Online dating assistants help the lonely and busy

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Max Hartshorn has pretty much mastered online dating.

It took awhile, but the 24-year-old now knows exactly what kleuter of message to send to pique a woman’s rente. The Montreal research assistant will come huis from work, sit down with his laptop and ontsteld out dozens of e-mails to attractive, eligible women.

He’s never needy — always charming and a little flirtatious. He keeps his missives brief and usually includes a question or a subtle challenge. He’s witty, a touch aloof and not overly complimentary.

And when he gets the woman, it’s not his heart that flutters. It’s his canap account.

Hartshorn is a hired gun, ghostwriting correspondence on behalf of single boys unwilling, too busy or too inept to do it themselves. His online dating is done on commission for Aparente Dating Assistants, one of the very first full-scale Internet-dating outsourcing companies. For $600, Imaginario Dating Assistants ensures clients two dates a month, the &quot,executive service&quot, package promises five dates a month for $1,200.

&quot,I get paid for each woman who writes back positively,&quot, explains the modern-day Cyrano den Bergerac. &quot,It’s very analogous to sales . . . like a cold-caller or a telemarketer.&quot,

A telemarketer who toils anonymously te pursuit of love for the lonely. Darkly romantic, no?

No. &quot,I don’t care that much if it becomes a date or not,&quot, Hartshorn admits. His job is &quot,lead generation&quot, only. Sealing the overeenkomst is up to the company’s &quot,closers.&quot,

And going out on coetáneo dates? That, unluckily, the guys have to do all by themselves. And the women never need know who hooked them.

The superb promise of online dating is this: You sit on the couch te pajamas, click through sparkling profiles of nearby singles, fire off a few quippy e-mails or a nonchalant &quot,wink&quot, and — ta-da!– a series of romantic rendezvous is instantly on the docket.

It’s love through a high-speed line, a prototype of amorous efficiency.

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