You check your email and see a familiar face pop up. You freak out. Run to your computer at work and maniacally try to log on. Out of trauma you black out, forget your password and get locked out of your account. You go through the tortuous reset process and finally get the ball rolling. All the while huffing, “Come on!” at your computer and impatiently tapping the mouse on the desk while you wait. Not now rainbow wheel! The moment you gain access to the site, you delete your profile, wipe out your entire eHarmony existence and pray to God that your friend did not have a chance to read it. Your rationale? You didn’t write your profile so people you know could read it. Dumb, I know. But rational thought has left the building. The truth? The image of him and his friends sitting around laughing at either a)what you wrote or B)the fact that you were on there to begin with, makes you want to curl up into a ball and die. You dodge said friend for about a month. Breathe a sigh of relief when you see him at a movie and he acts normal. Neither laughing nor pointing at you, jeering. Four months pass. And then one night he comes over because your car’s battery has given up the ghost. While battery charges, the two of you sit on the trunk and chat. He brings up the fact that you were once matched. You die a little on the inside and say something off hand and quickly change the subject. The two of you never speak of it again. He later marries a dear friend. You attend the wedding and mean it wholeheartedly when you say you could not be happier for them.
Being much older and wiser, when you wake up and see that your inbox holds a familiar face, you smile and think. Huh. So he is on eHarmony too. You read his profile and think, Yup. That’s a pretty accurate description. You toy with the idea of him possibly asking you out but then realize, if the two of you were MFEO (made for each other) there have been plenty of opportunities for him to pursue something. You say a quick prayer that he finds someone and that he won’t be awkward the next time you see him. Being new to the process and all, he might panic and wipe his profile. Newbs. You see him two time before he casually says, “Hey, I saw you on this website.” You smile and ask, “Oh, yeah. How’s that going for you?” You shoot the breeze about the two people he’s talking to and what he thinks of the process. He asks you what you think and you say, “I’m just not getting any quality matches.” Later as you drive away, you wonder if you just accidentally insulted your friend. So you pop off a quick text to clarify. He texts back. No harm, no foul. You think about his suggestion of expanding your search past Hawaii. You contemplate for a nanosecond but don’t because the reality is, Maui is your home and you would like to meet someone here. You invite a girlfriend over to check out your profile and see if anything needs to be tweaked. She offers a few suggestions and you make them. It’s always good to get a second opinion.
Okay, so I admit it. Out loud and in print. I have been a member of eHarmony off and on for almost five years. When I first started, I didn’t tell a soul. I was embarrassed and uncertain. Then I got matched with Option A and what girl can keep a story like that a secret??? So I opened up to just a few friends. And then I met more and more wonderful normal people who met their spouses online.
So over the years I’ve tried it more than a few times. A new special will come out and I’ll think , maybe this time. But in my case, to no avail. Why? For a multitude of reasons.
Why isn’t eHarmony working for me?
1. My pool is too small. If you are going to give online dating a try, you really need to expand your search area. At the dating service I worked at (story for another day) we always told clients that dating services are only as good as their pool of people. So if you online date, the bigger area you are open to-the better. The greater chance to meet someone who matches what you are looking for. If you are going to make a sacrifice, it should be distance not standards.
2. My heart’s not really in it. You have to be okay with the online dating process. It’s works. It’s just not for everyone. The truth is I really want to meet someone organically. Meet cute style*. And the thought of trying to start a relationship with a total stranger online makes me anxious. Because things did not go so well for me the first time and I knew the guy. So, meeting a total stranger void of fam and friends, sends fish swimming around my stomach.
3. I don’t think I’ve really been ready to date until recently. I thought I was. But looking at my relationships over the past six years, I wasn’t. God sent me wonderful people to help me heal. I had great friends that helped me process and heal from the past in ways that I never dreamed possible. And recovering from divorce takes a whole heck of a lot of time, energy and intention. And I want to make sure that I deal with all the junk I possibly can before I meet someone. So they don’t take shrapnel for something they didn’t do. If you are going to go the online route, you need to be ready to date.
4. I haven’t been willing to put myself out there. My last price of advice for online dating, if you connect with someone, meet them as soon as possible. In a safe location of course. That way you can tell right off the bat if there’s chemistry. They might be the sweetest person on earth and be totally theologically aligned with you. But if when you meet them and their laugh makes you want to crawl under the table, it’s better to shake hands and call it then to drag something out for months if not years. Matches can look perfect on paper but their is no denying the need for chemistry.
Dan Chung talks about that in this post “Seven Qualities to Look for in a potential spouse.I attended his seminar at the HIM conference (under duress) and was pleasantly surprised at how helpful it was.My main takeaway from my time with him was,
5. Invite your friends into the process. When you meet someone with potential, online or otherwise, bring your friends and family around early. Get their input. It’s too late once you’ve fallen in love and the train is in motion. People won’t have the nerve to tell you the truth for fear you won’t listen. I thought this was great advice. Especially because there is still a junior high girl living inside of me who when asked if I like so-and-so, has to fight the urge to yell, “Gross, no way!”. Even though I have been doodling his name in my notebook for weeks.
Well, those are my thoughts for today. Take em with a grain of salt. And some tequila.
Love, Love, Love,
The Girl Who Lives in My Head
Meet Cute: A meet cute is a scene in film, television, etc. in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing. Random House Dictionary