Cordial Deconstruction

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OK, EHarmony Sucks…

Posted by Karl Withakay on January 5, 2010

Susan, 39 of Ellis Grove, IL, I guess we’ll never know what might have been.

A few months ago, I signed up for EHarmony, for the same reasons anybody does: I’m single and not seeing anyone (something I’d like to change), and don’t really have any outlets to meet anyone.

Before I describe my experience so far, I need to explain the EHarmony process since most people won’t be familiar with it.

On Eharmony, you use a directed communication process where you receive a match, and if you are interested in the match, you send the match a series of multiple choice questions. If the match is interested in you, they reply to your questions and send their own questions. The next step is where you exchange a list of must haves/can’t stands. After that comes an exchange of short answer questions. The last step is open communication between you and your match, essentially mail messages using EHarmony’s message system. At any time, you can close the match if you are no longer interested, or you can just stop responding if you are either rude or if you aren’t really interested but don’t want to permanently close the match in case you can’t find anything better.

My experience so far hasn’t been very productive.

On EHarmony, I have only had two matches respond to my first round of questions, and as time has gone by, I have gotten less and less selective about sending the initial round of communication. One match got all the way to open communication before she decided their wasn’t any chemistry (which there wasn’t really, yet) and closed the match. The other match has been sitting at the “Waiting for her Must Haves/ Can’t Stands” phase since November 22nd.

I have also very recently had one match initiate the communications process herself, and that got all the way to open communication, where she sent me a message that she liked all my answers to her questions and was interested in communicating further with me, but she was using the free New Year’s weekend promotion from EHarmony, which was going to expire at the end of the day. She provided me her email address and asked me to contact her via email if I was also interested. I was interested, but didn’t have time to send her a well composed email at the time, and planned to do it the next day.

The next day when I logged back into EHarmony to get her email address from the message, I found that the match was closed because the user’s account was closed, and I could not view my past communication with the user because the user’s profile is no longer available, which is where her email address is, which sucks.

Hey, EHarmony, I am still a paying customer, why can’t I review my past communications with people who are no longer on the system? What if I want to review my answers and communication to help me answer and communicate better for the next match? What kind of free service is it if you erase it at the end of the free trial? Here’s a coupon for a free car wash, but on Monday, we’re going to come and throw a bucket of the muddy wash water on your car unless you pay us for the car wash. That’s not a trial, that’s a demonstration.


17 Responses to “OK, EHarmony Sucks…”

  1. Ranma Saotome said

    Wow, that sounds frustrating. I’d switch to okcupid, it’s free and awesome.

  2. cordialdeconstruction said

    I’m actually trying the shotgun approach with the EHarmony,, & OKCupid trifecta.

  3. karen said

    So what ARE your must haves/can’t stands?

  4. cordialdeconstruction said

    Well, you choose 10 for each from a preset list of choices. I think this is what my choices were:

    Must Haves:

    • Autonomy…… I must have a partner who will give me space to be my own person.
    • Intellect…… I must have a partner who is bright and can share my understanding of the world as well as enjoy discussing important issues.
    • Family Life…… I must have a partner who is committed to marriage, home, and family.
    • Emotionally Healthy…… I must have a partner who is emotionally healthy, and able to share a stable life with someone else.
    • Shared Interests…… I must have someone who is willing to share my interests and passions.
    • Parenting Style…… I must have someone who shares my views about how to raise children.
    • Communicator…… I must have someone who is good at talking and listening.
    • Adaptability…… I must have a partner who is able to adapt to life’s surprises.
    • Patience…… I must have someone who can handle life’s frustrations or momentary setbacks with a patient, steady, demeanor.
    • Chemistry…… I must feel deeply in love with and attracted to my partner.

    Can’t Stands:

    • Lying…… I can’t stand someone who lies to anyone-especially to me.
    • Recklessness…… I can’t stand someone who has a careless and irresponsible manner when with others.
    • Racist…… I can’t stand someone who believes that any particular ethnic group to which they belong is superior to the rest of humanity.
    • Cheating…… I can’t stand someone who takes advantage of people.
    • Addictions…… I can’t stand someone who currently suffers from addictions.
    • Drugs…… I can’t stand someone who uses illegal recreational drugs.
    • Infidelity…… I can’t stand someone who engages in sex outside a committed relationship.
    • Mean Spirited…… I can’t stand someone who has a devious nature and is mean to others.
    • Hypocrites…… I can’t stand someone who holds a double standard for their actions and those of other people.
    • Victim Mentality…… While everyone has times of self-pity, I can’t stand someone who continually sees himself/herself as a victim.

  5. karen said

    I think your choices were interesting, I laughed when you said that “I THINK these were my choices.” Do you have an eidetic memory? Pretty, pretty specific recall. Tee Hee. I think also that a sense of humor is essential, as well as someone who doesn’t hold you to one standard that they themselves are not willing to live.

  6. cordialdeconstruction said

    Well, those were my choices to the FIRST person I sent them to. I may have changed the list slightly for the communication that triggered this post, but I can’t view any part of that communication anymore, which is what triggered the post.

  7. karen said

    Well it sounds like you got your money’s worth. Your initial diagnosis sounds correct, E-Harmony DOES suck. You know what doesn’t suck? House last night and Monk Season 8 being released mid-March. (and your/Scott’s Fringe deconstructions/dissents.) That show is approaching Planet 9 status, and I’m no scientist.

  8. Val Shelton said

    The whole eharmony thing is very sad. I’ve been on 6 years and 208 days … I’ve paid hundreds of dollars and to this point, eharmony hasn’t produced a suitable match for me.

  9. Max said

    So I spend several hours filling out all the questionnaires. At the end, they have showed me about 7 profiles, but I wasn’t able see photos or send messages. Sign of a scam. I thought OK, since I have seen so many adds from them, maybe I should pay for a month of membership and see how it works, although I don’t trust those kind of web sites, the web is full with scam stories, but then I have discovered that you have to pay for at least 3 month!!! When I wrote about my concerns to their customer services they offered me a BIG discount, to pay them around $60 for 3 month. Well, to me it is a another flag for scam. Thankfully I did not paid and made some research on the web and I have discovered that after you pay, all your matches will be “not-very-attractive-type ones” and plain “ugly” or from far away.

    I guess they are good in physiology, one spends so much time on creating a profile, it would be much harder to cancel it, and easier to pay. So they will continue rip off $ millions from desperate man.

  10. […] comments Off to Europe…… on Flash Forward Gets Schrödinger…Max on OK, EHarmony Sucks…FC on Final Follow-Up on the Probabi…Final Follow-Up on t… on Follow-Up: Energy […]

  11. Well you should have saved her email if you were planning to email her later. 1. Always back up your important data. 2. Always assume most online businesses are trying to scam you and/or have terrible customer service, (IF they don’t it will be a pleasant surprise).

  12. Yep I agree. I spent ages filling out the application and eharmony hasn’t found me a single man yet. Isn’t there any one out there who is compatible with an obsessive compulsive, eccentric, anti-social geek-girl whose favorite pastime is reading conspiracy theories? I wasn’t fussy, the only thing I specified was that my potential partner didn’t smell too bad and went to a mate’s house if he wanted to watch ball sports. Is that too much to ask? And honestly eharmony quit waiting to match me with someone who is just like me cause I don’t want to date myself.

  13. Leslie said

    Ok attractive but odd, I’m a girl and you sound fine to me! Forget these useless match sites unless you do one for free and don’t expect much. I still think nothing beats the old fashioned way as I too had no luck on eharmony!!

  14. Krissy Fit said

    I am so glad there was an opportunity to rant, because I am very frustrated right now with eharmony. I never had to date until like a few years ago. I had always met men through mutual friends at social groups (just groups where you meet people to hang and play games) and things naturally evolved. Now I am older and it is much harder. For one thing, I want marriage and family. Many of the men in my circle of friends are great, but they are just happy with their life the way it is and things are not going to change. I dated a man for 8 years, and we were at that point of our live where it would be appropriate to be married. We were done with school and older and more importantly, I wanted to get married. He didn’t feel ready. So I decided to end things and he kind of agreed. We were technically engaged, but I gave him back my ring. Now he and I are still frineds, but I want somebody who could be more. I went back to those social groups where my ex and I stopped attending. We kind of did our own thing when we dated, rather then driving out of our way to go to a supervised group which costs money. Still now that I am back into those groups, things arent happening. I even did some new social groups that did not exist years ago. So now I am on eharmony and not lucky. I live on Long Island and I keep getting matches out of state, even though I put a specific distance, they factor distnace, but not if it is in another state and not ideal to get often. I think eharmony, especially for a woman, is only idea if you are gorgeous and could get anybody, because of the limited selection of matches. One the one hand, I like that they get matches who are more serious about a relationship, on the other, it kind of goes against my beliefs, that you could love somebody even if they are a little different and learn to have a relationship. This has been a sad lonely depressing winter for me, and its an overall nice winter where I live, whether wise. I finally get asked out at the end of the summer, from a man I dated from a social group after three months, and I really liked him. He dumed me in a month because his family was uncomfortable with me being 16 years younger then him and below his social class. Then another man finally asks me out on a few dates, but give up. So I am back to eharmony (which I tried on and off before). So I do a three month trial with my Christmas and Birthday money. Now, I had a couple of dates, but the men on there do not know how to keep things going. They just seem awkward and while they are really kind and put on a good first impression, they just seem uncomfrotable taking things to the next level. Now most of the men in my area don’t respond. I look like what I look like, lets face it, but I do use photos of me dressed up, and its not like I don’t get dates, but I just don’t get enough matches. So its like when I finally get a date, if he does not follow through, it could be forever before I get another. By the way, you know you could skip over the question process at any time and go straight to email, assuming the other person agrees to communicating that way. I don’t know why everybody thinks you have to do the question process. But it is helpful in the begining, as it would be exausting to email a bunch of matches that don’t respond. As I said, the process is okay, besides that they are too selective, and unless you are gorgeous, espcially as woman, you don’t get enough matches to find somebody who will actually respond.

  15. penguinshiver said

    Well, nice list of must haves and can’t stands. I need a woman who doesn’t talk and works hard. It’s not rocket science. I’m not interested in your ambitions, or spiritual life journey. Just do the bloody dishes.

  16. penguinshiver said

    Actually, my last comment seems a little bit insensitive. Sorry about that. I will help with the dishes know to stay away from me when I’m drunk. Sometimes I just get so frustrated you know, I just need to relax when I get home at the end of the day.

  17. Karl Withakay said

    Insensitive wasn’t my first thought. More like, “That seems like a bit of a non sequitur. What list was she reading?”

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