I have a friend who recently signed up for eHarmony. She fought for awhile, but finally decided that if she really wants to be dating, she better be proactive and take a step. It’s funny how this whole online dating thing is becoming the norm. Over half of my friends have met their spouses online. We live in a generation where people don’t know how to date, and when you never meet new people, that doesn’t help either. So Rachel decided to take the personality profile with no thoughts of actually signing up for the service. After she finished the test they started sending her matches, quite a few actually, and many of them requested communication. The trick of eHarmony, is that you can see their profiles without paying, but not their pictures. This will drive you just crazy enough that you suck it up and pay in order to make sure you are not missing out on anything good. In comes my experiment.
When Rachel told me that she really wanted to see all these men who had requested communication and had decided to sign up for their three month special, I got really excited! Yay for social experiments! She had ten men who had requested communication with her. Before she paid I sat down with her and had her read all ten of their profiles and comment on who caught her attention and who did not, based solely on their info. It felt like Christmas morning, here she had ten shiny packages under the tree, but the question is…is it jewelry, or sock and underwear? Viewing their profiles before looking at their pictures was like shaking the presents to see if you can figure out which ones you think will be the best.
Out of the ten, three were immediately ruled out based on their horrid profiles. One guy was 5’2 – too short! Another wrote like a complete ass and bored both of us before we even got through his first paragraph. And lastly, another looked to be unemployed and lazy…NO THANK YOU! Those three were put into socks and underwear present pile. five were deemed possibilities, nothing stood out, but nothing made her uneasy either these seemed like they might be good presents. Two however, really stood out. They were the presents on Christmas morning that you wanted to open first, the ones who looked like they might be just what you asked for.
Now came the exciting part, paying…this means she finally gets to open her presents and see how many pairs of socks and underwear she got vs. the new ipad, or pretty jewelry. So the three that she labeled socks and underwear…she was right on. Weird, weird guys! Their profiles matched their rather interesting pictures. Of the five who may or may not have been underwear two were ok, the other three…yay…they broke all the profile rules when it comes to pictures. Pictures with girls, with babies, with your shirt off…epic fail! The other two she decided to give a chance, honestly, she wasn’t really attracted to them, but decided to give it a try anyway. The ones she was really excited about it….well…it is eHarmony. One of them looked like he was in his 50s and the other, not really her type either, but she is giving him a chance because he impressed her so much.
Here is the problem with online dating. We as people want to be with someone we are attracted to both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, being able to judge someone based on a picture is hard. We are bombarded everyday with images of perfect people and when the men or women on these sites don’t fit that, are tendency is to “close” them because they are not what we are looking for. It’s pretty much shopping for a mate. Yes, you do the same thing in real life, we judge the package, but at the same time you get to know whats inside and sometimes that changes the way the packages appears. Online dating sites let you judge the package before ever getting to know whats inside. I’m interested to see what happens in her new adventure. My prediction, it’s not going to be the pretty guy she is looking for who is going to grab her attention. It’s going to be the boy next door, who she wants to close, but will give him a chance, because she has me looking over her shoulder ;). At first glance he is not going to be what she thought she wanted, but he will turn out to be all that and more. Can’t wait to see how this story ends!