Dating in the Dark Episode #1 Recap

(Online Dating News Blog) Dating in the Dark is a very interesting singles social experiment that examines what happens when couples meet and build relationships in the dark then, after four days, have their looks revealed to the other person.

Dating in the Dark Review and Recap:
Episode One: “Pilot”

The Singles:

Stephen (SAT Tutor) – Age 31
Seth (Audio/Video Designer) – Age 31
Allister (British chap who is a DJ) = 29

Christina (Marketing Manager) – Age 28
Melanie (Assistant to Color & Design Consultant) – Age 31
Leni (Nanny) – Age 27

The men enter the dark room first and find their way to a table where there are three chairs on each side. They sit down. Then the females enter and make their way to the table in the dark.  They feel for the chairs then pull them out at which point Leni states, “Guys, you could have pulled out the chairs for us.” Everyone laughs.

The first session is fairly short and just a way for everyone to get “first impressions” of each other in a group setting. Next each person is allowed to select one person they would like to get to know better in the dark room. No one selects Allister, but he does get to still go on a date with the woman of his choice. The dates are brief “get to know you” sessions.

After the “get to know you” one-on-one sessions, the singles are told that before the experiment began, each was matched with one of the others by dating experts and scientific compatibility tests (they each filled out a 50 page “test” before filming began. The results are revealed as follows:

Seth & Christina
Allister & Melanie
Stephen & Leni

The participants are told that every day they would have to spend time with their match in the dark room but would also have free time to date others if desired.

During the dark room time, each match gets to know each other on a deeper level, spilling secrets, and in many cases kissing. Yet they still haven’t seen what the other looks like. Near the end a sketch artist is brought in and each person is asked to describe what they think their date looks like.

In their first “we’ve been matched up date”, Seth and Christina kiss each other. Christina qualifies it by saying, “sometimes a kiss is a good way to tell if there’s even more chemistry there or not.” But after the date, she says, “I have no idea what I just kissed in there. I hope to God when all is revealed that I don’t have this guy that looks like Shrek.”  Ironically, it seems that Christina missed the whole point of the movie Shrek.

Allister and Melanie get to know each other on a deeper communication level with Allister sharing an emotional part of his past, thus endearing Melanie more to him. They also share a “tickle moment”. At the end of the date, Melanie says to the camera, “I have a very large soft spot for him.”

(Melanie and Allister in the Dark Room)

On Stephen and Leni’s first date, Stephen is distracted by Leni’s “pheromones” and wants to kiss her, but she says he’ll have to wait (she kisses him on the second date). They share time together and develop a chemistry.

At free time, the singles are allowed to go on a dark room date with anyone they want. All select the people they were matched with.

After the last date, in which all couples have indicated they’ve formed a strong connection, a sketch artist is brought in to sketch a photo of what each person thinks his her date looks like. Leni’s sketch of what she thinks Stephen looks like is a muscular model that would be on the front page of GQ. Pictures are exchanged so that the other partner can see what their date thinks he/she looks like.

The big part of the show is the “reveal” because each of these couples have developed a “relationship” with each other.  For the reveal the couples are taken into the dark room and positioned facing each other, but at a distance. They are not allowed to speak to each other. One is revealed via a “spotlight” (while the other is still in darkness) then the other. They then leave the room without commenting. Before the reveal, Leni and Christina do a toast saying, “here’s to hoping they look good.”

Here’s how each couple reacted in the reveal:

Leni was disappointed in Stephen, saying later to the other girls that he “looks like the kind of guy your mother would say, ‘what a lovely boy. He’s a lovely boy.o”
Stephen thought Leni was “cute”.

Seth was blown away by Christina saying he was “the luckiest guy in the world”.
Christina was disappointed in Seth’s look.

When Allister was revealed to Melanie, he blew her a kiss, making her laugh. She thought he was super cute and “dashing”.
Allister was disappointed with Melanie’s “hippie” look.

In the end:

> Leni and Stephen decided to continue their relationship.

> Christina rejected Seth and didn’t want to see him anymore despite the strong connection in the dark room.

> Allister and Melanie decided to continue their relationship.

What We Learned:

> Women can be just as shallow as men when it comes to looks versus personality and chemistry.

> Even if we don’t see a person we are communicating with, we form a visual of the person.

> You shouldn’t overestimate the looks of your date or dwell on it so much that it consumes you.

Action Items:

> If you are doing online dating, include a photo with your profile. Make sure it is recent. Get the “looks” factor out of the way immediately so that it doesn’t weigh on things down the road.

> Focus on dating people who share photos online. Get to know people you may not have a strong attraction to physically, but still find pleasant enough to see how well you connect.

Final Thoughts:
I’ve known girls who have gone out with a “hot” guy and later said that he was “the most attractive guy until he opened his mouth.” The opposite is also true. Physical attraction can grow as you get to know a person better. Likewise a very attractive person can take on a negative attraction through their attitude and ego.

What are your thoughts on the first episode? Post them in the Comments section below.

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