Modern Mating

When Technology and the Sexes Collide

Monday, April 03, 2006

Getting crushed


A few years ago, I received a mysterious email where I was notified that an unnamed someone had a crush on me. "How highschool," I thought (except that I never got any notes from secret crushes when I was a teenager). The email came from eCrush.com, and it included an invitation. If I were so inclined, I could reply back through the service with the names of any friends or acquaintances that I also liked. If the name I offered matched the identity of the initial sender, we’d both get an email saying that we had “matched”.

I spent some time trying to figure out who might have feelings for me while simultaneously lacking the nerve to pursue those feelings in a straightforward manner. No one came to mind, so I ignored the email.

A couple of days later, a follow-up email arrived, providing a “hint” about the appearance of the sender of the eCrush. Though I wasn’t certain, the description sounded like a former client of mine. If it was who I thought it was, the crush was not reciprocated. The guy was okay, but the backwards, childish manner of his approach left me unimpressed. I didn’t pursue the eCrush further. Because I didn't follow up, I will never be certain of the identity of the sender as there was no “match”. The site's anonymity means that the sender's delicate ego has been protected.

While the site may have limited appeal to those who prefer a more direct approach, it has considerable appeal to teenagers, who flock to the site. It is also appealing to those who don’t want to reveal their interest until they can be sure it is reciprocated at some minimal level. eCrush has matched over 350,000 people, succeeding in their goal to “provide a safe way to build upon feelings for someone you’ve already met and have feelings for.” It's a fun diversion for children, but adults should think hard before trying it out.

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