Lessons from Eharmony – End of an Era

Online dating sucks.  We understand that the online thing works and has worked for a lot of people (E’s mom for example). For us however, it has yielded less-than-favorable results.  As our EH subscriptions come to an end, we thought we’d pause for a moment of reflection before starting the next adventure.  Although it’s only been a few months, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves, men, and online dating.  Here are a few of the lessons we have learned:

  •  We put a valiant effort into online dating but we are women who cannot successfully date online due to the lack of chemistry and swagger.  Let us explain…when you go online, instead of seeing a person up-close, hearing him speak and watching him move, what you get is a blurry, postage-stamp size series of static photos which cannot be heard, felt, or smelled.  There is no substitute for in-person encounters and the connection you feel with that person.  By going online, you’re subverting a process that has worked just fine for propagating the human species for the past 3 million years.
  • Know who you are and what you want and don’t let any friend or any man change that.  We are dating to find someone who we can’t live without and it is perfectly normal to have extremely high expectations of that person.  Don’t let anyone tell you to lower your expectations or standards because then we’re just settling for the sake of being in a relationship.  Getting married doesn’t guarantee happiness; it only guarantees the end of dating.  Shouldn’t it end with someone that you always dreamed about?
  • We can’t date simple men.  We are complex, emotionally complicated, intelligent women who need men who can balance us.  Simple men get overwhelmed by our chaotic lives and cannot handle it.  It’s like oil and water: simple and hot-mess don’t mix.
  • The algorithms and points of compatibility that Eharmony uses to match you are a crock of shit.  While you may be a good match on paper with a man, in person it may be an absolute flub.  Data about characteristics like personality and attitudes cannot accurately predict how that real life interaction will function.  An online photo and a few email exchanges are poor proxies for chemistry sparked by meeting in person, which leads to a lot of disappointing first dates.
  • Never buy more than a one month membership.  The dating sites will try to rope you in for extended periods of time by offering discounted rates or bonus features, but you’ll know within a couple weeks if there are any decent profiles worth your 30 seconds of attention.
  • Each EH date is a like a mini relationship, complete with a mini breakup.  We also feel like it lends to microwaving something that really ought to be slow-cooked. You may or may not like someone within the first few seconds of meeting, but that doesn’t mean the jury should immediately render a verdict.  Instead, we tend to lean towards calling the jury back prematurely rather than looking to maybe begin a friendship.
  • This is one of the most exciting times in our lives so why rush the process? Hopefully, once we’re happily married, we’ll never date again, but that also means we probably won’t spend our free time trying new things for the sake of love or savoring the experiences this path has led us to.  Not because we can’t or don’t want to, but life will take us in a newly thrilling direction and by that time we hope to have gotten all we could out of this period.  So why rush it?!?  It’s a fun, uncomplicated, challenging, yet important time in our lives and we hope to live it to the fullest!

So the process continues… Just because we failed at online dating, and the bar scene isn’t our forte, doesn’t mean these two determined foxes will be giving up any time soon.  We move on from EH, a little wiser, a bit more self-aware, tougher skin intact, possibly a tad bitter, but definitely more resolute in our want to be happy with ourselves and a life-long partner.  So here is the tough part, how do we meet him?  We have a few things up our sleeves that are in the works already, but suggestions are always welcome!

-E&M

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You’ve Got Mail

If you weren’t convinced that online dating sucks after my previous post, you’ll certainly agree now.  I officially ended my subscription to Eharmony, but before doing so I spent some time re-reading the correspondence from Charlotte’s Most Eligible.  From what I can gather, in an attempt to initiate conversation men will send one of the five following types of email:

1.  The “I’m Boring” email – This email is short and to the point but is guaranteed to ask the same 3 questions.

  • Where are you from?
  • How long have you been in Charlotte?
  • What do you do for fun?

I get it, you’re just trying to get to know me.  But I just fell asleep at my laptop.

2.  The “Hey” email – That’s it.  That’s all it says.  Sometimes they will get courageous and ask how your day is going or if you had a good weekend.  This type of guy is generally afraid of being shot down, so he just doesn’t take the time to compose an email consisting of more than two sentences.

3.  The “Cut and Paste” email – We caught this type of offender on his BS (see What a Tripp, Parts 1-3).  Guys like this are just playing a numbers game.  They figure if they send out the same email to enough girls, eventually one lame girl will take the bait.

4.  The “I Never Graduated Kindergarten” email – I am a self-proclaimed grammar nazi.  Sue me (see Two Too Many Winkies post).  But I still don’t want to date a guy who sends me an email sans capitalization or with tons of weird slang and smiley faces. To me this indicates you are either lazy or completely uneducated. Either way, we aren’t going to work out.

5.  The “Desperado” email – This is when one of the guys above emails you again, asking why you never wrote back. Heeey creeper. Yea, I wasn’t interested the first time, but now that you are stalking me, I am totally going to write you back.

Once you’ve grouped a crappy email into one of these five categories, it’s generally easy to spot a good one.  Anything else will be promptly ignored and I’ll save my time and witty banter for someone deserving.

-E

Profile Problems

As we wrap up our 3 month stint on Eharmony, we thought it necessary to comment on the serious flaws with mens’ online dating profiles.  I give a dedicated 30 seconds of my attention to every profile, so you better make it count.  Your profile should provide me with pictures and compelling evidence as to why I should date you.  Here are some reasons why I won’t:

  • Grammatical errors – I know I’ve posted on this before, but it is a serious issue.  It is 2012 and all computers are equipped with spell check – so use it!
  • Age ain’t nothing but a number – If you are an old balding man with glasses with an age listed as 26, you aren’t fooling anyone.  Unless of course you are Benjamin Button.
  • No photos – Maybe I am just shallow but I’m gonna need to see some pictures before agreeing to go out with you. If you have none, or only one pic, I really don’t have a clue what you look like, and I’m not wasting my time writing back.
  • Photos with your ex – You know who that girl is in the photo.  I know who that girl is in the photo.  I don’t need to see what your ex looks like before I’ve even met you.
  • Self-photography in your bathroom – This tells me you have no friends to take a picture of you.  Or you haven’t been in a social setting in years.  Ever heard of Facebook?
  • Photos with your shirt off – I appreciate an active man and that you work out.  But this just screams COCKY and I would enjoy if a little could be left to the imagination.
  • Photos from a distance – Sure, a couple of big group shots of you as a tiny dot are fine if you are trying to show me some of the cool things you like to do (eg. skiing or surfing). But if all of your pics are from far away, I really don’t know what you look like and that’s a problem. (See above).
  • Photos of your dog – I love puppies as much as the next person, but I don’t want to date your puppy. Want to put a pic of you with your pup? Perfect! But an entire slide show of your dog doing different things is just silly.
  • Incomplete profiles – I understand the process of filling out the endless EH profile can be exhausting, but take a look at this gem to prove my point.  “The six things I could never do without: phone , newpepper.”  First: what is newpepper? Second: That’s only two things.

It really is no wonder that we weren’t successful in online dating after seeing what these cyber men had to offer. 

-E

Barney Fife

St Patty’s Day weekend ended a long-running dry spell for me.  I think it’s because when E went out of town, I felt the need to carry on the blog in her absence and fell heavily in my zone.  I consequently picked up 3 dates and went out on the first one last night.  Here is some background in order to fully appreciate the story of this date.  During our last communication on EH I sent him an open-ended question about his worst date.  He answered with a story about a great date (from his perspective) until he paid for dinner and then the girl bolted out of the restaurant leaving him alone at his table.  RED FLAG #1.

It was a gorgeous night so we met at an outside patio, and I was pleasantly surprised that he lived up to his profile pictures.  That is, until he started talking.  From the second I sat down on the crowded patio, he started grilling me as if I was in the world’s most intense interview to be the next Mrs. EH.  What was my passion in life?  What do I do to better myself?  What’s my favorite restaurant? (which he forgot and asked twice)  He truly didn’t care how I answered, but just wanted to give me his cookie-cutter scripted Miss America answers that he’d obviously delivered hundreds of times.  When he talked he became overzealous to the point his eyes bulged out of their sockets like a cartoon character, which is why he has aptly been named Barney Fife.  RED FLAG #2.During this elaborate performance to prove to me that he and I were meant to be together, he lectured me on sports and what I didn’t understand about coaching and recruiting.  He changed his mind twice about food stating he hated fried food then told me his favorite restaurant was Bojangles, all trying to match my tastes and opinions.  I gingerly tried leading him to the conclusion that he was attempting to fit a square peg into a round hole by keeping up this charade, but he stayed annoyingly optimistic the entire time that I would come around and fall for his perfect façade.  RED FLAGS #3,4,5.

When the rain moved everyone inside the bar, I decided I couldn’t take any more of Barney Fife’s antics so I got some things off my chest.  I told him that women aren’t looking for men who have all of the right answers or the perfect resume on paper.  I told him everything he said was great and respectable but that I’d spent 3 hours talking to him and didn’t feel like I knew anything about the real him.  Unfortunately, Barney couldn’t take brutal honesty, told me I “wasted his f*&% time”, and stormed out of the bar.  Honestly, it was the best outcome for both of us.  I finally got the hell out of there and maybe he’ll learn why women keep storming out of his dates!

-M

Two too many winkies

A couple weeks ago, Eharmony sent me the profile of a gentleman we shall now refer to as “Grammar Boy.”  I thought I was getting to know a 31 year old single man from Charlotte, but his grammar and conversational style pointed to a middle school aged Justin Bieber fan.  I’m not one to use the term “LOL” in my emails or texts… or ever really.  Seriously, have you ever seen me use LOL?  This man/Belieber used more LOL’s in one email than I’ve used my entire life, only to be trumped by the number of smiley faces he inserted.  The first few emails I gave him a break and attributed his grammatical errors to the not-so user friendly Eharmony mobile app.  I read phrases such as “Not sure what I’m doing tonight, I’ll just play it by year LOL ;)” and “Your going to do Great on your half marathon this weekend LOL ;)”.  I have friends that are college educated, but not the best at spell checker and emailing, but it doesn’t stop our friendship, so I thought I could look past (or passed) his elementary syntax and vernacular.  That is, until I exchanged a few painful texts:

That last LOL pushed me over the point of no return, so I stopped responding to his texts and emails.  We had planned to meet up for a drink one night, but I just couldn’t bring myself to meet this alleged college educated single man, only to get my hopes crushed when an MTV Teen Mom showed up with her phony EH profile.  I gave him the brush off, to which he sent an email “What happnd last night?  Hope nuthing bad…LOL.”  They say first impressions are everything, and if you send two too many winkies that impression is blown, pal.

-E

Weekend Update

I just wanted to touch on a couple of points from the weekend.

A.  Either men in Charlotte haven’t hit their growth spurt yet or E and I are gargantuan.  Not only did this Spinster Saturday again prove the 8/4 theory (see previous post entitled 10,8,5,4 What?!), but it also showed that the average height for eligible bachelors is somewhere around 5’8”.  This is extremely unsettling for me being 5’8” myself and around 6’ with a quality pair of Badgley Mishkas.  If you live somewhere where men are bred as Jolly Green Giants minus the St. Patty’s hue, make room on your couch because I need to visit!B.  If a guy seems too good to be true, he is.  I’ve been emailing back and forth with a guy on EH who seemed amazing: good looks, tall, loves kids, healthy, funny, good grammar.  If I had a check list, he would get a check for almost everything on it.  He pursued me, made me feel like he was extremely interested, and gave me his number so I could call to set up a date.  IT WAS A BOGUS NUMBER!  Why would you go through all of that trouble to seek me out, email back and forth, and ask me out, only to give me the brush off!?!  I got the feeling it was too good to be true and tried not to get excited about him, but it’s hard when your options are limited.  Note to self: follow your instincts – that little voice inside knows more than you do!

C.  I have amazing friends!  This was the last Spinster Saturday for a while due to scheduling conflicts and even if the men weren’t biting, we still know how to have a great time on our own.  A special shout-out to KiKi and her sister Coco for cameo appearances and of course my girl E for keeping me sane.-M

Lessons from Eharmony, Volume 1

When it boils down to it, the purpose of this blog and our online dating adventures was to learn more about ourselves and what we are truly looking for in a partner.  Two months into the process, we’ve had some eye opening and soul searching moments (along with quite a few laughs).  This begins a multi-post installment of “Lessons from Eharmony.”

I have been out with some men that are just SIMPLE.  They lead simple lives, have simple interests, and just move from one day to the next.  Not that simple is a bad thing, but I think too many men have taken Lynard Skynard’s lyrics to heart. 

I am NOT simple.  I am somewhat of a hot mess, but I am complex.  I have many layers.  Everything about me is not on the surface and I can’t just describe myself in a few words.

Eharmony has taught me that I can’t date a simple man.  They can’t handle me.  Not in a crazy kinda way, but I just have too much for simple men.  Simple men don’t understand me, which is why I chew them up and spit them out.  However let me be clear that simple is not a bad thing.. it’s just not what I need. 

So how do I find a complex man?  What kind of qualities do they possess?  Or is it just about finding one that can handle my complexity?  Ahhh, thoughts to ponder…

-E

This One’s for Mom

I’ve found since starting this blog that the phone calls I receive from my mother have become less frequent, as she uses my posts as a way of keeping up with my busy life.  So this update is for you, Mom:

Tonight I’m going to dinner with Mr. Schuester.  I really was nervous about going out with him at first because he shares the same exact profession as Peter Pan, but after getting to know him a little I found he has more depth.  Peter Pan had boyfriend characteristics and interests… Mr. Schuester has husband characteristics and interests.  I think it’s a maturity thing and may have to write a separate post after researching this idea further during our date tonight.

Red Bandit called to ask me out again, so we’re seeing a movie tomorrow night.  I was ready to give him the brush off, but a wise friend told me not to be so judgemental because RB is a little nerdy.  I should be grateful and open to the fact that an educated and well-rounded man wants to spend his time with me. 

Sunday I met an EH match for brunch and for the life of me, I cannot think of a clever name to give this fellow.  He is so utterly boring and unremarkable that he will remain “The One That Shall Not Be Named.”  I feel like a raging bitch because he’s already texted (a major no-no) to ask me out Friday night, but I have no interest in seeing him again.  Maybe it was just my Raven superpowers that he couldn’t resist, but the connection just wasn’t there for me. 

I didn’t see Greg Focker, RN at work all week but he texted me Friday night to tell me what bar he’d be at if I wanted to get a drink.  The only thing he saw on his 2002 model flip phone was a blank screen.

Spinster Saturday was an utter shit show, thanks to a bottle of Prosecco, Picklebacks, and a dozen beers.  We were armed and loaded with napkins with our phone numbers, but so far no response to our sly advances.  M gave out two napkins, and I have no idea what happened to mine.  I can’t find it in my pants pocket, so I’m assuming I gave it to some lucky gentleman at the bar.  New rule for Spinster Saturday – don’t get blackout drunk or you’ll end up giving your number to a leprechaun at Ri Ra’s.  And by leprechaun, I mean the alarmingly huge population of short men living in Charlotte.

Leprechaun hunting on Spinster Saturday

-E

Back on the horse

I apologize for my dating and blogging sabbatical while in Nashvegas, but I’m proud to announce that E is back and better than ever.  I am however starting to feel that I’ve been on so many blind dates lately that I need a seeing eye dog.

Wednesday night I met the Red Bandit, who is an Eharmony match that I had high hopes for.  In his pictures he appears to be my chupacabra – a light skinned black man with green eyes.  I was very much let down to learn he is nothing more than German and Italian, but I think his mom made a run with the milk man at some point.  Named the Red Bandit because he works for Target and he showed up to our date in a RED sweater, he was an 8 until he opened his mouth.  NERD CENTRAL.  He spent at least an hour talking about his interests in the healing powers of reiki (google it) and Western medicine.  I am pretty talkative and can hold a conversation with almost anyone, but moving into hour 2 of this date, I wanted to stab acupuncture needles in my ears to end the pain.  I pushed through the rest of the date by focusing on his good looks and ignoring the dorky pitter patter coming from his mouth.  He’s already texted and called to try and arrange another date.  I’ll give him one more chance just so I can look at him.  He’s also been emailing M, so I’m hoping she’ll go out with Red Bandit simply to see if he owns any other colors in the ROYGBIV spectrum.

Tonight I met with another Eharmony match, and we shall call him Mr. Schuester.  I know some of my close friends will freak out because I dated a Mr. Schuester last year, and he is now named Peter Pan.  New Mr. Shue is also a high school social studies teacher and arrived to our date in an argyle sweater.  The new Shue writes and plays music and recently recorded an album.  I’m very much into music and would love to date someone that shares that passion.  He also competes in triathalons and we knew some mutual tri friends.  We set up date #2 before the night was over and he already texted me to say what a nice night he had.  Raven reeling em in like fish.  

I have a lunch date this weekend with ANOTHER Eharmony match.  I know what you’re thinking.  Lunch?  That’s the friend zone.  But I’m a busy lady and I can’t devote all my dinners to potential suitors.  A girl has to eat 3 balanced meals a day and why not let a stranger pay for it?

Tomorrow night M and I are going out for Spinster Saturday, armed with a stack of napkins with our names and numbers written on them.  We’ve got nothing to lose and lots of blogging to gain, so we will definitely be in our zone.  #dontletmeintomyzone

-E

P.S.  Thanks for all the great feedback and support on this blog.  We love our readers!

 

 

What a Tripp – Part 3: The Final Chapter

Today we decided we’d had enough of Tripp’s douchebaggery and drafted a response to his carbon copy email.  We gave him a dose of his own medicine and sent the exact email at the exact same time.  For your viewing enjoyment:

Hi There,

I hope this message finds you doing very well. I’m certain a guy like you with such witty jokes gets a ton of correspondence back from that generic email you send to every match on EHarmony so I apologize in advance for adding to it. 

Unfortunately your transparently nonspecific message outweighs your sales pitch, but I had to take a moment to comment on your failed attempt at flattery. 

I’m assuming that by my “unique appearance” you mean you like my pictures. However, you must see a lot of “unique” girls on EHarmony. Perhaps if you spent a little more time reading a match’s profile, instead of just flipping through the pictures looking for a gorgeous, athletic woman you may find a little more success at online dating. Furthermore, what common interests do you think we share? Since nothing you mentioned in your email or that I can find on your profile leads me to believe that we have any interests that are the same. 

I hope you will accept my unsolicited corny joke as a way of saying how offensive and impersonal I found your email to be.

How is a man like the weather?
Nothing can be done to change either one of them.

Sincerely,

Uninterested

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