“Have you tried online dating?”
A week after the break-up people started telling me how I needed to get back out there. I wasn’t so sure. The ex and I had been together for 8 years. We were in college when we started dating. Back then, all it took to meet someone was to stop by the library. I guess I assumed that dating in the real world would be as simple.
It’s not. The only people who hang out at the library are homeless or old. Not really on my list of turn-ons.
It was in the spirit of defeat that I signed up with eHarmony.
I spent some time looking at the different sites before choosing eHarmony. Match.com and Yahoo personals both boast larger numbers of members than eHarmony, but they aren’t as relationship focused as eHarmony. While Match.com and Yahoo are great places to meet someone to hook up or hang out with, eHarmony is a Matchmaking site. The people who sign up for it are ready to settle down.
And at $50 per month for membership they better be serious. eHarmony is much more expensive than other dating sites, but that’s a good thing. The price point alone is enough to scare off people just trolling for a fling.
The massive personality test you need to take before completing your sign up also makes sure that the users on eHarmony are serious. They say that this test measures 29 dimensions of your personality to match you up with similar people. I’m not so sure. But I’ll touch on that fact in a minute.
Next, you have to put together your matching criteria. How important is Height to you (not at all)? How important is education? (Very.) How important is career to you?
That is where I made my first mistake. I said it wasn’t important at all. See, I grew up in Countryside. My parents are both in sales. The ex was a consultant. My friends are in pubic relations and accounting. So, when I say career isn’t important I mean that I don’t care if you’re a doctor or a lawyer.
It wasn’t until I got my first round of matches that I realized some people don’t work in jobs with business cards. I was matched with a fry cook, a stockboy, and a man who listed his career as “gettin it done”. As much as I would like to say that I can look past what someone does to see the person inside, it turns out I can’t.
I had to pay $50 a month to learn that I’m an asshole.
So, after some adjustments I tried again. The next day was more disappointment. eHarmony limits you to 7 matches a day and all 7 had kids.
You know my thoughts on dating single parents, so I’ll let that speak for itself. eHarmony doesn’t let you filter out people who have children, only those who have kids that live with them. Apparently, us ladies aren’t supposed to care that someone has a kid, as long as we only have to see it every other weekend.
Maybe 50% of my eHarmony matches were able to make make it past my “no kids” and “job with business cards” rule. Sadly, most of them disqualified themselves as they talked about themselves. Anyone who lists drinking as a hobby gets shut down right away. Using your High School graduation picture, or featuring a pic with you and your ex-girlfriend are other good ways to get closed.
Three months with the service and I had only had one real life date. He was great, but I didn’t feel that romantic spark. Actually, the problem was that we were very different. Even though we may have shared 29 dimensions of personality, we didn’t like the same stuff. I own a 50 inch plasma TV and 2 TiVos. He doesn’t really like television. The highlight of my week is reading Entertainment Weekly. He didn’t know there was a writers strike going on. I’m a news junkie with a political science degree… well, you get the idea.
The problem with eHarmony, at least for me, is that it didn’t focus on the things that were important to me. Personally, finding someone who can catch my obscure pop culture references is more important than the fact that we agree on how to raise our theoretical children.
Look, I’m a flexible person. If you have a good argument about why we should do something different in our relationship, you can probably convince me. You can navigate your way to connecting two different personalities. But you can’t get around liking the same things. I’m not ready to compremise of ym dream of being able to snugle up in bed with someone while watching the Star Wars trilogy and debating how things would have been different if Obi Wan had trained Leia.
So, I’m taking a break from online dating. At least until they start asking the important questions; like which Indiana Jones flick is your favorite.