Modern Mating

When Technology and the Sexes Collide

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Dating sites for snobs




There are niche sites for every flavor of personal interest: from tattoo enthusiasts, to farmers, to cat fanciers. However, this tribalism isn't constrained to occupation or enthusiasm. Intellectual snobs have a dating home online as well.

RightStuffDating.com is for graduates and faculty from a "select group of universities". It is an eccentric list of about sixty colleges and universities in the US and Canada. The list includes Bryn Mawr, MIT, Stanford and the Rhode Island School of Design. Although a graduate of any medical school may join. Doctors, it seems, are welcome at every dating site (perhaps the AMA needs to set up a dating site -- it's bound to be a success). The dating site requires its members to provide proof of graduate or faculty status before they can join.

While there is a certain logic to Harvard grads dating Cornell grads, this site is pretty hokey and very limiting. With a mere 4,600 members, a site like RightStuffDating.com lacks the critical mass of a Match.com, where there are 1.3 million members. -- Some of whom attended the same schools as the RightStuff membership.

If I were sensitive to issues of academic pedigree in my prospective dates, I'd just use the most populated sites and be subtly (or not so subtly) snooty about my own educational background and the background I'm looking for in a mate. If someone wants to date a doctor, they don't need to go to The Right Stuff, they can just search for "medical professionals" on http://Match.com. Of course, they will also have to verify that the medical professional that they meet is an MD, and not an RN. But that's what the state licensing boards are for. Just punch in a last name into a license verification site like the one the state of Connecticut has , and you can find out if the "doctor" of your dreams is actually a nurse, an optometrist, or a genuine MD. If it sound ridiculous to verify such claims, it isn't. A family member dated a man who presented himself as a full-fledged physician, complete with specialty, when it turned out he was actually a practicing nurse. It was just a slight case of resume inflation.