I need help remembering the name of a story that had a computer that functioned as a vending machine for relationships, but where the user had little to no control over who came out.

The main point was that people ended up being more satisfied with less choice because it forced them to search for the good in each other rather than having the privilege to be selective based on what we don't like in others.

It's killing me that I can't remember.

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    Roughly speaking, when did you read this? Was it in a book, magazine, or something else? Do you remember any descriptions of characters? What language was it in? Even tiny details may help us find this. – phantom42 Feb 19 '15 at 14:43
  • It was in English, I've been reading Asimov, Philip K. Dick, and others from that era recently. The main character was a man. I think the computer had only one button. – Gruzzles Feb 19 '15 at 14:48
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    So the man pushed a button, and one of the women came out of the machine? – user14111 Feb 19 '15 at 14:53
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    This has a very faint resemblance to Brian Aldiss "The Primal Urge" inasfar as this has automated matchmaking, but as far as I remember people in the Aldiss novel were less than satisfied with the results. – Eike Pierstorff Feb 19 '15 at 15:05
  • @user14111 That's the idea. I think you could select if you wanted a man or woman to come out. – Gruzzles Feb 19 '15 at 15:09

This sounds like Matched by Allie Condie

Via Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matched

The novel is a dystopian YA novel about a tightly-controlled society in which young people are "matched" with their life partners at the age of 17. The main character is seventeen-year-old Cassia Reyes, who is Matched with her best friend, Xander Carrow. However, when viewing the information for her Match, the picture of another young man - Ky Markham, an acquaintance outcast at her school - is flashed across the screen. As Cassia attempts to figure out the source of the mishap, she finds herself conflicted about whether her Match is appropriate for her - and whether the Society is all that it seems to be.

  • The plot's similar, but Gruzzles said it was a very short short story (only a few pages). This is a novel, and the first in a trilogy no less. – Trish Ling Feb 21 '15 at 17:17
  • Yeah, that's not it, but I appreciate the answer! – Gruzzles Feb 22 '15 at 19:51

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