Dating with a spreadsheet

Chalk it up as a rare triumph for Microsoft Excel in the world of dating. Apparently a financial-services guy was so overwhelmed by the number of suitors that he resorted to making an expansive spreadsheet to keep track of all his dates.

The spreadsheet had status updates, detailed date commentary on every meeting, how each girl was to be monitored (closely or casually) and a possible pipeline. Colour coded for easy referencing. Never before was so much romance captured in the  cells of Excel.

So why would you do such a thing? You can claim that you are a super organized person. That you want some kind of logical markers to help you track your relationships with all the girls you are meeting. Fair enough. Logic is good.

Imagine you are such a guy going on a date. Even before you reach the venue your minute-taking mind is taking over. The starters arrive but you are already thinking about the most succinct description for the cell D32 of your glorious spreadsheet. Refining and reformatting. Maybe you don’t like wrap-text and so would need to be more concise. By the time the mains are dealt with, you have already visualised the entries for the whole row for this hapless girl. And dessert brings the tricky bit of thought about the final, concluding remarks that you will write in bold. The subjugation of feelings by data is complete.

But is it any worse than keeping all this information in little neat squares in your mind? Does the fact that you have written it down for easy collation make you a jerk? What if you need a little help with your memory?

There is no easy answer and people will invariably take sides on this one. If you are at a stage where you need to keep written records of your dates, you are probably dating too many girls at the same time. It is unlikely that you have the emotional bandwidth to deal with all of them fairly.

No offense to Excel, but there is something irremediably rotten when you start treating a potential life-partner nothing more than an entry in an Excel cell.