Ready For Love—can science find you the perfect match?

By Christie Wilcox | August 11, 2013 7:45 pm

I have a confession to make. I’ve done something that I’m deeply embarrassed about, and I feel the need to come completely clean with you. So, I’m just gonna say it:

I watched every single episode of the failed reality dating show Ready For Love.

Wow, it feels good to get that off my chest.

I don’t tend to watch that kind of thing; I’ve never sat through The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, never even seen an episode of Joe Millionaire, and on principle refused to watch Beauty and the Geek. But I had worked my way through my usual TV lineup and was looking for something random to put on in the background while I cleaned my house, and the pilot of Ready for Love was being heavily advertised by Hulu Plus. I went for it.

I’m not saying I liked it—it’s a terrible show. Really, very awful. It’s difficult to even explain the premise because it was so complex and convoluted. Something about three lonely, successful men needing the assistance of three matchmakers that picked a dozen women for each guy. The matchmakers were initially portrayed as competing, but the faux rivalry between them was readily dropped. The poor girls went on these ridiculous group dates, hoped to be chosen by the matchmakers for one on one time, and were constantly coached as to how to win their stud over, then grilled in front of a live audience on how well they did. All and all, it was a mess. The whole production was overdone, with completely unnecessary plot twists, gimmicks (a live audience!), and sets (Ooo! Elevators! “The Garden”!). The constant jumping around from place to place, guy to guy and girl to girl meant you couldn’t build any affection for the competing women, or even the guys, really. It was as if the entire point of the show was simply to spend millions to say “Look! Hot, smart, rich people are morons when it comes to relationships, too!” The show’s executive producer even ended up stealing one of the main men for herself (though they claim nothing happened until after his relationship with his chosen woman failed). Big surprise, Ready for Love was pulled from the lineup before its third episode, though the rest aired online. Still, I kept watching, week in and week out, because of one man:

Ready For Love’s matchmaking trio
Image credit Joseph Cultice/NBC

Matthew Hussey.

Though only one of the show’s three matchmakers, Hussey stood out, and it wasn’t because of his impeccable fashion sense, sexy British accent, and ridiculously good looks. He was charismatic, frank and intelligent. His advice was always poignant, his insights into the guys and their potential loves scarily accurate, almost… dare I say it? Scientific. I was intrigued—just how much science is there to matchmaking and finding love? Could online dating sites actually be on to something? So I dug into the literature. I read dozens of studies about relationships, attraction, happiness and psychology. And, I chatted with Hussey, prodding his brain to see how it worked. I was totally surprised.

To find out more, though, you’ll have to head over to my article at YouBeauty!

  • Adrian Morgan

    Personally, the whole concept of dating as a Thing repels me. Spending time with someone you barely know if at all with the express purpose of finding out if they’d make a good romantic partner — no, no, no, I am not at all open to that. But I am open to the possibility of a relationship that proceeds one step at a time, that has already matured as a friendship before the romance begins. Romance, in my world of metaphor, is a post-graduate degree.

  • Terence A. Russell

    I hate all reality shows! Seeing people running here and there, or eating bugs, or seeing if they match with this person or that person, is so boring. I sure wish they would go away so real interesting dramas and comedies would return.

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About Christie Wilcox

Dr. Christie Wilcox is a science writer and postdoctoral scholar at the University of Hawaii. She is renowned in the science blogosphere for her delicate balance of contemporary science and scientific perspective seasoned with just the right amount of wit. Her award-winning posts have landed on the pages of major media outlets including The New York Times and Scientific American. To learn more about her life and work, check out her webpage or follow her on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook.

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