Thursday, June 02, 2005

eHarmony Discord ...

Well, that was a short-lived experiment.

Last week, I signed up for eHarmony (which is no small commitment of time and effort). Several friends had told me that matches don't always show up right away with eHarmony. The eHarmony folks will tell you that this is because they're much more precise about the matches, and that they'll only send a match if it's really viable.

I had at least 10 in fewer than 6 days. That made me suspicious. eHarmony's own marketing-speak says I might have to wait, and suddenly, I have 10 people who just might be the love of my life? Made me wonder if: 1) eHarmony was lying about it taking time to get matches, so it could send me lots of matches right away, and make me think, "Wow! I must be special!" or 2) Their selection criteria just ain't all it's cracked up to be. In my 35 years on the planet, I've only met two men who I could see myself even possibly spending the rest of my life with, and in six days, eHarmony found 10?

Then there's the cost. If you're not sure if you want to do this for the long haul, you can buy the one-month membership, the only membership that's refundable (within 7 days) if you change your mind. The montlhy fee? $49.95, with auto-renewals of $39.95. Of course, if you commit to a longer term right off the bat, you can spend less per month, but if you change your mind, you're SOL.

But eHarmony's method of communication doesn't lend itself to quick exchanges. You exchange close-ended questions (multiple choice) then other things that you select off of lists. You don't get to "open communication," where you can just write back and forth, until stage 4. So, really, you can't accomplish much in a week, because people take their time with the close-ended questions and such (must be hard for some people to check off boxes ...) so you really can't get to know anyone in a week.

So I canceled yesterday. Part of me is cynical about finding love through advertising. If I'm meant to be with someone, if it's in the stars, I'll meet him because we're meant to be together, not because I put myself on display. Maybe it's naive. Maybe I'll end up not getting married. Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be. Time will tell.

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