My latest SexIs column is called "Rate Me — Not: Why I Don’t Want to Know How Many Stars Your Ex Gave You" on why I don't need a website to rate my exes or see how future dates are rated. I get that we are into commoditizing people and summing them up pithily but I don't think you can ever know everything about a person from a screen (or really ever know anything about a person at all).
Here’s what was on the Ex-Rated site as a “review of the moment” the first time I visited: “Andi was an incredibly difficult, but sexy woman who, frankly, smelled better than any human I’ve ever met since.” Now, based on just that sentence, I have no idea whether this is someone I’d want to date. Even if I got a full dossier on her (or him), it still would just be words on a screen and, more importantly, a very subjective opinion. Maybe Andi is laid-back and casual around other people and her “difficult”ness was a function of something specific to their relationship.
Relationship post-mortems work well amongst friends because they know the backstory and have likely met the person and seen you together. They know the history and can judge when you’re being dramatic, have just cause to be upset, or are justified in trashing (or praising) someone. But in the absence of any other context, it’s dangerous to judge people based on “reviews.” People are not products, and while I spend a lot of my time observing other people’s language, expressions and actions and drawing my own conclusions, I fully admit that those are just my own conclusions.
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