The weird world of dating

Latest way to meet someone? Scratch-and-sniff


Call it scratch-and-sniff dating.

According to a report from National Public Radio, one of the newest entrants in the online-matchmaking world is Smell Dating, a New York-based company that asks clients to wear a T-shirt for three days — without bathing! — so swatches of the fabric can be sent to prospective partners. The idea is that folks sniff and, if they like the smell, pursue a date.

Weird? Perhaps -- but across the world, there are a lot of seemingly unique ways to meet your other half, according to NPR. Consider, for example:

China, where parents gather every weekend for a "marriage market" at People's Park in Shanghai. Moms and dads post signs touting their children's personal details, including height and income, and then scan the hundreds of other signs in search of a good fit. For the parents, it's a practical, low-tech way to try to achieve their goal: Get their child hitched. (This doesn't work so well for China's "sheng nu," or "leftover women," who are considered failures at love if they're still single at the ripe old age of 30.)

Afghanistan, where dating, at least in the western sense, is forbidden by law. Given that single men and women are not allowed to be by themselves with no one else around, young people often seek out a match at school, where they are at least allowed to be in the same room with each other. If there's a potential match, students typically enlist parents to contact the family of their target, and the negotiations commence.

Mexico, or at least the southernmost part of the country, where women can find a suitor -- sometimes several -- just by walking down the street. But there's a catch: Those suitors might be married already. In the Tulum area south of Cancun, it's widely considered acceptable for a married man to have families with other women. It's called "la casa chica," or "the little house."