Valentine, don't sweat online dating: outsource

A company called Virtual Dating Assistants creates your online profile and manages your responses. All you have to do is, well, go on the date. How romantic.

This blog has always had love at its heart.

So I know that, at this time of year, those of you who work too hard--or merely drink too much--might be feeling lonely, lost and fearing that you will never again experience the joys of asking someone's name in the morning.

I therefore give you Virtual Dating Assistants. This is a company that does all the online dating for you. Well, most of it.

Virtual Dating Assistants makes heady promises on its Web site. For example: "We do it. You date. Online dating, simplified."

Please allow me to show you just what "simplified" feels like. For the lowest price of $360 a month, VIDA will scour between one and three online dating sites--yes, like Match.com--and do all sorts of things that make you look better than you really are.

They will write your profile. They will choose your photos. They will digitally retouch them. Yes, really. They will correspond with all potential candidates. They will, indeed, create their own jokes. And they will even manage your winks.

Wink management is one of the most underrated aspects of online adoration. A wink in the wrong place at the wrong time can cause vast conniptions.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Should love be even more important to you--say, $1,440-a-month important--VIDA will give you an executive briefing before you go on your date. It will give you a professional photo session so that you can decide whether you look better from the right or left side (very important if the first date is in a romantic booth in a restaurant).

This so-called "executive package" even offers you something that sounds frightfully alluring: date concierge services.

I know that phrase, for those of you who regularly stay in the world's finer hotels, will conjure all sorts of magical thoughts.

I assume that Virtual Dating Associates uses the acronym "VIDA," rather than the more obvious "VDA", because it felt the latter might inspire certain thoughts of imperfect consequences in its services.

However, VIDA founder Scott Valdez, seems very confident in the power of his persuasion. He told The Wall Street Journal that, in New York, it takes a mere five of his company's expertly argued e-mails to get to the dating stage. (Apparently, in smaller places, it takes a whopping seven.)

Online dating is such a deep well of disappointments. People don't look like their pictures. They don't even vaguely resemble their alleged ages. Their idea of "sense of humor" tends to revolve around the collected works of Senator Harry Reid.

So why not let someone else do the digging while you merely do the picking? Surely the best way to counteract love's blindness is with your own online seeing-eye dog.

 

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