So, I forked over $60 for one month of access on eHarmony. You can pay for longer periods of time and decrease the cost per month, but I’m still not sure about this thing, so I just kicked in enough to take it for a test drive. I’ve never signed up with a dating service before. Honestly, it felt kind of eerie to me signing up. It’s hard to for me to meet people though, so what the heck. I’ll give it a shot.
I recently discussed how they bait you with the service in my post The Dating Thing. You can fill out the questionnaire to “see your matches for free,” and sure enough, you see them. You can’t get any real details about them, just their first name, city, and state, nor can you communicate with them, but you’re alerted. That in itself is fine, but then as well those people can initiate contact with you before you’ve paid, only you cannot respond without paying. My advice is that you refrain from filling out the questionnaire until you’re ready to commit to the service.
Curiosity made me fork over the moolah. It’s been less that 2 weeks, I think. They’ve sent me some 60 odd matches. I was drawn to eHarmony in particular because they convinced me that their matching system provides highly compatible matches based on your psych profile. Well… now that I see the results, that’s sort of true. I’m a devoted Christian and every match says she is too. But the reality is, as I look over what each lady says about herself, almost none of them feels like a match in other respects. Of course… there is one really amazing match, at least on paper. I’m not sure if anything will come from that. I’m just trying hard not to spook her. (-;
There is some commonality in my matches. Most have children. Most are divorced from a first marriage. I put on my “criteria” that I only wanted matches within 30 miles. Apparently eHarmony miles are much longer than standard miles. A lot of the matches are from hundreds of miles away. I just don’t see the point in pursuing a relationship with someone at that distance. I could never relocate. I wouldn’t expect someone else to either. I’m sure people find ways of developing serious relationships over distance gaps, but that just seems kind of crazy to me. I’ve heard some pretty awful stories too.
The one thing that stands out, which people thinking about dating services often mention, is that it feels semi-unnatural. Ideally, I think most people would prefer to encounter someone in daily life, get to know each other, and develop a relationship naturally. There’s a certain amount of “Some Enchanted Evening” hope in all of us. Developing a romantic relationship by filling out a form is really unromantic. Of course, if you’re not a romantic, maybe it’s perfect for you!
Scanning your matches feels like some kind of unholy shopping spree. Like these people are racks of clothes you’re sorting through to find one you like. That’s an unpleasant feeling. It makes me feel shallower than I’d like to be. Unfortunately, attraction is strangely subjective. Granted, someone who is easy on the eyes grabs you sightline quickly, but not necessarily for the right reasons. I think anyone who has lived at all and gained some maturity is also going to take a hard look at your profile before thinking there’s a match there, lest misery ensue.
At this point, I think its very interesting to read about these women. I particularly like reading about their faith. People have a lot of different ways of expressing themselves. It appears to me that some profiles really highlight some quality, like telling the truth, which implies to me that they’ve been lied to, or are deeply interested in avoiding some situation or mistake that happened in the past. Nobody wants to get hurt again or repeat past mistakes.
In my own profile, I tried to communicate that I have a complex mind and need someone who is able to challenge back. Basically, I like nerdy females! I’m not quite Big Bang Theory nerd-level, but I really am excited by two things: Total devotion to the Lord and brainwaves.
I’m thinking I’ve scared off most of the women getting my name in their match list. (-: Then there’s that one match. She initiated contact with me. She shares my values. She’s clearly intelligent. Who knows.
I’m not sure if I’ll renew when my month is out, but it has been interesting. The one thing I can certainly say is that it’s helped me over a hump. I was lonely, but backpedalling away from the dating scene. Now, I’m a little more comfortable with the idea. I still have a very full life, with work, three kids, an adult Sunday school class I’m leading, and all things that accompany keeping up a house, making dinners, helping with homework, etc.. But somewhere in there, I really hope there is time to connect with someone.