called for references, and we will weigh up all those who seek our affection. After a thorough, yet expedient evaluative process, we will contact the successful applicant, and they can begin their training. And what's more romantic than bringing mindless corporate logic and efficiency to the world of dating?

So, please use the comments section below to post what you would put on your dating CV.

NOTE: If you have taken this post with even the slightest wisp of seriousness, please write the word "sarcasm" on a cricket bat and apply it forcibly and repeatedly to your forehead. Consider this holiday goofiness at it's best. I ultimately just want a way to brag about my back massaging skills.
"Love is the answer, but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions."
- Woody Allen

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