March 24, 2010

eHarmony, eSchmarmony: The Conclusion

After trying researching eHarmony for several months and receiving an inordinate number of matches that filled my mind with images of Ernest T. Bass, I decided I was done.

My first clue that eHarmony was willing to play rough with the computer mouse came when I had a customer service question. One employee responded to my question, and then went on to add, "Margaret, I'd also like to take this opportunity to make a recommendation that I feel would improve your eHarmony experience. I see that you don't have a great photo posted. Please remember you are allowed to use the space provided to post up to 12 photos, allowing your matches to see the various aspects of your personality and interests."

My photo wasn't great? Does this clown know how long it took to come up with that photo, which I actually thought was pretty good? After all, most middle-aged single women don't have hundreds of pictures of themselves from which to choose.

I considered typing, “Thanks for your concern, but that’s what I look like.” Instead I thanked him for looking into my question and ignored the insult.

The next day, a second customer service rep emailed me with further information and then went on to add, "Margaret with your active account, I would like to take the time and encourage you to post more photos since it is part of a successful eHarmony experience. Posting as many photos as possible shows that you are fully engaged in the eHarmony process and opens up conversation by allowing your matches to see your personality."

What is with these people? This time, I was pretty irritated. Post more pictures? Are they kidding me? Good grief, it took forever to come up with one picture. And what was with the same suggestions coming from both customer service reps? Gee, there seemed to be a pattern...

I’m not a trained professional, but I'm starting to think this obsession with my picture is a form of emotional abuse. Blame the unphotogenic soul who can't get a dozen decent pictures. I ignored the advice, and yet I still continued to receive plenty of requests to communicate...of course mostly from the gun lobby I told you about in my second post on this topic.

As I told you in my last post, I did eventually communicate with one match, and when that match was closed, decided to take my profile down. That was when eHarmony started playing hardball. As you close your account, you are taken through a progression of screens, each asking you if you’re sure and giving you a list of reasons why you are making the BIGGEST MISTAKE OF YOUR LIFE!!! They tell you that it takes often takes people a year or more to find the right match. Of course it does. eHarmony couldn't stay in business if people found the right match in the first week.

But my favorite ploy to try to keep me hooked was this one:

I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of that statement...only 1 in 4 American marriages is actually happy? Really? That doesn't exactly make marriage seem that appealing, does it?

And with that, I clicked one final time, and closed my account for good.

Don't get me wrong. I know that some people really do meet the "love of their life" online. Still others have met "good enough for now" online. But it's not for everyone. For me, a sense of humor is huge, and that's almost impossible to get across in an online profile because it can come off as either snarky or stupid. Spirituality is easier to fake online than in person, as is character. No, my brief experience with eHarmony did nothing to sell me on the idea of online dating.

Besides, if God does have a husband for me - and I have long since come to accept that may not be in God's plan for my life - God knows where to find me. He also knows how to speak to me in a way that will lead me to recognize His voice. That's way better than anything eHarmony can promise.

What’s more, God is never going to say, “Hey, Margaret, I noticed your picture’s not great.”

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” ~ Psalm 20:7


  1. "hey margaret, you are beautifully made and
    such a source of joy to me. don't worry about
    silly e harmony."

    -your maker

  2. ps. wouldn't it be fun to have a local
    bloggers coffee or dinner?

    don't have the foggiest idea how to
    determine who the local bloggers are.

  3. Tasha Does Tulsa just posted about one tomorrow night - I can't make it this time but I emailed her to see how often they do them and they're once a month.

    And thanks for the sweet comment. =)

  4. This made me chuckle. I think the name of your blog says it all -- Single and Sane. Most of the people I know who are in relationships are not very happy, truth be told. If 1 out of 4 American marriages are happy, that means 3 out of 4 are not. Phew! That's a lot.

    If it's meant to happen for you, it will happen, otherwise just keep on being single and sane. :-)



  5. That is a little over-the-top carping on your about your photos like that? Is eHarmony owned by the Portrait People or something like that.

    And have you considered

  6. Jenners -

    I think eHarmomy will do anything to keep you from noticing that their profile matching skills are suspect. I'll think about it when I start getting low on blog material...which could be any minute now.

    Margaret =)

  7. They told me the same picture thing on the phone when I had a basic enquiry.. Guess it's in their training! Well they said mine was okay but they said the 'post more' thing. I get communication but I've been Googling tonight because I suspect some of it as fake. I got one Google search lead me to a college leavers site with two names I had been communicating with (one of those names quite unusual) both based in the same area (as they are on eharmony).. Quite coincidental? Or not! :)

  8. I think that picture thing is an easy scapegoat for them to use - it could be used to apply to just about anyone.

    Fake communication? Wow. Good luck getting to the bottom of that!

  9. I really like how you concluded this series - the last 2-3 paragraphs especially. Your experience and insight into eHarmony pretty much mirrors my own.

  10. Thanks, Michelle. I hadn't read this post in a long time, but my feelings on the subject haven't changed. I wouldn't try eHarmony again if they paid me. ;-)