Full Disclosure: I have a free Chemistry.com full membership. So, you know, this is technically a paid review but..I would’ve said these things anyway.
I’ve begun my adventure into Chemistry.com rather unceremoniously in the past couple of weeks. I think I’ve been there long enough to say that it’s basically like every other dating site, if you’ve ever used OKCupid or Match.com or EHarmony.com. It has decent elements of all three, melded together to form its own list of matches.
First, can I just say that I find it amazing that Chemistry.com was a domain available to be purchased and turned into a dating site in 2007? I mean, why didn’t the American Chemistry Society already own that shit? Anyway…
Admittedly all I knew about Chemistry.com came from the mildly successful but insanely funny (and true) ad campaign they launched back in 2007. The spots featured several people had been “rejected” by eHarmony. The best one, I thought, was a man who picked up a copy of Penthouse, flipped through a couple of pages and looked into the camera..shrugged his shoulders and said “Nope. Still gay!” and a giant red REJECTED! stamp was plastered across his face. Try as I might on YouTube, I can’t find any of the rejected ads that ran in 2007.
At the time, I was in a relationship (or two) and had no use for Chemistry.com, but the ads made enough on an impression that I still remember it today, almost four years later. Though I’ve not personally met someone claiming to have met the love of their life on Chemistry, when I got the offer to try it for free I couldn’t resist. So, I signed in, took the personality test, and here I am..
The personality test reminds me a lot of the eHarmony. The test, I should warn you, may take you anywhere from twenty-five to forty-five minutes. It asks a variety of fairly interesting questions, two of which are my personal favorites–an interactive test of optical illusion…lengthening sticks to the same size in a cross formation, etc. I’m not sure what this tests for, but I like it. Probably just because I got them both correct in under 15 seconds. Anyway, after answering various questions that are suspiciously close to a Meyers-Briggs, you get your personality type.
There are four personality types in the Chemistry world: Directors, Builders, Explorers, and Negotiators. After taking the personality test, you’ll be given your percentage for propensity of each personality type.
I’m a Negotiator, or so says Chemistry.com. At first I wanted to be all “That is totally not the case; I am an arguer at the very core” but then I sort of realized that Chemistry probably only analyzes your good characteristics for relationships, not your bad ones. And once I read the “Negotiator” description I sort of gave in. It was pretty accurate.
As Negotiator personality type, I tend to hate conflict. And as much as I like conflict that is fun and pointless, I do tend to get uncomfortable when the conflict adds tension to a room or appears to be spiraling out of control. And when a conflict involves me directly, it can keep me away many nights until it is resolved. My brain won’t shut off, it constantly replays conversations, runs over the outcomes and potential outcomes, until I feel ‘settled’. My nature is to take the chaotic and return it to normal, I suppose, and that’s apparently just what Negotiator needs. The personality profile on Chemistry describes Negotiators like myself as ‘win-win advocates’. The other day, I was comforting a friend at dinner; she was sad to be leaving town and moving a few states away with her fiance and daughter. As much as I hated to see her go, I started naming all the awesome stuff she’d be able to do, how her ‘real family’ was moving with her, and how I’d come visit. Two of the others with us started laughing and finally said “You are such a fixer, Blonde!” I just want people to be “okay”.
Anyway, other character traits include admiring spontaneity despite my propensity for planning…highly compassionate…socially savvy. Other things that are basically true and flattering. Maybe the best one, in my opinion, that covers me is the “big thinker” label. I am always thinking. And not about particularly important subjects (though I do enjoy that as well), but sometimes just about the day ahead or behind me, the past, the present, the future. My mother and The Boyfriend have both commented before that you can almost see the gears turning in my pupils…there is always something churning up there. And now Chemistry.com has figured that out too. I would hope that’s a big key for whatever mate I have..someone who can put up with that or possibly thinks like that too..
The interesting part about Chemistry and their personality profile is that they don’t limit your ‘matches’ to just your personality type, or one specific personality type that corresponds with yours. Nay! They actually believe that (gasp!) you could be matched with any personality, really, if given the proper directions to finding the common ground that you could potentially share. So users are identified with a colored circle that corresponds with their primary personality type and once you’re viewing a potential mate’s profile, there is a box that appears that says “How You Two Click”
The “How You Two Click” box compares your personality types in brief generalities that sort of give you a ‘Cliff’s Notes version of the common ground personality traits you both have. For instance, a recent match for me, a Negotiator and Him, an Explorer yielded this “How You Click” note: With the spontaneity and creativity of the Explorer and the flexibility and imagination of the Negotiator, you’re both in store for some great adventures and hearty laughs together. I find this valuable beyond the basic “great adventure and hearty laughter” cheesy line they’ve thrown at me. This match is on the side of less planning, and more doing. That is definitely something I’ve talked about being attacted to. But it also points out to me that I possess the skill of flexibility so despite the fact that I’m more of a ‘planner’ there is still room for me to “give” in that position. I think it’s really brilliant of Chemistry to provide this cheat sheet. And if you need to know even more about how a personality type would match up, you can get that information, too.
Here’s an example of the long-form “How You Two Click”, taken right from my page (feel free to click for a larger image):
I think maybe the best feature Chemistry offers using this “personality profile” gimmick comes when it’s time to communicate with your matches. Where most people falter with online dating, the open communication (email or message) options, Chemistry steps in with helpful suggestions. Taking things that are important to each personality type, Chemistry suggestions questions and topics for your email communication to give you a jumping off point. Ideally, if you send an email following this sort of guideline they set out, the receiver should be interested and intrigued because of the appeal to their specific personality. Here’s an example:
So far, I find Chemistry fairly interesting in their use of personality types and the way they really try to show you how to use these things to your advantage in each potential relationship. Rather than deciding what is “best” for each member, it seems to me (so far) that they sort of show you members who you match with in terms of must haves/can’t stands and interests, but let you decide what the common ground will be– with some helpful hints. I’ll be back to discuss my actual match findings on Chemistry soon, as well as the “chemistry starters” that they use to interact with potential mates. Just wanted to give you a heads-up on the Chemistry personality profiles.