eHarmony is supposed to be better than a blind date because they match you on a scientific basis. "Supposed to be" is the operative phrase here. I'm not convinced that's the case.
Here’s how it works. After you answer your profile questions, you select things that matter to you, such as distance, age, education, etc. and then you determine how much each one matters. For instance, you might want to limit your search to within 50 miles of your home, but you can decide if that matters a lot or just a little. If you say it matters a lot, then they will only deliver matches within that 50-mile range. If you say it matters a little, then eHarmony might give you a match who lives 200 miles away.
As far as matching to your profile questions, eHarmony also provides different levels of matching. Some matches are highly compatible, others are flexible. Apparently flexible is the online equivalent of a friend fixing you up with someone because you’re the only two single people they know. If my experience is any indication, the highly compatible matches are generally only a notch or two above that.
If you’re a paying member, then when matches are delivered, you see their picture(s), and you can communicate with them. You’ll also see what non-paying members see, answers to a few of the profile questions completed by your match, including things like leisure activities, the things you can’t live without, and something about the most influential person in your life.
One of the first matches rejected me because he “didn’t feel the chemistry.” I don't know if he was a paying member who saw my picture, or if he might have based that entirely on the smattering of information that shows up regardless of whether you pay or not. Since he was 48 it was June, and I figured he was desperately searching for someone he deemed hot enough to show up with for his high school reunion so it didn't bother me...too much. By the way, "Good luck with that, fella."
I was just as shallow. I rejected others just because I didn’t want them cluttering up my inbox. You have to close enough matches in order for eHarmony to provide new ones, although there are those who say that because women greatly outnumber men on the site, men continually receive new matches while women can go weeks without receiving any at all.
Now to digress just a second, in my last post, I told you I went to high school with a girl who married a guy she met on eHarmony. They are reportedly very happy. I also went to high school with a girl whose younger sister tried eHarmony. I understand that she met a few guys on the site…all of whom she characterized as craaaaaaaazy.
Back to my own eHarmony matches. I live in what is known as a red state, some go so far as to call it the reddest of the red states. I prefer to think it's the conservative nature of so many men in this part of the country and not something in my personality profile, but the vast majority of my matches tended to have a preoccupation with guns. One of them even listed FIREARMS (if it wasn’t in all caps, it might as well have been) at the very top of the list of things that he can’t live without. Now this isn’t a Second Amendment issue here. It’s a dating profile, people. I have to be a little concerned by this obsession about guns from guys on an online dating site – one I might add where my friend’s little sister met nothing but men who were craaaaaaaazy. If there's a chance you might not be as (reasonably) sane as I am, I would prefer that you not come with a weapons cache. I closed all of those firearm-related matches without batting an eye.
There were other activities that mystified me. They say that past college, men rarely form close friendships with other men. That would appear to be true. There must be a huge unmet need for bromance matching, because many of the men appeared to be looking for someone to fill the role of guyfriend more than girlfriend. They want someone with whom they can go hunting, fishing, and hiking. I realize there are women who like those things, but I’m not one of them. Absolutely nothing in the painfully long questionnaire would indicate that I’m that kind of woman. For Pete’s sake, how put off would men be if I said I was looking for some guy to go with me to a tea room or to the nail salon?
Then there were the guys who described what they were looking for in a woman solely by her appearance. I’d like to thank each of those men for making it so easy for me to close their matches.
On the plus side, there were a number of men looking for match in their own age range. I found that very encouraging because too often we think that most men are looking for much younger women. eHarmony convinced me that is not (at least not necessarily) the case.
On the negative side, the vast majority of the matches I received left me humming the theme from Deliverance. Eeeeewwwwww.
Excuse me, but I need to go take a shower now. There will be more on my eHarmony experience next week.