2010, Dec-28 In an ideal world, there would be a store where you could walk in, peruse the shelves of beautiful, eligible bachelors, pick out the one who fits all of your romantic requirements, and go on your merry way with your newfound love who happens to love you, too. It sounds so blissfully easy, right?
Well, this scenario is a reality on AdoptAGuy.com, the new dating website where women “shop” for men online. It’s based on the highly successful French site, AdopteUnMec.com, created by Florent Steiner and Manuel Conejo in September 2007.
Recognizing the site’s potential, CEO and co-founder Sebastien Sikorski has now introduced this “Supermarket of Love” to the U.S. Launched in November 2010, AdoptAGuy is free and open to both men and women over the age of 18 from “all walks of life.”
Here’s how the site works: When a woman signs on to AdoptAGuy, she is presented with 30 men in her geographic region. She can browse their profiles or search for specific matches, like men who are “Rich and Dying,” “Celebrity Look-Alikes,” or happen to be a “Man in Uniform.” (Yes, these are real search categories.)
Once a girl finds a guy she likes, she places him in her “cart,” and then, and only then, can the two begin communicating. If the guy isn’t interested, he can remove himself from her cart. Or, if he wants to pique a girl’s interest who has yet to notice him, he can send her a “charm,” but he’s only given ten per day (so he must use them wisely!).
The site is certainly unique in that it gives us women all of the power – finally, we can avoid all of those crude messages from random guys like the ones we get on other dating sites where men are allowed to initiate contact. Men are left helpless on AdoptAGuy – all they can do is focus their attention on putting their best foot forward and making their profiles attractive to us. That sounds nice…
But, there is a definite creep factor to AdoptAGuy, and it’s one we can’t overlook. We hope we don’t have to remind Sikorski that men are nothing like shoes, groceries, or anything else you can shop for. For starters, guys have those little things called brains, emotions, and souls, which qualifies them as people who should never be “stocked on a shelf.” They should also never be referred to as “products,” and the idea of putting them in a cart is kind of degrading.
Could you imagine if the site was switched around and the women became the products? It would cause a national uproar! People would blame the site for objectifying women, and frankly, we’re surprised AdoptAGuy isn’t already getting flack for doing just that to men. It seems wrong to approach love with the same aloof and superficial attitude that we use when shopping, but maybe we’re taking this too seriously.
Then again, don’t most women (and men) who are online dating take their search for love very seriously? They sign up for these sites to look for someone to develop a relationship with and potentially fall in love with – a much more substantial search than finding a pair of shoes on sale or the right kind of ice cream in the frozen food section.
The reason why eHarmony and Match.com are the top dating websites in America is because they don’t fool around – you have to pay to belong to those sites, they match users on important qualities like values, morals, and compatibility, and they treat their members with respect. Yet, AdoptAGuy has apparently taken a different route, turning online dating into some sort of game.
If it is a game, then think about the players you’re dealing with: guys who have no problem being called a “product” or categorizing themselves as “Rich and Dying,” and women who think placing a man into their “cart” is cute and playful. This may be all the rage in France, but we won’t be surprised if it doesn’t translate as well here in the U.S.