If You Are the One

“If You Are the One” event poster

Last Friday night, the Rackham Auditorium was packed with Chinese students. What was going on was actually a dating show called If You are the One, which was co-organized by Dream Corps, CSSA and CUSA. The Chinese name of this show literally means: do not disturb if you are not sincere, and the American counterpart of this show is Take Me Out.

The basic format of this show is that there would be sixteen girls sitting on the stage, each holding a heart-shaped cardboard in her hands. A guy would walk up to the stage and introduce himself by showing several video clips and presenting his basic personal information, dating history, ideal type of girl he wants to date, and friends’ comments. The girls can flip their cardboard, which has a black cross on the back, at any time during the process, indicating that she has no interests on this guy. After the guy is done presenting himself, he could have an opportunity to choose a girl among the girls who keep the fronts of their cardboards faced toward him, by which meaning they still consider him as “worth dating.” Then he would walk toward her, hold her hand, and they would walk down the stage together in the good wishes from everyone at presence. If he does not like any of the remaining girls, or all girls have flipped their cardboards, the guy would have to leave the stage alone.

This event is definitely one of the top three events among Chinese students that it has attracted as much attention as, if not more than, the Chinese New Year Gala. Not to mention the Chinese TV show of the same name, which receives a nationwide popularity in China. Yet I’m always suspicious about the credibility of such a fast match making process. How can I know someone well enough through four three-minute-long video clips that I could decide to be his girlfriend right away? Go on a date, probably, but in the conventional Chinese context one of the presumptions of this show is that holding hands means more than merely a date.

The outcome of the show turned out to be quite cheerful—although only one out of the five guys who went on stage found the matched girl, there were four guys who walked up to the stage after the actual show ended and openly expressed their love to the girls they have been secretly loved for a long time. All of the four girls accepted their love. This result was surprising, because nobody expected these many courageous guys who went on the stage; however, it is also predictable, because most girls rejected previous guys who they did not know until they met on the stage, but accepted those guys who they had known for months. Im not saying that only time matters, but rather the process of getting along with someone that is the most important. It would not make much difference if the guy were given hours long instead of twenty minutes to thoroughly narrate his life experience, because for me, there is no shortcut to get to know somebody other than personal interactions—unless you are a human resource manager, who can decide whether to recruit a candidate by browsing his resume in two minutes.


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