Not Harmonizing

Several years ago one of my fellow SCC pirates, in an attempt to help me out, told me about something new that she had just heard about. It was called eHarmony and claimed to be a new approach to online dating. The service claimed to help you find more than just a date. I was skeptical, of course, but I figured I'd try it out. I wasn't having much luck on my own.

I paid the advertised amount, took my personality test, and was soon a member. I was surprised that some of the men I was matched with seemed vaguely interesting. I even began conversations with a few of them. Back then, eHarmony had a policy that you could only see someone's picture after you had reached a certain level of communication with him or her. I guess the idea was to get people to realize that "chemistry" (whatever that is) and compatibility are more important than looks. Unfortunately, eHarmony failed to take into account that for some people--men especially--looks figure into compatibility. So what happened to me was that every time I would finally get to a point where I was comfortable "talking" to a guy, he'd see my picture--and mysteriously close off all communication. Honestly, I know I'm not pretty or anything, but after my experience with eHarmony, I felt absolutely hideous! It was one of the most depressing, demeaning, and demoralizing experiences of my life.

So, as you would expect, when my three-month introductory offer ended, I did not renew my membership. I did, however, continue to receive emails from the company. Fast forward to 2008. One night I was again lamenting my singleness when I mentioned to Steph that eHarmony had just sent me an email with a crazy-low membership price. Should I try again? I wondered. Why not? It would only cost me less than $30 for three months. Maybe, just maybe, it would work out this time.

I ran into a minor hiccup when I rejoined. The personality test I had taken several years before was still being used to find my matches, and my matches were not compatible with the current me. An brief email exchange unlocked the test again, and I was back to matching.

And with whom was I matched? Let me just say that I was less than impressed. Most of my matches didn't even care about the process enough to complete the basic profile. About half of them were absolute illiterates who could not even spell the names of their favorite activities. Many of them listed hunting and camping as their favorite activities and proudly stated that they aren't that "into" books. And these men were described as being "highly compatible." Seriously?

Since I had last been a member, eHarmony had changed its policies. So now each member can choose when he or she would like his/her picture displayed--at the beginning, at some stage during guided communication, or only when open communication starts. This is supposed to resolve the issue that I had run into earlier. In one way it did--men rejected me earlier than they would have before. The lamest part was that several of these men weren't even good liars. One of them gave me "the physical distance between us is too great," even though he lives in the next town over from where I work and lives at most 30 minutes away (if the traffic is bad). Most used one of the other prephrased reasons--"I am pursuing another relationship at this time" (so why don't you turn your matching off?) or "The physical distance between us is too great" (so why don't you narrow your search radius?). And then there is the ever-useless "Other." What the hell does THAT mean?

Some "winners":

(1) I was matched with my brother-in-law's brother. I haven't seen him in about 20 years, since our respective siblings' wedding, so I wasn't even sure it was him. Once I was sure, I sent him a note, reminding him of who I was and saying that since we were in the same boat, we should talk. He responded by sending me a generic, "I am pursuing another relationship at this time" and closing off communication. I didn't even want to date him! All I wanted was someone to talk to. Sheesh!

(2) Every so often I would receive a notice that "One of your matches requests communication." I would usually respond to one of these requests, unless I thought the guy was a total idiot. Sometimes the men in these cases felt the need to rush through the guided process to get to open communication. In one case, as soon as we got to open communication the guy declared how wonderful and perfect he found me to be. He declared that he had known I was "the one" from reading my profile and seeing my picture. However, when I responded with questions, his subsequent message addressed nothing about what I had asked and even asked questions that I had answered in the previous message. It was clear that he was sending prewritten generic emails, so I closed communication immediately. Soon thereafter, I received a note from eHarmony informing me that there was something wrong with the man's membership, and he had been ousted from eHarmony. Hmmmm.

(3)I tried to as open-minded as possible with my matches. By this I mean that I didn't immediately close a match just because I didn't like his looks. And those of you who know me, know how much I like a good-looking boy. :) So I found myself really offended when one of these less-than-attractive men would close off communication with me because of my looks. Seriously? Do you own a mirror?

So I guess it's not a surprise that I did not renew my membership to eHarmony when the three months was over. But I decided to keep my matching open just to see what would happen. What was interesting was that the very week that I had closed out my account, I received several matches, all in southern California. It was as if eHarmony had held back a bunch of matches until my account was closed, in some attempt to draw me back in. It didn't work.

Overall, I found my two experiences with eHarmony to be quite unharmonious. Consider this your fair warning.

6 comments:

Emily said...

AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH

OK, I'm sorry, I totally shouldn't laugh, but... seriously? We're really sisters, aren't we? Why don't you just move on up here and we'll do some bashing of our friend Mr. Warren. After one of my intermittent bouts with eHarmony, I actually went on a date.... Baaaaad idea. He drove up about an hour and a half to get here. I paid for dinner so that I could let him leave and go home and feel like I was a decent human being. HORRIBLE. Horrible. To all the readers... consider this your second warning.

Jenny said...

I guess that's why each time i considered eharmony (and had friends all tell me it was "great!" i'm like....yeah....right. I haven't made the leap. i just can't justify it and it doesn't feel right...

PMKat said...

*sigh* It's so disheartening sometimes. But I'm glad to know I'm not all alone in this stupid boat.

Emily said...

Ahoy Matey! ;)

Slicer said...

I'd take you both (Em and Kathy)! But there is that issue I'm sure you have with polygamy...

PMKat said...

Yikes! Can you imagine how many children Matt would have if he had THREE wives!?!

lol

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