Harmony Scharmony

In 2007, I applied for a Rhodes Scholarship.  Obviously, I was not selected (as evidenced by the fact that I’m not currently under consideration for a Nobel Prize) but I did manage to complete the application process.  Considering that said process required eight letters of recommendation and approximately fifty four personal statements, I have always considered its completion a feat in and of itself— that is, until I signed up for eHarmony.

You know those commercials for online dating services of the non-eHarmony variety that say, “If you’re sick of eHarmony (or if you’ve aged seven years while attempting to complete your profile) come on over to Match.com?”  Well, I am beginning to understand the genius behind this particular marketing campaign.

The sad thing is I like to write.  I really feel for those poor bastards who can’t string a single sentence together.  I bet there are loads of them all over the city, collapsed upon their desks from utter exhaustion crying, “I just wanted to get laid!”

I suppose that’s the one good thing about eHarmony.  The sheer drudgery of the application process weeds out all of the would-be players (at least all of the would-be players who can’t write; I’ll have to keep an eye out for those who can because it is these men who have always comprised the greatest challenges to my sanity).

Nonetheless, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think eHarmony was a bit over the top.  I know it’s great for finding your soul mate and all that jazz but I’m 25.  I want to go back to London.  I want to see the world.  Unless my “soul mate” is willing to indulge my wanderlust (and my temperamental-writer tendencies), I don’t want to find him right now.

Perhaps I wouldn’t be feeling to snarky about the whole eHarmony application process if I knew how to type properly.  A little known secret about Yours Truly is that I only type with two fingers.  Granted, I type pretty fast for two fingers but I still think way faster than I can write, which means that by the time I get around to typing the first sentence of my response to the qustion, “What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about?” I’ve already composed an entire paragraph in my head, most of which I’ve forgotten by the time my index fingers have caught up.

The other thing I don’t like about eHarmony is that it forces you to go all psychoanalyst on yourself.  Generally I like thinking (and talking) about myself (no, really?) but this forced introspectiveness makes me a bit squeamish.  I’ve kept a journal since I was twelve.  That’s thirteen years!  I think I’m introspective enough, thank you very much.  I really don’t want to answer “On a scale of 1-7, how satisfied are you about your physical appearance?”  Especially because the answer to that question changes on an hourly basis…

But eHarmony is currently running a “free communication” event.  And even thought everyone’s comments on Wednesday’s post got me thinking, “Hmmm… maybe I should wait until the new year to start dating again,” I figured it wouldn’t hurt to take a quick peek at the prospects.

The thing with eHarmony’s “free communication” event is that it’s just a ploy to reel you in.  They let you do this wacky “guided communication” thing where you volley questions back and forth with your Potential Soul Mate for a few days and bombard you with subscription advertisements every three seconds.

“Not until New Years,” I kept telling myself.  “Even if I can’t see his picture until I subscribe (and might therefore be corresponding with a total troll) I really don’t have time for this right now.”

(My preschoolers are performing The Nutcracker in exactly one week.  Their costumes still aren’t finished, they have yet to learn the end of the waltz and I still can’t figure out how to “kill” the Rat King without inciting a total riot.)

But then Potential Soul Mate/Troll Number One sent me a personal message, the content of which I was unable to read sans subscription.  Long story short, eHarmony’s “free communication” event is not for the faint at heart (or the weak willed, or the boy crazy).  Eventually I caved, reached for my Visa card and purchased a six-month subscription, to the tune of $143.79.

And so it begins again…

15 Responses to “Harmony Scharmony”

  1. sarahnsh

    I’ve done eHarmony, Chemistry.com, and Match.com. I was actually subscribed once to both eHarmony and Match.com at the same time for a month. It was a social experiment that cost me more money than it was worth. I ended up not dating any of the guys (I really didn’t want to meet anyone, really, but it was a social experiment) and at the end of the month I met my fiancee after I spent that money. Go figure, right?

    Reply
  2. Landlord

    I almost spit out my cereal,

    “I really feel for those poor bastards who can’t string a single sentence together. I bet there are loads of them all over the city, collapsed upon their desks from utter exhaustion crying, “I just wanted to get laid!”

    Can’t wait to hear about this new anthropological research!

    Reply
  3. Matt79

    I’m considering a return to online dating and I think I’ll be tempted to sign up to more than one site at once – it just sounds more efficient that way! I hope eHarmony manages to send some good guys your way (and I look forward to reading about the results!)

    Reply
  4. mynakedbokkie

    You could start another site for all those dates you leave behind. Call it “seconds”. You could seriously make some good money- i think that $144 is a lot of money when you are not guaranteed success.
    Loved your blog.

    Reply
  5. TL

    I’m excited that you are trying eharmony. I have been thinking about it, but I don’t know if I live in a big enough city to hold enough men who can “string together a sentence” to make it worth my while.

    Reply
  6. Zak

    Having recently tried my luck with eHarmony, I feel compelled to give some pointers/inside info/whatever you want to call it.

    1. You will notice some of the same people, but not many, from the Match.com site. This is obviously because some people are really serious about finding someone and will try multiple sites at once. I know this b/c I was trying Plenty of Fish and eHarmony at the same time.

    2. eHarmony let’s you skip the multiple levels of back and forth and get right to mail, but it has to be a mutual decision. That’s nice in that you can essentially keep yourself from getting spammed. Oh, and once you archive someone, or close them out, they can’t bother you again. Another bonus.

    And finally, a few questions, for curiosity’s sake:

    Are you going to start the numbering all over? Date #1, #2, etc?

    Are you going to set goals, like 20 dates in three months, or whatnot? I warn you, eHarmony (at least in my experience) was harder to meet high goals, so I’d aim for 10-15 in three months, not 30 like before.

    Please please please tell me you’re going to start posting more often again! I love your blog and it makes me feel less creepy for having a blog about serial dating. See, I’m just using you… 🙂

    Reply
    • Kat Richter

      Thanks for the tips! Is there a way to “star” your favorites? I’ve figured out how to archive people I don’t like but I wish there was a way to flag people I’m interested in…

      As for your questions:
      I’ve been toying with a few ideas for the numbering system. Either start over at Date#1 or go to Date#1A to delineate between Match men and eHarmony men. Or start at #18 since I left off with #17? Or maybe call all of these new ones “PSM#_” (Potential Soul Mate number such-and-such, since eHarmony seems so hung up on the whole soul mate thing…)

      I’m not sure what my new goal should be. I was thinking I could try to secure a date to a certain event again, or maybe just make a list of nice places I’d like to go and find men to take me to them?

      Or maybe, just maybe, to actually fall in love…

      (Feel free to weigh in, everyone!)

      As for your final request, I will do my best, but employment really gets in the way of blogging some times 🙂

      Reply
      • h&hs

        Ill add my two cents too…

        In reference to your question about “star”ing favorites… My way of starring those I like is by sending them a wink in addition to beginning communication with them.

        You might want to keep a document with the answers to the questions your “candidates” will ask as they will come up over and over again. Ive found that all my best dates have been ones that have come up with their own questions instead of using the canned ones.

        Another thing I found useful was to know when a free communication weekend was happening. I got lots of hits during my first one but then they quit responding as they couldn’t go any further unless they paid. I circumvented this problem by just going to straight to email with any girl that messaged me or I wanted to talk to. I would send her something along the lines of “Hey, I like your profile and would like to know more about you. Im wondering if you’re here for the free communication weekend. Here’s my email
        . Send me a message if you’d like to continue talking. If you’d feel more comfortable doing the eh steps, thats cool too. Looking forward to your response.. M”

        Ive had really good luck with this. In fact, the girl Im dating now was a product of this.

        Good luck Kat!

        Reply
      • Zak

        Ha! I thought about suggesting the 1A, 1B approach, but figured that was a nerdy engineer thing to say. Apparently you would’ve understood.

        I liked what M said below. He’s right, there’s not a simple way to star anyone, but you can do different things to help remind yourself. I especially liked his comment about the spreadsheet/file with repetitive answers. This happened to me a lot, and after a while I did in fact start a file with those answers, too.

        Reply
  7. tigercity

    Never used these sites although I’m currently single but not too bothered by it. One site I do use a lot here in Lyon, France is called OVS “on va sortir” which means “let’s go out” it’s free and basically there are loads of people setting up events which you go along to and meet new people – some cool folks too.. there’s jogging, pool, cinema, badminton, picnics, salsa etc.. it’s all about getting out the house.. once you’ve interacted to people in real life and see how they are in groups then you can ask them on a date, i haven’t yet but I reckon I might ask out this girl called Céline who seems sweet…

    Reply

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