Tag Archives: eharmony

February Week 2 Dating Update

16 Feb

Image via Google Images

I did it!  The eharmony match that I liked the most, Ron, was wrong for me, I realized last week.  So, with great regret but with certainty, I told him au revoir.  I was nice, and so was he, and then he closed the match.  I feel like I passed an important test!  So long Mr. Wrongs of the world!  The other two matches from last week do not seem to be progressing into anything.  Warren, who seemed possible, has stopped emailing altogether.  Newt, the 7th Day Adventist, is playing phone tag with me.  Despite seven days of calling everyday and leaving charming messages and texts, we have not been able to catch each other on the phone.  Seriously.  Could be a sign.  In any case, Round Three of eharmony matches has begun.

On another note, my 13 y.o. niece and I had an interesting exchange. 
Her:  “Auntie, somebody at church told me that in the Bible it says that women are not supposed to look for a husband, but the man is supposed to look for a wife, or something like that.”
Me:  “You’re talking about the scripture that says, “He that finds a wife findeth a good thing…”
Her:  “Yeah, that’s it!  So I don’t think you should be going online looking for a husband.  You should just trust God and wait.” 
Me:   “I know.  I know.”

Which leads me, once again, to wonder if trusting God and online dating are incompatible.  I don’t think so. 

Do I?

Finally, last night I prayed an unusual prayer.  I often complain to God about being single, or mention in passing to God how much I want to be married, or wonder of the Lord if marriage is ever going to happen.  Also, I pray with a girlfriend every week and a part of our prayer time always involves each of us asking God to lead  the other of us into marriage.  What I do not generally do is use my regular prayer time to pray about marriage.  In my regular prayer time I pray about work, or ministry, or my weight, or I pray for others.   Last night, though, I had the thought that I never actually pray about getting married and that maybe I should.  I found myself praying along the lines of “Lord, I want to be married.  But I don’t just want to be married, I want to be a wife.  Lord,  give me the heart of a servant.  Help me to be supportive and loyal.  Change me so that my attitude is yielding and unselfish.”  And so on.  I don’t even know what I prayed.  All I know is that it was definitely different.  Not, “Lord, let me have…,” but “Lord, let me be…”

Wow.  Shifts and changes are happening on the inside it seems.

What about you?  Is this journey through singleness taking you anywhere new?

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This Week’s Dating Update

10 Feb

Image via Google

As I may have mentioned, I am on the verge of moving to the telephone phase of conversation with my next cohort of eharmony matches.  I have been on the verge of the progression for about a week (which is a whole other blogworthy subject).  There are three potential suitors. 

 Newt I have actually spoken to very briefly on the phone.  He called while he was in transit and couldn’t talk.  His stock was devalued in my eyes when I found out that he was a 7th Day Adventist.  My mind doesn’t want to accommodate this difference.  Not when there are (at least) two other perfectly good matches in the queue. Newt is my third favorite of the three. Warren is my second favorite.  He seems to be mature in the things of God, churchgoing, intelligent, happily employed, divorced, a father, and the list goes on. I like him. I’m slightly suspicious, though, of him regularly saying he will pray about this or that for me, and his use of church-speak.  Me thinkest he doth confess his faith too much.  Though it might just be my skeptical nature that is the problem.  Ron is my number one draft pick.  His profile, comments, and conversation are unnervingly compatible with my own profile, comments, and conversation.  I really, really like him.  And this is a big problem.

When I read Ron’s last email, the scales were removed from my eyes and it became clear to me that Ron is a xerox copy of Mr. X from eharmony two years ago, and of WB from forever ago.   And I was faced with the fact that something inside me is drawn to the same kind of Mr. Wrong over and over again!  Ron is intelligent, attractive, witty, well-traveled, multi-lingual–and he is a Christian who doesn’t go to church, has never been close to committing to anyone, including a child, though he is well past age 35, and who lives alone and spends most of his time alone.  He might as well post a flashing banner that says, “I do not give of myself to others.”   And that is not even the real problem.

The real problem is that a part of me is resisting reality.  A part of me wants to hope and believe that maybe Ron will find a church and maybe everything will work out in that regard and maybe he and I could live happily ever after. “He speaks French, StillSingle!”, that part of me says.  This part of me wants to continue to get to know him better, to get closer to him, despite the odds against my having any kind of future with him.  Yet, wonder of wonders, the very same part of me is skeptical about nice Mr. available, church-going, “I’ll join you in praying about that”, Warren.  This part of me has very little interest in hoping and believing that maybe Warren and I could live happily ever after.

Oh, boy.  StillSingle still has a ways to go it seems.  But, oh, boy!  I caught on to this stinky old pattern!  StillSingle is making progress!

How’s Your Love Life?

3 Feb
Image representing eHarmony as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The raw data:
o dates in December 2010
0 dates in January 2011

Since joining eharmony I reached the telephone stage with two highly possible matches. Things seemed to drag after we reached the telephone phase though. One of the men was quite reluctant to meet me. He wasn’t ready to commit to actually meeting in person on a specific date at a specific time, he said. (My brow is wrinkled again even as I think of this). Curiously, despite not wanting to meet, he continued to call me to talk. The other man whom I conversed with on the phone seemed distracted. That man lived in Philadelphia. He went home to Georgia for the holidays, where, he told me, his entire family and all his social connections live. On New Year’s Eve we talked. The conversation was pleasant. We were to speak again the next day. I never heard from him. And still haven’t. I have moved on from both of these matches, and am approaching the phone phase with a new set.

It seems to me that some men, particularly those who are over 35, use eharmony because they truly believe that they are open, seeking, and attempting to find a committed relationship, though really they aren’t. These men want to believe this of themselves, maybe, because it is easier to make ill-fated attempts to find a relationship than to actually be in a relationship. It’s easier to hang out online, than to tackle whatever issues that may be keeping them from participating in a committed relationship.

Case in point: a guy a know, who is a long-time eharmony member, told me recently that one woman that he met on the site last year was extremely appealing, and he regrets not moving forward in a relationship with her. He could have married her, he told me, but did not. Alas, one of her other matches proposed after knowing her for 3 months. It is many months later and the guy that I know still has not found anyone that he is willing to move forward with in a relationship. Another case in point: one of my girlfriends met her fiancé on eharmony and within a few months of meeting, her fiancé was ready to commit to her.

In my mind the men I am meeting are either ready, willing, and able to love, or they’re not.

Despite what I’m realizing about the men on this site, I am encouraged by my own responses and reactions, which are different from what they were when I first tried eharmony in 2009. This time around I do not feel so emotionally vulnerable to the process. I find that I am getting much less invested in the 100-word-profiles that I like. I feel much less troubled by acknowledged incompatibility between a match and me. Most importantly, though, I have noticed that this time around, I have shifted my focus with respect to men I want to date. Before, I was open to and willing to “work with” a man as long as he was a “Christian”. Happily, this time around my heart genuinely desires a man who loves the Lord and the church and who shows this love by how he lives. Before, I so wanted a relationship that I tended to downplay my relationship with Christ, allegedly out of sensitivity to my match’s spiritual position. Now, because I am not so afraid of rejection, or of being deemed too weird, I have no problem divulging the fact that my life revolves around the Lord and the church.

This new confidence to be myself, and to love God openly, means I’m growing, right? And if I am becoming healthier and more real, and if I am less willing to get stuck pursuing less healthy or compatible men, then, maybe, hopefully, God-willing, I’m on my way!

But enough about me. How is your dating life going?

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Of What Should I Be Afriad?

24 Nov
MultipleChoice single
Image via Wikipedia

It’s been one week and I am progressing through eharmony’s stages of communication with three different men.  Two of these men requested that we skip the preliminary, get-to-know-you stages, and move directly into speaking with each other without the structure of the staged communication.  I declined.  I like the progression of the stages.  You can learn some things by the way a person answers questions, and the kinds of questions that a person asks.

Case in point: Corrado.  Corrado is my favorite match so far.  Not because he’s cute and 6’5” tall, not because he’s fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Hebrew, not because he’s planning to go to med school and is also an artist—Ok, who am I kidding? These things have a lot to do with why he’s my favorite!  In any case, Corrado asked me his set of multiple choice questions and in almost every case my answers were original.  I did not select a, b, c, or d.  I selected “other,” and supplied my own response to the questions.  I noticed this pattern and thought, “Hmmm, what does that say about me?”  Now, Corrado, in replying to my questions, did not choose “other” even once.  He stuck with the multiple choice responses offered.  What does that say about him?  Probably not much, but definitely something.

Now let me tell you what I absolutely love about how this communication with Corrado began. 

I saw his photo and read his profile, and re-read his profile, and was seriously intrigued.  He seemed…just right.  Except that he is 8 years younger than me.  Which seemed too much.  After due consideration of this age gap, I gave his photo one final glance and decided to put him in the neutral pile, which is my pile for profiles that I am neither rejecting nor initiating contact with.  Lo and behold, the following day I received a communication from himself.  At first I was confused by the communication because he did not answer my questions, but supplied his own set of questions for me to answer.  Then I remembered.  Corrado didn’t respond to my questions because I never sent Corrado any questions.  Corrado initiated contact with me on his own.  I could not believe it.  He is the first match of mine where there has been reciprocal liking.

So, 8-year age gap notwithstanding, we are now communicating.  And I am too tickled by the whole thing.

The moral of this story is that last week, when I first began this eharmony journey, I was more afraid than I could put into words of beginning again the boy-meets-girl process.  This week, having begun to actually engage the process, I see that the fear of the thing was 100xs worse than the actual thing itself.  Isn’t that always the way?

God=Love=Risk=Eharmony?

19 Nov

I did not join eharmony as I had planned weeks ago. The special offer expired. I just wasn’t ready. But I promised myself, and God I think, that if I got another chance–if they made another special offer–that I would join immediately and not delay.

Of course, in the days following this commitment, eharmony extended another offer to me on the same terms: $30 for 3 months of service. The offer was emailed to me in the morning and knew that I had to join that day. I was committed. I felt reluctant to leave work that evening. Then on the way home, I felt the urge to stop to get a fancy dessert from the Grand Lux Cafe, which is kind of like the Cheesecake Factory. I hardly ever go to the Grand Lux. I talked myself out of the fancy dessert and in so doing realized that I was anxious. That I was fretting about the idea of joining eharmony. I very much did not want to do it. I drove around and around talking myself out of fancy desserts and oversized slices of pie. Finally (the price of gas being $3.09 a gallon), I decided that I had to go home. I decided that I would allow myself a small sweet something , an empanada from Taco Bell, and that I would then go home, and sign up. So I had the empanada (plus two 160-calorie tacos), and, being thus fortified, I signed up.

That was two and a half days ago.  I have been seeking fortification in food all day, every day, since. I cannot put into words how scared I am of being rejected and of being hurt. Again.

I am conscious of this fear, though. As I am conscious of the food that I have been eating to ease my discomfort–diet food, like Special K Bars and pita chips (thankfully not cheeseburgers and bread pudding). I long for the day when I won’t reach for a snack or an edible anything to quell my emotions. But for today I am satisfied enough that I am feeling the fear. That I am moving forward despite my fear.  That I am meeting men online. Like Keith…

Happy Saturday!

30 Oct

Three quick things:

1)  I found a terrific new blog today called Gooseberry Bush.  The blogger is single and in her late 30s.   Her post, “10 Rules About Men That All Women Should Know By the Time We’re 30,” scored a direct hit.  And yesterday’s post, Anecdotal & Statistical Proof That Women Over Forty Are Not Destined To Be Old Maids, was very good too.  Check it out.

2)  I think I’m going back to eharmony.  I tell myself that I don’t really want to meet anybody and am otherwise occupied, that I’m too busy to meet anybody, that I cannot afford the ancillary expenses related to meeting someone, but the bottom line is that I’m scared.  I don’t want to put myself through the emotional paces of dating.  That being the case, I’m going to just do it.  Plus, eharmony is running a $30/3-month special until 10/31/10.  I’ll keep you posted.

3)  The mid-term elections are coming up and I’ve been getting hit by ads from the candidates from every direction–mail, telephone, even Facebook.  Fortunately or unfortunaltely I have adopted the official status of fence-sitter.  I really like and want the government to take a role in helping people (especially since our government has no problem taking a role in deeds that hurt people, see, e.g., Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown which I am currently reading), however…I am a single professional woman with no children.  Meaning that if I ever sat down and factored in all of my various tax liabilities–(Federal, State, FICA, sales, use, etc.)–I am sure I would find that I give about 50 or 60 cents of every dollar that I earn to various government entities. Not good.  And anyway some of the rich and poor take advantage big time when help is offered.  Also Not Good.  So I’m a fence sitter and do not know how to vote in the upcoming elections.

Which brings me to Condolezza Rice.  Did I ever mention that I love Condolezza Rice?  I love her humble beginnings, her accomplishments, her loyalty to her political ideology.  I love that she is still single.  And most espeicially, I love that she is reputed to have had a crush on her boss, which makes her just like the rest of us girls!  I was reminded of her because this past week I heard President Obama on the radio stumping hard to get out the vote.  I do not listen to political-type news generally.  But each time I heard his voice on the radio I turned up the volume.  And it’s not because of the upcoming elections, it’s because I like his voice.  In fact, let me just say it, I like him.  Tall, dark, handsome, brilliant, funny, him.  ***Sigh*** President McDreamy.  It’s probably not acceptable to vote according to who I think is the cutest, though, huh?

What Did I Learn From Eharmony?

28 Sep
The Summertime Blues
Image by Todd Kennedy via Flickr

My Summer of Socializing was a success, if by success I am measuring fun and purposefulness.  It was full of phone calls, first dates, more dates, excitement, hope and laughter; friends asking, “Now which one is he?”,  fun.  But along with the fun was disappointment and sadness, which ultimately led me to call off the online search for love when summer came to an end.

Having gone through the process of meeting men online, I’ve learned a few things:

  1. It is OK to be just friends.  When I first began my journey, my mind was set on romance or nothing.   This was a bad plan.  I am beginning to see that relationship building without romance is valuable and should not be regarded as a lesser outcome than relationship building with romantic overtones.  Particularly as a Christian woman, my ambition and great need is to encourage and build up others in the body of Christ.  Even, and maybe especially, single men.
  2. The world is small.  My friends and I, three of us, began eharmony around the same time.  On two separate occasions, with two different matches of mine, first one friend and then the other, realized that we had been matched with the same man.  Both times the overlap was revealed incidentally.  Both times the realization was only slightly awkward.  Both times each friend and I yielded to the other as far as the man was concerned–and we only minimally compared notes on the match in question.
  3. Being real is more important than being liked.  After Lake Placid, where I went on a mini-vacation this summer, I realized that it is not enough to be prayerful about eharmony and the matches that I communicate with.  I need to commit to making relationship with the Lord the focal point of what I am looking for in a man.  Though I worried that this might make me appear to be some kind of Jesus-freak and limit men’s interest in me, I concluded that it is more important for me to have a God-focus, and much fewer matches possibly, than to communicate with hordes of matches who do not clearly have Christ at the center of their lives.
  4. The heart is resilient.  My heart was broken (not shattered but definitely broken) this summer.  It took ample amounts of Kleenex for me to actually deal with the truth that I cared so much for one of my matches.  Ultimately this heartbreak, as much as I wished that it were not so, served to teach me the importance of risking my heart.  It served to show me that though the heart is fragile and prone to injury, the heart does heal.  This eharmony heartache that did not kill me, actually made me better able to handle the heartache that came later in the summer when I found out about my ex’s upcoming wedding.   I could manage that heartache because my heart, through the exercise of love this summer, had grown strong.  These days I feel much less afraid of loving the wrong person or of being rejected.  Both have happened and I have lived to tell the tale.
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To Be or Not To Be With the One You Love?

16 Aug
How Do I Let Him Down Easy?
Image by Gossamer1013 via Flickr

My mother dated a man named John when my brother and sister and I were younger.  She was divorced and going through a season of rebellion against the rules of the holiness church that she’d spent her life in, I think.  She drank pink champale on occasion, went out at night to discos, and she dated.  John was memorable because he would bring my mother home after a daytime date and converse with us kids when he came into the house.  Sometimes he would say to my mother, “Let’s take the kids to get some ice cream.” 

My mother would say, “Oh, no, John, you don’t have to do that.  They don’t need ice cream.” 

He would say, “Come on, Connie, it’s right down the street.  It won’t take any time at all.” 

John would drive us to Carvel in his immaculate green Lincoln with the white leather interior.  He never complained about dripping ice cream. 

 

John really liked my mom.  My mom, though, did not return the affection.  She eventually married my stepfather, Greg, a handsome alcoholic 12 years her junior.  He barely spoke to us kids. 

 

(Insert psychological analysis of StillSingle’s singleness here).

 

From time to time John would send a postcard to my mother from Hawaii or Chicago or some other travel destination.  One one such occassion, years into her 20+ year marriage to my stepfather, my sister and I asked my mother why she hadn’t married John.  She said that back then she thought John was too old and too boring.

 

Last week my mother and I were discussing the men that I have met through eharmony.  I mentioned that there was one man who seems to like me more than I like him, and one man who I like more than he seems to like me.  The man who seems to like me more, I told her, is older, well established, eager to marry and have children, but his company doesn’t stimulate me.  The man who I like more, on the other hand, is around my age, attractive, and interesting.  While I was talking, the images of John and my stepfather came to mind.  “Am I following in my mother’s disastrous footsteps?”, I wondered.

 

My mother commented that I would have an easier time of it if I married a man who loved me more.

 

This may be true. 

 

But right now, I am holding out for a love that stirs my soul and for a beloved whose soul I stir.  StillSingle still thinks its possible to love and to be loved in return.

 

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What are the Men on Eharmony Like?

20 Jul
Image via Bing, from www.marsvenus.com

Image via Bing from http://www.marsvenus.com

Yesterday I mentioned to my prayer partner that my eharmony experience was going well.  My prayer partner, a very serious Christian woman (who, by the way, seems to adhere to a no-dating policy, as I have never known her to have a date), sort of made an audible non-comment that perfectly expressed her low opinion of online dating.  I thought, “Who does she think is online?  Cretans, infidels, and whoremongers?”

 

 If these types are there, they certainly have not been matched with me.  So far I have been matched with an investment banker, college professor, UPS driver,  a teacher, musician (percussionist), and various and sundry corporate types (IT, management, sales, etc.).  None of them is under 40, and none of them has ever been married (more later on this astonishing trend!).  None of them has been rude, obnoxious, strange, or otherwise unacceptably impaired.

Some highlights of my exchanges thus far:

 

Super Sweet

 

After we’d had an intense conversation about why I was single, and why he was single, I didn’t hear from guy #1 for over a week.  That’s long in dating-time.  When he did call me he said:

“I find a woman who loves the Lord extremely attractive, then added to that you are intelligent, which I love in a woman, but also, you’re so real…I just can’t get you off my mind.”

I was giddy for at least  a full day.

 

Super Spiritual

 

After we’d talked about guy #2 being a non-church-going individual, he explained to me that he was on the cusp of resolving the church issue.  But, for him, the main thing was that he prayed, and that God helped him with issues that he prayed about.  He said:

 

“That’s why I don’t believe in therapy.  People who go to therapy obviously don’t know how to pray.”

 

His words gave me pause.  I had one of those moments that I sometimes have when I’m facilitating my small group at church and a participant offers an opinion that is clear error (e.g., Jesus was simply a man and a prophet), and I have to tell her flat out that she is mistaken/not clear/misinformed/wrong.  Talking to guy #2, I was compelled to step out of my role of pleasant dining companion, and counter his perception with my own.  There are many, many people who can and do benefit from, not only prayer, but all kinds of professional help, including therapy, in dealing with their issues.

 

But I digress…

 

Super Funny

 

After we’d talked about movies that we thought were really funny (he named 3, I could only come up with 1), I asked guy #3 a question that, to me, was key in weighing his humoristic sensibilities.  I said:

 

“Let me ask you a question.”

“OK,”  he replied.

“Tyler…Perry…”

“Uhh, no.  I’m going have to go with No, Alex.  Actually, let me state it in the form of a question, ‘What is NO, Alex?’”

 

This still makes me laugh.  Not to mention that we were in absolute sync re:the talented Mr. Perry.

 

I am enjoying very much these third-party-orchestrated getting to know-you’s.  Especially when, as has happened only once so far, there’s potential energy.  You know, physics–stored energy of position.  Like when the bow string of a bow and arrow is stretched back all the way but not released.  That’s potential energy.  The conversation between my match and me drawing us towards each other and forward; that’s also potential energy.  And it’s good.

Would You Marry an Addict?

9 Jul
Meister von Heiligenkreuz, "Ein Sterbender empfielt seine Seele Gott"

Meister von Heiligenkreuz, "Ein Sterbender empfielt seine Seele Gott"

The issue of whether or not I would marry an addict came up recently when I mentioned, over lunch with friends, that one of my eharmony matches made a comment that had me wondering if he was a substance abuser, or a former substance abuser.

One of my friends suggested that addiction was simply one type of besetting sin to which each of us is susceptible.  A believer who is caught in this type of sin should be regarded as no different from any other believer, she urged.  God is merciful, she continued, and wouldn’t necessarily allow a person’s struggle with drugs or alcohol to hinder them from getting married.

While I understand giving pause and due consideration to all that could be involved in entering a relationship with someone who has a history of addiction, I find it hard to understand not giving pause and due consideration to all that could be involved in such a relationship. Suffice it to say, my friend and I disagreed on this issue, and a perfectly lovely lunch turned edgy before we were able to restore harmony by agreeing to disagree.

After that lunch, the issue came back up for me in a different context.  Comments that a different eharmony match made caused me to wonder if there was homosexuality in his background.  Which got me to thinking–would I marry a man who had practiced homosexual sex?

Hmmm.

My answer is:  maybe.

God is a Deliverer.  Full, complete, total, and irrevocable deliverance is available to us as believers.  If a man has experienced salvation and deliverance from any manner of trouble, then, for me, the past is a non-issue.

On the other hand, it’s not everyone who experiences full deliverance.  If a man has not been fully delivered from a destructive habit, like an addiction, then to what extent is he managing it?  Is he in a recovery program? Does he attend group meetings?  How long has he been abstinent?  Does he have a support network in place, and how often does he avail himself of support?  These are questions that matter when it comes to addiction.  My willingness to get involved would depend upon the maturity that the  man shows in dealing with his addiction.  It would matter, for example, if he were a sponsor as opposed to simply having a sponsor.

When it comes to homosexuality, my scrutiny of the situation would only grow stricter.  And my acceptance of man who formerly engaged in homosexual sex would come even more reluctantly.  One’s sexuality goes to the heart one’s fitness and ability to genuinely participate in a marriage.

Ultimately, addiction and homosexuality are types of brokenness of the soul.  God can and does restore our souls.  Let the restoration of a man’s soul be complete before his soul is yoked together with mine.  That ‘s what I say.

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