It's like Consumer Reports crossed with a slander charge.
One of the major problems with dating, of course, is that it's difficult to know exactly what you're getting yourself into. Your date may look cute, act sweet, and clearly be highly intelligent, but turn into a raging psycho with little or no provocation. Sadly, there's no easy way to tell what's really going on under the hood** until it's far, far too late to avoid the issue entirely. We can always ask our friends, of course, but unless you regularly pass dates around a small group of friends*** this approach is of fairly limited use.
Well, thanks to the miraculous power of the internet**** some folks have found a way to rectify this situation. I refer, of course, to Don't Date Him Girl, a website that more or less qualifies as the anti-Match.com. This free site allows women to post information and photographs of previous bad dates, effectively warning other women away from them. So, for example, if we go looking for someone of late college age in my hometown we might find this gentleman, who is now immortalized on a cheap website.
Really I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, it would be nice to have a way to learn something about a potential date before it's too late to do anything about it. On the other hand, a boatload of mean-spirited gossip probably won't help. Let's be realistic too: we could all say negative things about everyone we've dated and, obviously, if they're an "ex" there's a reason why. The population of unsatisfied reports will, more or less by definition, always exceed the positive reports. When you factor in that people using this site have ample motivation to heap as much blame on others as possible***** I think that we can really question the value of this site.
Then again the site is a great source of unintentional humor. For example, there's the section titled Empower Yourself which includes such great articles as Things to do on Superbowl Sunday while your man watches the game. Sure, a lot of men like football, but isn't it a little sexist to think that most women have no idea what to do with themselves if their partners are busy? Do women not have their own interests beyond men or something? It also doesn't help that the first two options are:
1. Shop! Grab another gal pal and hit the mall, girl! Or grab your goods online.
2. Pamper yourself. Make an appointment with your favorite masseur and work out the kinks while your man watches football and drinks beer for a few hours.
Yes, very empowering. I can see that.
There's also the faq file that includes such gems as:
Q Is this site for women only?
A No, both men and women can participate in the online forum. Women post their bad dating experiences and the men who are posted on the site can post rebuttals. In addition, both male and female users can post comments to any posting by becoming a member today.
Sooooo... I can be accused, without evidence, and then get to "rebut" the charges? And I would do that how exactly? Honestly, it's sounds like a dating site set up by Joe McCarthy. When you add in the forums and the ability to leave comments- it's like getting to watch several dozen relationship fights at once which, in my view, is right up there with trepanation on my list of things that I enjoy.
I think it's an interesting idea but one that is doomed to failure- largely because it's almost completely impractical. It also has the unfortunate distinction of being even less tasteful than the infamous Rate my Rack. I mean, hell, at RmR at least inclusion is more often than not voluntary.
Take a look and see what you think. And hey, if you look for your old beaus don't worry... I think that's what we all do.
* Okay, to be honest, I dated her for so long because, despite her hostility, she BELIEVED she really cared for me and I didn't want to upset her before she finished her senior thesis.
** Get your minds out of the gutter, guys. I don't mean it that way. Although, if you're good, someday I'll tell you the story of The Girl with the Inee Nipples. It's a shocker.
*** Suddenly I'm thinking about my high school friends. Date recycling was something of an artform then.
**** Now with even MORE porn!
***** As a side note, Practicing Idealist recently wrote a post discussing exactly why heaping blame on others might not be such a good thing.