Dating and romantic relationships are really important, yet most people are only so-so at them. Learning things like etiquette, fork usage and the rules regarding when (and when not) to call shouldn't be things people learn by humiliating trial and error. And let's not even get started on how unreasonable it is to expect most youngsters to simply say "sounds fair" when you tell them that having sex is dangerous and they should avoid it at all costs until marriage. But one thing we can do is avoid exposing kids to the mindfark that is matchmaking too early. Read: Airline Starts Matchmaking Service
Per WishTV, some parents in Indiana are bite-the-head-off-of-a-rooster mad that a fund-raising program being used to raise money for the middle school's drama club involves a matchmaking survey. The scheme goes as follows: 6th to 10th graders fill out the survey, paying money based on how many matches they would like to receive and, bah-dida-bah-dida-baaaaah, are magically matched up. The one parent quoted in the WishTV piece was fairly incensed, and felt that the program, though it's been operating for 15 years, was going to entice youngsters to do something particularly untoward. Read: Watch Out For This Matchmaking Swindler
One of the complaints voiced in reaction to the program is that it's a bad idea to put 6th graders and high school sophomores in the same pool. I concur. But what really razzes my berries about the "all in good fun" experiment is that these matches have a chance to make things difficult for these kids. Adults should, but generally won't, be able to get over having no good matches. By the time a grown-up gets around to a matchmaking service or online dating site, they may not be terribly surprised that they get a few odd ducks in there. But a 15-year-old girl is going to be fairly humiliated when the computer tells her that the kid who wears ash-gray sweats and is constantly adjusting himself is her perfect match. They can't all be Jake Ryan. Maybe this would be better if it matched the teens with celebrities or something. Though the girl (or guy) who gets Andy Dick is going to have her hands full. Forget it; bad idea.
Any thoughts on fun-time matchmaking for teens (other than the fact that Fun-Time Matchmaking For Teens would be a great title for a game show)?