I joined eHarmony last week. I'd been meaning to for quite some time, but kept putting it off because I didn't think I was ready for a relationship. Now, I guess, I am. Or at least I thought I was. I was feeling pretty good about myself--job's going well, my house is settled, I'm in a good exercise routine, I wasn't pining away for old times. So, you know, time to start thinking about finding someone to spend time with.
Years ago, I had a profile on another service, Spring Street, which is accessible from lots of different websites. I joined through Salon.com, but they're also seen on The Onion, Nerve, etc. So I'm not exactly new to the whole online dating thing. But it's gotten to the point where finding someone online is no different than finding someone in a bar. It's all about looks. So I thought that maybe eHarmony would be a better route, since instead of just posting a profile and waiting for people to email, they actually match you up with people, and it's supposed to be a "serious" mate-finding site.
Well, I took the much-hyped personality profile, and much to my surprise, they found me 6 matches right away. I was stoked, because I had been very specific about age, religion, and geographic location. So I checked these guys out. They looked decent, right around my age, in good professional jobs, and they sounded pretty well grounded. Yippee! So I started the "guided communication" process. This entails selecting five multiple choice questions from a list of about 50, and sending them. I asked things like, "What is your philosophy on travel?" Then you wait for their responses. And wait.
As if 6 matches weren't enough, I got 6 more the next day. It was raining men! But then I started getting the dreaded "CLOSED." This is where you can basically indicate you're not interested in someone by ending communication. Since all the guys were local and around my age, with similar interests, etc., I didn't expect to get closed before we even started communicating! But sure enough, my first one came before I'd even had a chance to read his profile, and his reason: Other. Oh, that's helpful. And ever since then, for every 6 matches I get (I don't know why they come in batches of 6) at least 2 close me out right away. Sometimes they say they're in another relationship--ok, then why is your profile still accepting matches? One even said "There's too much going on in my life right now." Again, why doesn't he turn off his profile? Which leads me to believe that these "reasons" are just a way to let someone down easy. It's hard not to be a little discouraged. I posted several pictures of myself, and of course I think they're the best ones, and to think that someone would just be like, "Nah," well that kind of hurts. I mean, I can't expect everyone to find me attractive and find my profile interesting, but any form of rejection is a tiny blow to the ego. And naturally I start to assume that these guys are rejecting me simply because I'm not skinny. And if you read their profiles with that in mind, it is very disheartening. Almost all of them make some reference to how important being physically fit is to them. Which is just code for "no fatties." Fine, whatever, I don't want to be with someone who focuses so much on weight anyway. But if you go out to any public place, like the grocery store, Walmart, wherever, you see overweight women with husbands and kids, and I have to wonder: "If they found a guy, WHY CAN'T I????!" It is incredibly frustrating.
If signing up hadn't been so expensive (I joined for 3 months) I would be tempted to just forget about it. But I think I'll just let the matches keep on coming, and we'll see if anyone is interested. I am in communication with two guys right now, so at least there's that. We'll have to just wait and see.