Let's Talk About eHarmony, Shall We?

BlogHer Original Post

So I've been back on eHarmony for a bit over a month now, and so far, this time around, it's pretty much Total Fail. Which is frustrating.

Last time, my eHarmony story was that I met exactly one guy, and it was the Hunky Actor, and we dated for like a year. I also had other guys in the queue - I actually canceled a date after I'd been out with the Hunky Actor twice. The time before that, I went on a handful of OK first dates before I met someone IRL.

This time, one month in: Nothin', Nada, Can you Hear The Crickets?

Well, OK, I've had some requests for communication that I promptly closed. And I've had one of my requests for communication closed. And I got to "must-haves and can't stands" with one guy who then closed me, which is fine; that's how it's supposed to work.

But let me back up. I'm throwing around eHarmony jargon, and I know that to many people eHarmony is a bit mysterious. I really like the interface at eHarmony, so let's go over it.

OK, so you take a big personality test and then you join. First thing I really like is the profile questions. After that big test, the actual profile is just the right size and surprisingly illuminating. Fun, even. Questions include "What are you most passionate about?" and "Describe the last book that you read and enjoyed. What was it about? What did you like most about it?"

For a while I was using eHarmony as a book recommendation service. It's totally why I read "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell.

The only lame question is "Describe one thing about yourself that only your best friends know." Because really, how many times can you read variations on "Well, if I told you then that wouldn't be true, would it?"

I use that question to work in that I'm a blogger. "Well, I'm a really open person and a blogger to boot, so there's not much. Really just the specifics of my romantic life. Only my friends get to hear the juicy details."

So then eHarmony sends you matches. I really like this because it stems the avalanche you get at other sites, and I have a comfort level about who can see me and reach out to me and how. Eight to four matches a day is good with me, and I don't really mind when it trickles down either. The one thing I do mind about the matching is that you can't narrow down the geography to under 30 miles, which in Los Angeles is a problem. If I have to look up your city in Mapquest because I've never heard of it, we're not going to work out.

I try to keep up with going through my matches, closing anyone I'm completely not interested in, keeping open those I could potentially be interested in, and requesting communication with those I'm definitely interested in. I'm also very conscientious about closing people who request communication with me who I'm not interested in. And I'm very conscientious about turning off matching when I'm not using the service.

So what is annoying me now is that I have five guys just sitting on my requests for communication. Part of the deal, but kinda lame. I'm mildly frustrated, but I wouldn't be if anyone had come to play. Because I do like the guided communication.

The first round is five short-answer questions that you pick out of a giant list of possibilities. It's like appetizers to see what someone picked to ask and how they answered. Then, the best part, your 10 must-haves and can't stands. These are also picked out of a giant list of possibilities, so they are *really* enlightening. Finally, three open-ended questions. You can pick some of theirs or write your own.

I like to ask:

  1. Describe the geekiest thing you do or have ever done. (geek-cred check)
  2. When's your birthday, how do you feel about it? Do you celebrate, and if so, how? (Yes, totally asking "What's your sign?" Also though, you can find out if he's a party-thrower, which is a big plus for me.)
  3. A question based on something in their profile.

After that you're onto open communication, where I generally go right for Here's My Number. After all that guided communication, I'm ready to talk, you know? Plus, I find email correspondence with a potential romantic partner less You've Got Mail (though really, how quaint that we thought it would be like that) and more You're-Hurting-My-Head.

So that's how it works when it works. Sigh.

One personal breakthrough via eHarmony this time, though. I changed my dating age range to age 30 through age 40 - That's right, I opened the field to the big 4-0. I've decided to employ a high school framework to my upper age limit, and the fact is, guys that were seniors when I was a freshman are now 40.

Look at me being all open.

Kinda. The magic numbers for me right now are clearly 34 and 35.

And I have the strangest romantic energy around me lately. I feel like a flame surrounded by very pretty moths but none of them have jumped into the fire.

Wait, maybe that's not a good analogy.

Anyway, the eHarmony thing is a little bit of a bummer, but not too much, really, because I've been getting out there and having fun and connecting with all sorts of really great people lately. Life is better with kissing, of course, but besides that, things are pretty cool right now, so I'm just enjoying the flow.

I've been thinking of it as being "agnostic" about dating: I don't know what's going on, and that's OK.


Linky Goodness:

My friends, there is a whole unofficial eHarmony blog. Which I have just put into my reader. Here's a post on eHarmony Rumors (including that Focus on the Family one).

eharmony date #1 & eharmony date #2 - vealaw1 on Complicated V is blogging the eHarmony experience. I have to say that my experience has been similar; even if it wasn't a match, the dates I went on were enjoyable.

Kicked off eHarmony (!) - from The Dating Guru on Best Dates Now. And no, not her, someone she was in guided communication with. I'm betting they found out he was married.

eHarmony - Sophistakated Shelly from Sophistakated Lady 101 joined but is on the fence about it.

eHarmony Advice - An official eHarmony site full of interesting posts. I don't always agree, but they're always talking about something interesting.


Contributing editor Liz Rizzo also blogs at Everyday Goddess.


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