Sunday, June 5, 2011

the melody of eharmony: this girl's case study (part one)

You know the saying. . . Opposites attract.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I'm attracted to in a guy and what kind of guy I think I'll eventually end up with. In my mind's eye he's friendly and personable but fairly private. He's a guy's guy with a softer side that comes out every once in a while. He's intelligent and well spoken. I could go on and on.

I tend to think since I'm on the quiet side I will end up with someone who is more outgoing and brings that out in me. I tend to be Type-A about stuff and I think my guy might loosen me up a bit... I joke and say that I'd better end up with someone who is good at math... otherwise my kids are screwed.

So when I decided to try eHarmony it was in large part due to the fact that it appears to be a rather large sociological experiment. And I'm curious. And I'm single and seeing more and more wedding photos and baby pics on Facebook. You get the idea. I'd avoided the site for a while for personal political reasons, however, I decided to give it a go two months ago.

For those of you who don't know, eHarmony's thing is that they match you based on what they call "29 dimensions of compatibility" rather than letting you have-at-it with a giant database of dudes. Before I signed up for a paid subscription, I filled out a personality profile and answered questions about the ways I communicate, my values and habits, etc. Then I had the chance to review my matches, delivered right to my inbox. I'd learn a guy's first name, age, and location as well as his answers to various questions like what he can't live without, the first thing someone notices about him, etc. I also answered the same types of questions for my profile.

I took the plunge and signed up after finding a discount coupon online. The site ain't cheap. They advise giving the site at least 3+ months. I signed up for a one-month-at-a-time subscription and ended up giving it two months before I cancelled it last week.

eHarms has 3 steps of communication. If someone strikes your fancy you can send them three multiple choice questions to answer (that you choose from a list of questions). He answers them and then sends you his three questions and you answer back. After that you swap your list of 8 Must-Haves and Can't-Stands. Then come the "open ended questions." You can select from a list or write your own and then he fills in the answer in a little box. I alternated between the pre-selected questions and writing my own. Then after that they think you're trustworthy enough to let you email one another.

I must say this guided and slow way of communicating with someone only appealed to me only on the basis of curiosity. Otherwise, it seemed to prolong things. I was interested in how the site chose guys for me. A guy's answer to a question along with the questions he asked me were telling. Generally speaking, we toed gender lines. I was interested in knowing how driven he was and good communication was on my must-have list. The guys tended to ask me how often I laugh (Read: "Are you a stick in the mud?") and physical chemistry was a must-have. (Naturally.)

Overall, I gave it two months and I think that's enough. I'm not sure I'd try it again but I have learned never to rule anything out when it comes to finding the right person for me. Once upon a time I decided that was going to include this type of thing. I still fight with myself over whether it is something I want to be doing. A lot. Bottom line: I don't think it's for me and would reconsider giving it another shot... This is getting to be a long post so tomorrow I will tell you why...

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