Tuesday, April 10, 2007

eHarmony Gone Wrong

Let me admit upfront that I am borrowing my friend Auvrey's shtick. In case you don't know, she is somewhat infamous for a blog she kept as she went through the eHarmony matchmaking process. It's really one of the funniest things I've ever read, and I encourage you to check it out.

Anyway, I filled out an eHarmony personality profile way back when I lived in Japan. I never actually joined (i.e., paid), but since then I have received notifications for matches with eligible young bachelors every once in a while. I never paid much attention to them.

These days, now that I'm just a single gal living in the US, I've been thinking more about wanting to leave the whole single demographic, so I started paying attention to my eHarmony notifications. The process is this: eHarmony sends you a note saying you and fella XYZ have computed as compatible, and you are allowed to see the other person's "Introductory Page", which has basic info and answers to a few broad yet significant questions you would want to know about someone you date. In order to communicate you must join (i.e., pay).

Well let me tell you, although I have received a few matches I thought could have potential, I received a one recently that made me question the validity of the entire Dr. Neil Clark Warren, 29 dimensions of compatibility system.

The first red-flag was within the first question-- "What are you most passionate about?" This is really your chance to succinctly and clearly tell what your life's purpose is. With most of the matches I receive, the answer is something to the effect of God, my relationship with God, Jesus or something involving spirituality. Maybe it's a little predictable, but when you're considering a person for a relationship, that kind of predictable is good. Well this guy broke that mold.

MIC (Mr. InCompatible) , an air force pilot, responded, "I really enjoy flying...raging around low to the ground in a jet is tough to beat! Not to mention it's even better in formation...or starting with your wingman at your six and trying to spit him out in front of you...really any time we're out flying around having fun (and yeah, all this is while we're teaching students the basics of flying, so we're not really wasting any government tax dollars, haha)." Alright. Well, it's good that he enjoys what he does, but to me the entire answer had the same tone of a 8 year old boy playing with his GI Joes. That's just unsettling. No military jargon necessary to impress this girl.

Well from there MIC continued to confirm the growing doubt of eHarmony's compatibility ratings. When asked to comment on the last book he read, he said, "I haven't read anything but news, flying stuff, and textbooks for a while, so I'll go with the best book EVER: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. It's set in the future and we've got spaceships and stuff. Through no fault of our own we're fighting a galactic battle against these aliens that are rather insect like. The survival of the human race depends on our success. So, to get the best minds as the commanders, children are screened and selected to go to a military academy where they play games of increasing complexity...the adults running the school set up running the whole battle with the aliens like a giant video game, (no more space)". I've got nothing against SciFi, and I even looked this book up on amazon.com to see what it was really about (and apparently it's a really popular book), but what made me laugh out loud was the way in which he talked about this book. Why on EARTH does he go into the first person when talking about the story? To me, that might have to be a deal breaker. And please also note that he actually ran out of room in his over-eagerness to tell this story.

BUT, the kicker for me was in the last question. eHarmony provides a place for you to share any additional info you'd like-- a last thought that you can carry with you about this match. All MIC had to say was, "party on wayne!" Yes, I can just see MIC and I some day, sitting on our front porch in our rocking chairs, and I loving take his hand, look into his eyes, and say, "You had me at 'party on wayne!'".

I don't doubt MIC is a good guy. He seems rather harmless, but what gets me is that of all the people in the eHarmony system, I am supposedly extremely compatible with him. Maybe I am and I'm being over-critical, but I have my doubts about Dr. Warren now.

I haven't even mentioned another guy I was matched with who referenced Ronald Reagan 4 times in his introductory page.

Just in case I might forget that I'm alone and have no hope of finding love on my own, eHarmony sent this nice reminder to me tonight:

Dear Sojochick,

Did you know you have several men who are waiting to communicate with you?

Our matching system has found several highly compatible men for you—men who match you well on the important inside qualities.

We know you've searched for a caring guy to share your life. We know that reaching out to these men might be hard, but we don't match you unless we're sure you have a deep and profound compatibility.

Your Soul Mate may be waiting and we don't want you to miss out on meeting him.


eHarmony Customer Care

See, they care about me. :) Needless to say, I won't be joining eHarmony anytime soon. I guess I'll just have to rely on the providence of God like they did in the olden days. Or maybe I should hang around more water wells or threshing floors. :)


Auvrey said...

Very well done. And this comes from an old pro at mocking eHarmony ;)

Nina said...

Threshing floor? You so scandalous!

Alissa said...

Ender's Game really is an awesome book - you should check it out.

I've always been curious about the effectiveness of eHarmony. Their claims to be scientific made me very skeptical, but I didn't think it would be appropriate for me to fill out a profile, being married and all. Now I'm tempted, just for kicks, but I assume that single men would be receiving my profile as well.

crittermer said...

Ann, your 3-post series on Easter was so beautiful. I really wanted to comment on one of those posts, but I figured I should follow the trend and comment on the e-harmony post instead.=)

Mark said...

When I filled out the questionnaire a few months ago, they told me after I was done that I fell in the group of about 1 in 5 that are unmatchable!

Why Bother? said...

Wow Ann. Close call! Good thing you didn't join eHarmony and try communicating with any of those other matches that looked like they "had potential" or you might have missed on the opportunity to slag off this bad one. You and Auvrey ought to start a new blog called "The New Dorothy Parkers."

Taylor W said...

Wow Ann. Close call! Good thing you didn't . . . oh wait, I think that one was already taken. Oh well.

On a side note I am going to have to agree with Alissa--Ender's Game is an excellent book. Actually, I've never read anything by Orson Scott Card that I haven't devoured. I spent a couple weeks of one Christmas break during college reading 9 of his books--probably a little to fanatical now that I look back on it.

Anonymous said...

I have been on eharmony for monthes. This experience made me frustrated about finding my love. I lost my confidence because there's no response at all. After that, I turned to another site and really met a lot of quality people there.