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Username : Brian
User ID : 27
Membership level : Gold
Member since : 2012-03-10
Blog overview
Title: Brian's blog
Country: None
Category: Musings
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Review post - Loves me . . . or loves me not
Loves me . . . or loves me not
2967 days ago 1 comments Categories: Tags:

Yesterday a TCE member asked me-- complained a bit-- about why the member profile contains information about height and weight. "I'm just looking for a travel companion," she said. Fair enough.


When Jens Jurgen, the founder of the original Travel Companion Exchange, began his service in 1982, his main purpose was to help singles avoid the hated single supplement. He was rather surprised to discover that over 70% of his members were either specifically looking for a companion of the opposite sex, or were willing to accept one. Over the 20 years his service was in operation, he found that TCE was serving as a matchmaker in a large proportion of cases, and he constantly received news of marriages and permanent partnerships that resulted from people connecting through TCE.


In setting up this successor website, I had to take into account not only the new realities of the Internet, but the eternal realities of romance. Many single people have a hankering to find that someone special. And travelling together is a good way to test compatibility. In point of fact, about 45% of those registering on this website make the "Romance might be nice" selection in the "Relations" field on their profile.


So I had to find a way to serve not only the person looking to make a quick, one-time connection to share a cruise cabin, but also the person on a more serious search for a romantic or long-term partner. The solution is reflected in the varying membership levels. The Bronze membership means that for a token price, a person can pop on to the site, make a profile, do a basic serach for other members, and find a compatible companion without any great expectations. At the other end of the spectrum, a Gold membership suits the user who is going to spend a lot of time on the site, making contacts and conversation, looking more deeply at various characteristics of a potential partner.


It is only the Gold membership which allows a user to search for other members based on physical characteristics such as height and weight. For those users for which this is not a factor, not only are they not paying for this feature in the Bronze and Silver membership packages, but they need not be concerned that other users at a similar memberhsip level will be basing their search on those criteria.


All of which, of course, does nothing to address the underlying concern of women that men are too quick to judge a potential partner on the basis of superficial characteristics. Chatting recently with another TCE member, I got a sort of object lesson in the dilemmas this presents.


She is looking for a male companion, platonic only, to accompany her on a photographic trip to India. She grumbled that men are hesitant to make the first move-- that she is usually the one to have to initiate contact. I suggested that her photo on the site was a sort of "plain Jane" picture, and that if she used one of the more attractive photos I had seen on her Facebook page, she might find more men initiating. Her response to that was that then she would face an opposite problem, with men contacting her with unwelcome intent, so she had chosen the plain picture deliberately.


Sometimes you just can't win.   ;-)

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  •  adwohc wrote 1932 Days Ago (positive) 
    ...and sometimes you do.
    0 points