Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the day “February 15, 2011”

My Heart is an Open Book

Staying with the romantic theme for another day, searching on-line for one’s partner is on my mind. No, no, Mrs. Blog knows I am writing this.

I remember the first time I heard from friends who were open about using on-line dating services. Until this point I had  a very negative, stereotypical profile of such people. Watching these two young, successful and charismatic people at their wedding, proudly encourage anyone who was single and seeking a partner to take the path that brought them together.

Now, five years later, as I pack up my papers at the end of a business meeting, three young men share their experiences using different websites. It is a serious conversation and I eavesdrop on them as they talk. All three are socially competent, communicative, nice young men.  All three have the financial means to cruise the bars and clubs, and would probably enjoy themselves whether they met future spouses or not.

They do not see on-line dating as a last resort. On the contrary, they allocate their time and resources in this respect, as they do in the rest of their lives, with efficient and effective strategy. It makes total sense to them, products of the technological age that they are, and they harbor no doubts that they will achieve their goals.

How does one choose which site to use? Well, I know of on-line dating sites that use religious, geographical, sexual preference and other parameters, but I was surprised to discover that you might want to consider a potential partner by the books they read. As an author, this perked my interest.

Alikewise is “a dating site that allows you to find people based on their book tastes.” We often ask a potential partner what books they read, essentially perceiving this as a way of further understanding them. So why not save time and have this discussion on-line? In fact, why not use it as criteria? Alikewise is already spreading its wings to the US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, and Israel.

So next time you sidle up to someone in a bar/party/club and need to yell into their ear: “so watcha reading?” and then strain to hear his/her answer, maybe consider Alikewise instead.


Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/

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