I received a call today from ABC News asking me to comment on a story about Jessica. If you haven’t heard of Jessica, she is a 23-year-old, single girl from New York City who decided her $45,000 a year salary is simply not enough to make ends meet in the Big Apple.
Her solution? Join Match.com, pay $50 a month in subscription fees to the online dating website and find men who are willing to take her out on dates and pay for dinner and drinks! Soon she recruited her roommate into her scheme. Both had the entire process down to a science. They would never allow men to pick them up from their home, and they would only meet them in public places. They would schedule dates every day of the week, rotating from a list of men they kept on a spreadsheet. They had another rule, never to have more than five dates with every one guy, so not to end up emotionally attached to anyone.
Business Insider first broke the story (click here to read the story), and while the article initially reported the girl’s real name, they later changed it to an alias “Minerva McGonagall” because she almost immediately started to get harassed with negative criticisms. Why Business Insider decided to use the name of a well-known witch – Professor Minerva McGonagall, from the Harry Potter movie certainly puzzles me. Perhaps the author of the article was a fan of Harry Potter, or perhaps she links Jessica to a witch who is able to conjure up cash and free meals from a dating website. No matter what the reasons, its obvious neither Jessica nor her roommate knows of the existence of WhatsYourPrice.com, and for that we might just be thankful!
Regardless, the ABC News reporter wanted to find out what I thought about Jessica’s behavior, and here are my answers:
Do you think what Jessica was doing is unethical or wrong?
Let’s face it, many men who are serial online daters want to meet as many women as possible to get laid with little or no intention of getting involved in any serious relationship with any of them. Yet, no one ever says they are unethical for not spelling out their true intent in their quest for sex. And while men use the lure and promise of “love” to get sex from women, what Jessica did is no different: She was merely using the bait of “sex” or “love” for free dinners or gifts from men.
The fact that she is doing it on Match.com, with the intent of misleading unsuspecting men is what makes her actions wrong and unethical. However, if she had been up front about her intentions (as many of the members on SeekingArrangement.com or WhatsYourPrice.com are), then there is absolutely nothing wrong with what she is doing.
So, my suggestion for Jessica and her roommate, is to abandon Match.com. Why pay $50 a month when you can instead signup on WhatsYourPrice.com for free. But, once you join WhatsYourPrice.com, be extremely upfront in your profile that you are not interested in any serious relationship, and what you really want is free dinners, gifts and perhaps a generous friend who will help you financially along the way. I wonder how many of you generous guys out there would still want to go out with her then? (And I know for a fact, many of you will.)
The truth is you never know when you will fall in love, and whom you will fall in love with. And while Jessica is staying emotionally unavailable, there is still a chance that someone may sweep her off her feet and change her mind about love. Perhaps it is her financial predicament that is making her emotionally unavailable in the first place. But who can blame poor Jessica? When you have to worry about paying your rent or your next bill, falling in love is the last thing on your mind. I bet, if someone was able to take Jessica’s financial worries away, she might just become emotionally ready and available. What most people don’t know is that the producers of dating reality shows such as “The Bachelors”, “The Bachelorette” or “Average Joe” actually spend millions of dollars to create the right atmosphere and settings in an effort to engineer the process of falling in love. And who can blame those dating show participants? When you are alone drinking wine on a private multi-million dollar yacht overlooking the most romantic sunset, anyone would fall in love…
Do you think what Jessica is doing is unethical or wrong?
If you are a guy, would you go out with Jessica, if you knew she only really wanted a free dinner?