Why was my high school trying to play matchmaker?

Today I was doing a bit of cleaning and came across a repressed memory–my high school matchmaker sheet.

I don’t know if any of your high schools did this, it likely depends on when and where you went to school. I went to high school between 2005 and 2009, for the record, and this sheet is from spring of my grade 10 year.

No description available.

The concept was simple; students would fill out scantrons, answering questions about our likes and dislikes and general personality test type things. A few weeks later, we would pick up a sheet that revealed our “best matches” based on those quizzes. There would be a section for “best matches” in your same grade, the best in other grades, most compatible friends, and your most opposite. It was very heteronormative from what I remember–as a girl my romantic matches were all boys and the most compatible friends were all girls, and vice versa for the boys, and that’s how it was regardless of anyone’s sexuality. There were also a few zodiac based sections, including your horoscope, your best “zodiac” match in your grade, and this quite funny section for best celebrity horoscope match:

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Looking back, I find it so odd that this was even a thing. Did people actually go on dates based on their matches?? I didn’t have any friends who did. I certainly didn’t. There were guys on my best matches list who I was friends with and we joked about it, and others who I barely knew and didn’t even look in the eye if they were at the top of my list.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t dating anyone in high school anyway, matchmaker list or not. The few times I did get asked out I mostly remember as deeply awkward moments. No shade to most of the guys who did the asking–I spoke to several of them for years afterwards–but I just didn’t want to date any of them. Being a teenage girl was hard enough without adding dating to it. I know I wasn’t the only one that felt that way. On top of that, as much as it was meant to be lighthearted fun, I remember people getting teased for who was on their matches list, I remember people being bullies and gossips about it, and I remember people feeling pressured to participate.

Again, it was also just so damn STRANGE. This was high school, why were we doing personality quizzes to find our “matches” and then paying a dollar to get the matches (I can’t remember what it was fundraising for, but I’m pretty sure that was the reason we paid)? Why did some of the percentages not add up? Did they know people would probably use each other’s awkward yearbook pictures to find their match when they didn’t recognize the name, and did anyone think that would work out well? Why was the number one celebrity match for me, a then 15 year old girl, Mike Myers? Does my former high school still do this, or is it a relic of the 2000s? What other high schools did this? Does everyone remember this as being as weird and awkward as I do?

If your school did this, let me know. If they did something equally awkward, I would love to hear about it.

5 Comments

  1. I knew exactly what this was going to be about just from the title. My school absolutely did this too. Maybe the company that created it sold it to the school board or something? I can still picture myself awkward walking up to the table outside the caf, saying my name to someone, and them retrieving my results in exchange for a dollar. I believe it was during the week of Valentine’s Day. What a time. I remember not recognizing most of the names on my list and having to go home and use the Yearbook to see who these people were.

    There was definitely an element of bullying and gossip to it. People would rip the list out of your hands and be like “Haha you matched with ___”. At the time, I didn’t question why the school did it, but in the years since I’ve thought about it here and there. That sort of thing would never happen nowadays. Maybe once a year I check out my old high school website (there’s a fun activity for you) to see the things they’re doing these days and it all seems so childish. I don’t remember high school being that way at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll send you a full picture of the sheet and you can see if it looks the same, you are probably right that someone sold it to the school board! See at least Valentines Day seems like a logical time of year to do it, although my school did have roses you could send to the object of your affection then. Maybe they thought that and the matchmaker thing at the same time was too much?

      Yepp you get it, exactly the problem. I remember people doing that and also being like, what if someone is saying that about me on someone elses list? like you said, I dont think it would fly now. Definitely wonder whats happening now though.

      Liked by 1 person

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