“A dating service is for people who are very desperate and anti-social,” said LSA freshman Tal Masserman.

Many of us look down on dating services and are quick to pass judgment to its users. But really, how much do we know about dating services? How many of us wish we had the guts to try a dating service without worrying what others might think? So on behalf of all University students I decided to venture into this unfamiliar frontier.

I called the listed services in the yellowpages, introduced myself as a reporter, and asked if I could procure an interview. Only Irene”s Old Fashion Matchmaking Service said yes, and I talked to the matchmaker named yes, you guessed it Irene.

With over 350 marriages in her 42 years of service, Irene emphasized the important difference between a dating service and a matchmaking service.

Her telephone-based matchmaking service is not for people wanting a casual date “it”s for people who want a committed relationship,” said Irene. Her patrons include teachers, psychiatrists, clergymen and even parents looking for their children”s spouses.

However, I wasn”t completely satisfied with Irene”s answers her comments could well have been biased. So I decided to turn to an unbiased expert, perhaps someone from the academia.

Professor Ahuvia of the Dearborn campus, who has studied dating services in depth, said “women in the 30s make up the greatest percentage of dating service users.” He added that dating service users are “choosers,” as opposed to “losers” that we think they are, who are “outgoing with higher than average self-esteem.” Sometimes private matchmakers can be a bit pricey upto $5,000.

For those looking for a low cost and low risk way of finding a date, there are the online dating services.

I discovered an online dating service that was actually Ann Arbor based. But when I contacted the founder Nathan Bonfiglio a University alumnus I was told that “it was a total joke.” The website had some humorous profiles of date seekers, like Francisco, a hermaphroditic 22-year-old who loves the name Katherine.

After talking with a matchmaker, emailing with an expert and checking out the online dating services, I still wasn”t satisfied with my performance in exploring dating services.

I realized that what I had to do was to experience it in person. So I registered myself at a free online dating service www.dating.com. My profile read:

A college student with good build looking for casual dating. Enjoy surfing, rock climbing, and playing the sax. Loves listening to oldies and talking about short fiction.

I waited patiently for almost two weeks for my date. Disappointingly, the only response I ever received was a welcome e-mail from the service administrator. Maybe I shouldn”t have mentioned that I like oldies.

Despite my failure at finding a casual date through a dating service, I still have my hopes high on the University. As President Lee Bollinger said in last year”s graduation speech, many would agree that the University is one of the greatest schools in the world, perhaps because “what we really operate is a successful dating service attached to an educational institution.”

So here are my final words to anyone still dateless: keep on, keepin” on. And go to your classes.

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