We do not see them as human beings: we see them as objects.
How do we re-capture an attitude of enchantment, a qualitative rather than quantitative pursuit of love?
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It’s about choosing to love a person, not an algorithm.
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They pay ridiculous amounts of attention to things like looks, which have little bearing on whether a relationship will work. When online daters actually meet, an entirely different mind-set has to kick in.
If they’re going to be open to a real relationship, they have to stop asking where this person rates in comparison to others and start asking, can we lower the boundaries between self and self.
Quantification can destroy our very for the unique: seeking love through an algorithm necessitates that we look for some sort of golden mean, some perfect conglomeration of ideal attributes.
Thus, we do not see Andrew or Carl—we see Andrew, the 70 percent match, or Carl, the 94 percent match.
We are fascinated with Buzzfeed quizzes, personality tests, and scientific studies: enchanted by the prospect that reading from a print book improves your brain, that friendship is good for your health, that married people are financially better off. You should get married because whoever your potential spouse is—Andrew or Carl, Mary or Jane—you love them.
It’s about taking the great leap of enchantment: seeing the other, and prizing them for who they are, in all their mystery and imperfection and potentiality.
Through apps like OKCupid and Tinder, we’ve learned to emphasize the temporary and the sensually gratifying in our pursuit of love.
But enchantment requires us to look beyond ourselves and our temporary desires—it requires us to give up control, or as Brooks puts it, to become “vulnerable.” Part of the reason we love quantification—of our love lives, our vocations, even our pastimes—is because we love having a sense of control, the reassurance of a pleasurable outcome.
They’ve even patented The e Harmony Compatibility Matching System. They’ve taken 35 years of research to come up with a Relationship Questionnaire and pride themselves on matching users with people who are actually compatible with them. e Harmony takes the hard work out of trolling through 100s of photos and delivers compatible dates directly to your inbox.