Street Smart Chicago

Chemistry Isn’t Science

City Life, Love & Sex Add comments

I really dig taking online personality tests. You know, like the ones you can find on Facebook: “What kind of tree would you be?” or “What ‘Sex and the City’ character are you?” or “If you were a fascist leader, who would you be?” Because, well, they’re a joke with questions and answers that never really pertain to me.

So when Chemistry.com told me I was going to answer a few questions that would lead to my Prince Charming, well, I was ready to test it. Would I be paired with the athletic jocks because of my passion for kickball? Would I be joined with the intellectuals because of my infinite interest in “Star Trek”? Could my soul mate be just a generic answer away?

Facts: I have a boyfriend. He’s a phenomenal man that I didn’t have to take a quiz to get.

I love the idea, though, that people take these quizzes and believe in themselves more for the answers they get. I take them because, well, I usually have time to kill or an assignment to write about. But this quiz was to match me with a stranger based on an algorithm. Because, math always makes sense! So of course dating will make sense!

While sitting in a coffee shop one sunny afternoon, I began answering the slew of quizzes created by the Web site’s “Science Advisor,” Helen Fisher.

“Is your sock drawer ready for public inspection?” I read quietly aloud while sipping on my iced latte.

I answer a quick no. I don’t need anyone looking at my sock drawer.

“What constitutes a perfect evening?”

None of the answers from the choices applies. I want to say “One of those nights where nothing is planned and it still goes great.” Instead, I click: A dinner at a restaurant.

“How important is sex?” A scrollable meter rates from zero not being that important to ten being the most.

Wait, the scroll only goes to ten?!?

These questions continue for a good fifteen minutes. Finally, I get an answer: “Your major personality type is “Explorer” and your minor personality type is “Negotiator.”

The thorough description explains: I’m a down-to-earth free spirit (duh) who should be matched with someone the complete opposite. I’m then given a few men who would be “perfect for me”—which after reading their profiles made them seem like cookie cutters themselves. But, wait, logic and equations promised these were my dream men!

In love, there is no logic. Come on! Some things like dating sites make it easier to corral all the singles together, but finding “the rights” is about the mistakes of going out with the wrong people.

Sure, these dating Web sites help those who don’t have the time, opportunity or safety net (think gay bars) to get out there. But part of the journey is about the wrong roads you take. The other part of the journey is learning who you are—not just from some online quiz, but also in who you choose to get to know. The wrong people have taught me some of the best lessons that, in turn, brought me to the amazing relationship I have now. Or maybe not?

Life isn’t logical, so why should finding a partner to share your life be?

I’ve learned from this quiz that chemistry isn’t really a science.

I’ve also learned that I’m an oak tree, Carrie Bradshaw and Stalin from those aforementioned quizzes. In case you were wondering. (Byron Flitsch)

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