So you’re on a date with someone new. You feel like you’re really hitting it off, and maybe you even go on a few more dates after that first fateful meeting. You’re stoked. Butterflies are ravaging your insides, and suddenly romantic comedies don’t seem so far fetched anymore.
You wait for those three obligatory days of silence to pass, still buzzing with excitement. But when day four arrives, there’s no phone call.
You tell yourself not to worry. Your new beau may have been busy. Or maybe he/she didn’t want to seem too eager. So you wait another three days.
Still no phone call.
You decide to take the initiative and call to set up another date. Voicemail. The butterflies are getting pretty aggressive. This is weird … you thought you’d really hit it off.
Several days pass with no return call. You decide to try a text message this time. No response.
So Wot Went Wrong?
Nope, that’s not a misspelling. WotWentWrong is a free online service that allows users to send customizable feedback requests to past dates via email or text message to try to find out what exactly went wrong with the relationship. According to Audrey Melnik, the site’s founder, the goal of the site is to help people find closure when a date simply “vanishes,” as well as potentially help people make improvements to their dating style through (hopefully) constructive feedback from past dates.
“WotWentWrong is the breakup app for couples who never really broke up,” said Melnik. “Instead someone just faded away, and the lack of explanation makes it difficult for the other party to move on. We’re providing a socially acceptable way to tie up the loose ends, learn from what happened and improve your dating Zen for the next relationship – no stalking required.”
The “fade away” strategy is nothing new, so it’s no surprise that Melnik experienced her own fade-away-date who helped inspire her to create the site.
“There definitely was a guy in my life who helped ‘inspire’ me to create WotWentWrong,” said Melnik. “A few years ago I had a first date with someone who I’d actually known for a number of years. He contacted me through Facebook a few months after ending a long-term relationship.
“We had a great first date – drinks, dinner, and he invited me up to his place for a goodnight kiss. He initiated all of it. Then…he vanished. No follow-up call, no more communication from him, nothing.
“I didn’t get it – why would he invite me up to his place if he wasn’t interested? Was the problem me? Him? I really wanted to know the reason, but there was just no socially acceptable way for me to find out. I couldn’t call – unless I wanted a reputation as a stalker — and an email could have gotten forwarded to his friends and turned me into a joke (Note from Mika: I would argue that this could still happen with the feedback requests sent through Wot Went Wrong. What’s to stop someone from forwarding that on or showing the text to a friend?). So, I wound up creating my own way to get this kind of information in these unfortunate situations.”
While WotWentWrong is a free service, it generates revenue through “hyper-contextualized” ads that are included at the bottom of the dating feedback reports. This is one of the reasons users must select options from pre-filled forms when requesting feedback — the ads are generated based off of the feedback provided by their exes. For example, someone might see an ad for a book on how to stop being late if their feedback report indicated they have a problem with punctuality.
The site launched in January, and as of the end of March, the site has had 48,000 unique visitors per month and more than 1,200 feedback requests sent. Of those 1,200 requests, 350 “exes” have responded. Melnik admits it is currently unclear how many of these interactions are legitimate as many people may still be testing the site out.
While Melnik feels this is a great response, the feedback has not been completely positive. Some of the most common criticisms she has received are:
- The site is a self-esteem crusher.
- Despite the site’s claims to help users avoid being stalkers, the site actually provides a tool for stalkers.
- Using the site makes you appear desperate.
The backlash hit the Twittersphere so hard that Melnik felt compelled to respond through a post on the WotWentWrong blog.
So what do you think of this service? Is it really providing a more socially acceptable way to contact past dates who simply vanished, or are the site’s critics on to something?
- What Went Wrong? The Date Who Fled (abcnews.go.com)
- Here Are Almost All Of The Possible Reasons Why You Were Dumped, In A Drop-Down Menu (forbes.com)