Dating websites, it turns out, have little to no appreciation for science. Within 24 hours, the majority of the profiles I created were disabled for breaching the terms of service. Apparently the world of online dating is familiar with the X-Men and I was flagged. Jean Grey, however, slipped in under the radar on most sites.
Of the profiles remaining, nearly all of them sat stagnant without a single match. Despite Jean Grey's ubiquity and general attractiveness, she had zero bites over the first week. Wolverine, however, was matched with two women across two different websites: Karen S. whose interests included MMA and weaving, and Charlotte P. who was an unregistered psychotherapist living in Nevada. I did not respond to either woman.
The second week, however, love found a way.
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2011 10:10:23
Subject: It's a Match!
There is a single in your area who is a great match for you! To see the profile and to send a personal message, please log in to findyourfacemate.com. We'll have our fingers crossed for you!
The facemate team
Findyourfacemate.com functions on the assumption that, when determining a mate, no one cares about shared interests or religious views nearly as much as they care about looking at their own reflections. The site picks couples based exclusively on similar facial structure, coloring and geographic proximity. In other words, everyone is just looking for his/herself as long as they don't have to drive far. A logic with which I can find no argument.
Even though it united the three X-Men, I was suspicious that these particular matches were predicated less on facial characteristics and more on the fact that all three were so close to each other, or more specifically, on top of one another; I had them all living at the same address in a mansion that, on Google maps, looked the most like Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
This feels right.
So technically the site didn't do anything but introduce three people who were already roommates, a technique that feels particularly dangerous for a dating website that matches singles who share features.
Concerned that I may have tainted my own results, I created a fourth profile, living a few blocks away, to act as an objective constant in the experiment: Storm Shadow. The facial recognition software didn't let me use a masked version of the assassin, but it did allow this:
I also selected an interest in men and women to cast as wide a net as possible. Fortunately, Storm Shadow was not matched with Jean, Wolverine or Cyclops, proving that even if findyourfacemate couldn't differentiate between love and lust, it could at least tell the difference between comic franchises.
Still, I was concerned that a dating website would intentionally tear a house apart by establishing a love triangle between three roommates. I sent a letter explaining as much, from the workdesk of Wolverine.