If you are the one…

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If You are the One is a popular Chinese reality show that is, simply put, bizarre. Twenty-four girls line up on stage and male guests appear on the show one by one in hopes of getting one of the girls to leave with them as new girlfriends. If they are successful, each new couple gets a vacation to a fancy destination.

Each girl has a light on their respective stand, and at any point if they decide they don’t like the male guest they can press a button to turn off the light, signaling their end of interest. If all lights are turned off, the male guest leaves without a girlfriend.

It gets weirder. When the male guest first comes on stage, he is handed an iPad with all twenty-four girls’ pictures on it, and he has to choose one as being the most impressive at first sight. This procedure happens barely a few seconds after the guest introduces himself, so how has he gotten any time to observe the girls?  On the flip side, the girls also must give an initial impression of the guest’s appearance as well, either turning off or leaving their lights on.
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I can never understand why some girls will turn off their lights so soon, during first impressions. Strategically it makes sense to wait until after watching the video presentations about the guy to turn off the light. But the show brings up an interesting point up for debate.

Do first impressions matter? I’ve never been in a relationship, so I wouldn’t know. I would surmise, however, that they matter little. First impressions can be corrected as one begins to better understand the other’s personality through conversation. And perhaps this is what the show is trying to say after all, since many of the guys’ initial first choice end up turning off their lights or not ultimately exiting with the guest off the show.

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I often wonder how many of the relationships actually last after the pair leaves the show. Imagine having to go on vacation with a person you don’t know that well, all because of one successful simulation of a blind date.


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