Monday, July 14, 2008

Let’s Begin the Comparison: eHarmony

I’ve been at this online dating for approximately two weeks now, and feel that I can now start making fair and accurate comparisons. Let’s begin by exploring the pros and cons of eHarmony, because, if you know me, then you know how much I like a pros and cons list.

This site’s tagline should be, “extremely freakin’ long personality surveys breed the most promising matches,” because compared to Chemistry, my matches at eHarmony seem better. There is a cost to all of this compatibility; however, and S made a good example when she admitted that she gave up halfway through because the intro surveys were too long.

eHarmony does, indeed, require you to fill out questionnaire after endless questionnaire before you complete your profile and are eligible for matching. However, it’s a good exercise in self-reflection and causes you to think about what it is you are looking for in a potential match. Plus, everyone likes to talk about themselves, right?

The only gripe I have about eHarmony is with its guided communication process. For one, the process is slow, with each step taking two or three days as both sides of the match go back and forth. Though I say that now, but the first match I reached open communication with immediately asked me to meet him in person and I feel like he’s pushy. Let’s exchange a few emails and phone calls first, Sparky.

Second, as I go through the process I do not feel as if I am really getting to know the other person. It’s hard to know if, when he selected his Must Have of, “…must be financially responsible,” he meant “must have zero debt and thousands in savings, “ or “must own no more than three credit cards with neither maxed out to their limit.” The choices are so subjective, and I don’t feel like I am getting to know a match by his answers just because he happened to check a certain box in one moment of decisiveness.

The best part about eHarmony is that you can rate the importance of every matching factor. For example, you can rate how important physical qualities, religion, education, and age are to you, and eHarmony will take those into consideration when matching you to potential candidates.

Overall, it has been a pleasant experience with no frustrations or disappointments I was not anticipating. So far I have only reached open communication with two matches, and so have no fun stories to share.

The one thing I can say is that it’s extremely nerve wracking to be the first to have to send an email. What should I say? What’s a witty headline I can write that won’t make him think I am crazy or weird?

No comments: