My free eHarmony membership is due to expire in a few hours. I’ve done the back-and-forth thing with a couple of men, to various points in the process. Here’s how it works (for those of you who are interested – if you’re not, just skip down to the boring weekend updates):
- First, one of you initiates communication. This consists of sending 5 questions, out of about 30 that you can select from. They are multiple choice, with set answers, but there is also a free form answer you can use. Once the first person answers the questions, they can send back their own questions. So then you’ve both asked and answered 5 questions.
- Next you move into the “Must Have’s” and “Can’t Stands”. This is a list of about 60 or so qualities or attributes that, as the name says, your partner “must have” or that you “can’t stand”. Out of the 60 that are listed for each, you pick your top, or bottom, as the case may be, 10. Let me tell you, narrowing this to 10 was exceedingly difficult for me! Especially on the “can’t stand” side, since there wasn’t a single quality on that list that I would happily tolerate in a partner. I mean, I know none of us is perfect, but choosing between “mean-spirited”, “addictions” and “intolerant” is tough (the other 57 choices were similar).
- The next phase is “second questions”, which is 3 questions – you can choose 3 “stock” questions, or write your own. I am at this phase with 2 men right now, but have elected not to continue. Free is running out, and I honestly don’t have the time. But let me tell you how it went…
One of the men had as one of his “Must Haves” that his partner be “S*xually Knowledgeable” which is defined as “mature and experienced as a potential s*xual partner and is able to express himself/herself freely.” (the wording is eHarmony’s wording, but that’s what you’re saying if you select this). Really? That’s in your top 10? This guy is 51 years old!!! I am all for having it, but I had no trouble picking 10, or even 20 or 30 on the list that would come above this. Is that a male thing? I formally closed our match after receiving that. Another man listed one of his “Must Haves” as someone who is considered very attractive by conventional standards (again, the wording is stock). Um, I’ll say again, while I am not UNattractive, I am probably more on the cute scale than pretty, and I’d never be able to live up to that, even if he thought I fit the bill. I haven’t responded to him after reading that. And since, tick tick tick, I probably won’t.
All told, I think I ended up reading 21 profiles, all of which were sent to me via the eHarmony algorithm, meaning we are a match on paper. Some of them were laughable. One man said he is “very attractive, so I am very particular about who I go out with.” Okkkaaay. Another described himself as very wealthy, including descriptions of his yacht and his considerable leisure time, and then said it was hard to know if people really liked him for himself or his money. Hmmm, first step might be holding off on mentioning it! Still others had glaring typos or grammatical errors in their profiles – those were easy to bypass.
Lessons from this weekend, for when I’m ready:
- There are single men out there in my age range
- Most of them are divorced (one mentioned being a widower), and have children. However, of those that mentioned an age, the children were college-aged or older. Having still young children may be a hindrance for me
- Despite the “matching” that an online service can do, there is considerable leg work involved in selecting a partner. I guess that’s not really news to anyone though, is it?
- I probably need to wait till my kids can be left alone, since I can’t afford a babysitter to “date”
Wow, that was long. Forget skipping below for weekend updates, which mostly consisted of shuttling kids from activity to activity, playdates (hate that term!), going out for ice cream Sunday night, and yard work. The weather was picture-perfect all 3 days. And trying to squeeze in some civic lessons for the kids on why we actually celebrate Memorial Day – they get it as well as they can.
I applaud you for looking into this…..I’m sure I would probably be too chicken!! Sounds like a good sociological study, anyway.
I’d hang on to the questions for future reference. Especially once both kids are in school you’ll be running into single parents of the male persuasion and there are questions you might not think to ask until it was too late (e.g., are you going to expect me to change after we’re married, will you put your job before your family . . . . Oh, wait, that was *my* first marriage. Sorry.)
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