One of my friends recently turned 40 and turned to internet dating in the hope of finding that elusive lifetime partner. She has written up her experience of navigating internet dating. Meanwhile if there are any good single Methodist men out there who would like an introduction, let me know. Here is her contribution to the guest blog:
I don't know what the general consensus is out there with regards to internet dating. I mean I know a number of people who have successfully met their “soulmates” through dating sites and on paper, it does all seem a very logical decision to make, almost like an arranged marriage in some ways. You get to choose who to date on the basis of common and shared interests, what their job prospects are, where they come from, age, look etc. What's not to like?
I've been on a couple of dating sites myself at various points in my life and on initially signing up, threw myself with gusto into the whole thing. I even went so far as meeting one guy many years ago and although nothing ever occurred between us, we are friends today, albeit long distance, sporadic ones. He was really quite beautiful however had a penchant towards gorgeous Eastern European women, neither of which criteria I met. It also turned out he'd got a couple of said ladies in the family way so friendship was definitely the only thing on my agenda.
However three broken relationships later and having also turned 40 last year, I toyed with the idea of dabbling with the whole thing once more. This was also at the insistence of one particular friend who had a very successful experience with eHarmony. One year on, he and his lovely lady are not only living together in urban bliss, they're also expecting a baby this year. That said, he did give the whole internet dating experience a whole new meaning. Try several times before you buy definitely springs to mind and he certainly kissed more than his fair share of ummm, what's the term for a female frog?
So very reluctantly and very grudgingly I signed up with eHarmony, sold on the idea of their "patented matching system....developed after extensive research into marital satisfaction", thinking with a small pinprick of excitement, that my "perfect partner" could be out there somewhere. I answered every question as honestly as I could and even said I was willing to look at men up to 150 miles away, in fact I was flexibility personified. More than 200 questions and probably more than two hours later, I sat back waiting for all my matches. Only to be told:
"We're very sorry, but our matching system cannot predict good matches for you"
I'm sorry, what?
And then went on to say:
"Unfortunately, based on responses to our questionnaire, we occasionally find situations where our matching system cannot identify high quality compatible matches, and this has happened in your case. Please understand that it is a result of our matching process and in no way reflects on you as a person or your ability to be in a happy relationship".
Well why not shoot me now! I may as well give up on my whole sad, miserable existence right now! Believe me had I been prone to jumping, I may have gone overboard without a second thought. I mean I was admittedly a bit nervous about being rejected by some likely or even unlikely suitors, but not an entire website!
As a consolation prize however, they very kindly offered me a "free Personality Profile" report. Now some of you might be thinking what the hell is wrong with this woman? Is she that unaesthetically pleasing that no-one unless they were blind, deaf and/or blind drunk would touch her with a barge pole? Has she set her expectations on the Premier Division when she would in fact barely make League Two? Is she that emotionally scarred that she is a complete basket case and again no-one unless they were blind, deaf and/or blind drunk would touch her with said barge pole? I can see what is running through all your minds. Well, let me put you straight. While I may not be Elle Macpherson, I have had my fair share of George Clooney types out there let me tell you. And I’ve been known to have a couple of relationships that have exceeded the five year mark.
So I open my free personality profile and according to eHarmony, I am agreeable and open, focused and flexible, emotionally steady, have the right mix of outgoing and reserved, the list goes on. I kid you not, there is not one single negative in there.
So what am I to make of this? If I am such a well rounded person as this profile suggests, does this mean that all the men on there are psychotic, deranged halfwits?
So what is this moral to the story? Do websites have a certain moral obligation to their members? Well I don't know about that but I've since decided to let fate take its natural course. I’ll let you know how I get on.
Copyright material SJD.All rights reserved.2011