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Taking my date through an Israeli security services lie detector…
by Jarvis Stevens
I was on holiday in Blackpool when I picked up my first advice on finding love. While waiting for my sister to recover after her stomach churning rollercoaster ride, I stuck 20p into a Love-O-Meter outside a sports pub. After my coin clicked down the pegs, the fiberglass female’s face flashed and shook like the washer-dryer under my sink, before requesting I stick my thumb into a gooey gum-filled finger hole. A strip of yellow paper popped from the slot.
“8/10. You’re hot, but not too hot, big boy! But that’s enough for some lucky lady!”
A top twenty percent score surely meant I’d meet a world-class soul-mate. But here I am fifteen years later in London, and after a few serious (and several scary) relationships, I’m still waiting for that mechanical maiden’s prediction to come true. Only two months back, after ending a three-year relationship with my former flat-mate’s sister, I re-joined the nation’s throng of nine million singles. Strangely, it was the ex’s womanizing brother that helped ease me back into the dating scene.
Davis had the mastered the art of pulling women on dating sites and had been working them well before they became socially acceptable (three years ago I wouldn’t dream of hitting the online personals). But after ‘playing the virtual field’, David found his dream girl, dated her for five months and has since booked his white wedding at Farnborough Castle for next year.
Given the amount of talent he could choose from, I wasn’t surprised to hear that he put Lisa through a fairly extensive evaluation process. What I couldn’t believe was that he hooked her up to some sort of voice machine to test her sincerity.
“You gotta screen ‘em before you meet ‘em. If you can’t tell if she likes you, put her through the Passion Meter.”
I was curious to see how love-testing had evolved since my Love-O-Meter experience. The only problem was that I had to hit the online dating scene to find out. When David told me to go to try the Passion Meter at www.datingdonut.com, I was sure I’d find fake photos of fit females and fabulous men concealing some sad lot secretly stuffing themselves with pies, chips and (of course) donuts.
I first decided to do a bit of online research and quickly discovered online personals had become the most popular method for singles to meet in this country. According to the Times, 3.6 million Brits used an online dating site in 2005 and the online dating market in this country is set to grow to around £50 million in two years. Incredibly, already over 65% of single people now used the internet to meet people and half of them believing they will meet a suitable partner on the internet. And (not surprisingly) over 30% lie about their looks or personality in their profile. So how many honey-dipped hotties would secretly be jelly-filled jollies?
On first impressions, www.datingdonut.com looked like all the other dating sites. After clicking past the beefy bloke posing with a bombshell brunette with a perfect smile, I was offered up the standard photo-album quality close-ups, various mug-shots cropped from bikini beach holidays, and a few grainy granular images sent in on flashy 3G phones. I was pleased to find the website did hold a lot of dating profiles in all age categories, and while there were a disproportionate number of 26-35 year-olds, I was particularly amazed with the number of over 55’s who had either dumped their spouses, or were now living out some sort of post-retirement cyber-cheating fantasy.
In the end, I was able to get what I wanted done on the site pretty quickly. The client registration and search was simple to do, the WAP site on my mobile actually showed me several full-photo candidates, and I was able to send off some SMS messages to some prospective dates on the first attempt. But most importantly, I found Jenny, a 28 year-old heath care manager from in Hampshire, who would be my subject for testing the Passion Meter.
I dialed in to the Passion Meter then phoned Jenny’s number. As soon as she picked up, the technology was supposedly analyzing 129 emotional layers in her voice including excitement, confusion, stress, concentration, anticipation, eagerness and passion would be then analyzed to capture Jenny’s feelings. Passion Meter was developed in Israel and was originally designed for the secret security services industry before being approved for commercial use here in the UK. All I had to do was call and ensure I kept Jenny on the line for five to six minutes to ensure the service had enough data to analyze.
Jenny was an absolute gem of a girl. After plowing through the where-you-live, what-you-do, what-you’d-really-like-to-do routine, I found her clever, interesting, chilled out, and (most importantly) keen to have only a casual relationship. In the end, I was so engaged that I’d completely forgot about the Passion Meter.
When my mobile beeped after five minutes, I struggled to come up with a strong reason to hang up on her in 60 seconds without her thinking I’d lost interest. I certainly wanted to speak with her again. I decided to tell her my boss was on the other line needing some contact details (this showed my sense of loyalty, my level of professionalism, the fact I had a job).
Based on her tone and interest level, I thought she was keen enough to meet me, but not desperate enough to use my number which undoubtedly showed upon on her mobile screen. Two minutes later a call came summarizing her confidence, concentration, expectation levels and overall passion rating. Although the final report sounded like it was coming from some anorak systems analyst was moonlighting as a love doctor, the results certainly matched my impressions of Jenny’s interest level.
"Embarrassment level was 'Normal'. Although your friend was embarrassed from time to time, this is only expected in long calls. Your friend's concentration level was VERY HIGH during this conversation. Normally, this is a very good indication as it means that your friend is 100% with you during your call... If you can't think of any reason why your friend will be angry during the call, this indication is very promising...! Anticipation level is HIGH - Your friend was expecting something to happen during this call... if other indications are negative, it might be that your friend was too busy to speak now, but if love level is high, maybe it is time for you POP THE QUESTION??? HIGH EMOTIONS WERE DETECTED THROUGHOUT THE CONVERSATION and this means, most likely, that LOVE IS DETECTED! - Our advice? Proceed with caution! Be polite, and try to make the move!”
I decided I would indeed “make the move” and have since planned a coffee meeting next weekend at my favorite North London gastro pub. But I’m left with one final dilemma; do I reveal that I had put her through a CIA-style clearing procedure before deciding to blow a £1.50 on latte for her? I guess I already have secrets to keep from my dear dating donut….
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