eHarmony holdout

Since my dreaded triumphant return to the online dating scene, I’ve been thinking about all the different services we’ve tried here at Stucu. Here’s a quick rundown:

Yeesh, that is not a short list. And yet here we are, still painfully single. Speaking of being painfully single, you may have noticed one glaring omission…

Ugggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I’m just going to say it: I HATE eHarmony. True, I’ve never actually used it, but it has always seemed so ridiculous/lame/creepy to me. Also, sorry to get all soapbox-ra-ra-social-justice on our dating blog, but it’s worth noting that eHarmony has a history of discriminating against same sex couples, plus their annoying as fuck elderly founder/spokesperson is an outspoken hardcore Christian. Not that there’s anything wrong with hardcore Christians…

seinfeld

Source: mrwgifs.com

…it’s just that I am not one of them. I’ve heard tales of the blatantly religious overtones of the site’s matchmaking process, and I don’t like the idea of some company surreptitiously pushing their views on people who are just trying to get a date. If I wanted religious-based matchmaking, I’d mosey on over to a religious-based online dating site like Christian Mingle or L’s favorite, JDate.

Also. Completely forgetting his politics, the eHarmony spokesperson freaks. me. out.

finding-the-love-1

Source: www.harmony-in-love.com

I’m sorry, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, but I’m not currently looking to put a creepy old guy in charge of my love life.

scumbag-eharmony-guy-52799

Source: maeameme.org

I know I’m being ridiculous. I know I shouldn’t write off a dating service I’ve never tried because their commercials feature a pushy religious senior citizen and an overplayed Natalie Cole song. More importantly, I’m actually friends with a couple who met on eHarmony. And by “met” I mean I attended their wedding last October. 

Despite this undeniable empirical evidence of the E’s legitimacy, every time someone suggests I join, my answer goes something like this:

“Yeahhhhh, uhhh,I’ve thought about it, but I’m saving it for if (let’s face it, when) I’m a bit older and still single. I’ve heard it’s a more…mature crowd, and that the people on there are much more serious about getting engaged like, yesterday. So I’ll probably try it eventually, just not…now.”

Translation: I hate eHarmony. I don’t want to do it. Please leave me alone.

The biggest reason why I resist this (almost always) unsolicited advice is that it rarely comes from single people. And I’m sorry, if you’re not a veteran of online dating, you simply have no idea what a shit show it is. But then a few weeks ago, one of my single guy friends whose opinion I totally value was telling us about his recent run of good dates, and the big E came up:

Me: What site are you on again? Okcupid?

E: eHarmony.

Me: Oh. Hmmmm. Interesting.

E: You should try it, S.

Me: (internally, thinking about my paintfully single status): Sigh. Maybe he’s right.

Which brings me to this post. When I started writing, it was mostly about my reluctance to join and somewhat irrational hatred of Dr. NCW. But then I tried to poke around and do some preliminary research to see what the site was like and, well, I got bamboozled. Before I even knew what was happening, I was filling out a 9 hour long personality profile analysis thing and signing up to “try it for free”.

GOD-DAMMIT

Source:kwieser.tumblr.com

Dr. Warren, you are one tricky motherfucker.

“Try it for free” is a favorite tactic among paid dating sites: they let you sign up, fill out a little profile, answer some questions, and cruise for dudes, but the minute you try to do anything real like send a message or even look at someone’s pictures, you’re directed to hand over your credit card info. This was fine with me for once because I didn’t actually want to use their stupid site, I just wanted to see what the infamously involved personality profiling is like and rip it to shreds on our blog.

I’ve also heard that eHarmony at one time rejected a certain number of people after they went through all their insane questioning. As in, these clowns literally say “thanks for trying to pay us money but you’ll have to take your unlovable single self elsewhere, because we don’t want anything to do with you.”

what parks and rec

I’m telling you, these people are the WORST.

Googled researched this policy to determine whether it’s still in place, but my search was inconclusive, so I half expected to waste 20 minutes of my life on a site I already hated and then be told I wasn’t wanted by them. Just another day in the life of a single girl, AMIRITE, LADIES? Anyway, despite my MANY misgivings and against my better judgment, I signed up and sat through their long ass questioning process. Here’s a sample question:

eharmony patient

For those who are wondering, there were a fair number of…faith based questions in this thing, mostly to do with how religious/spiritual you are. I screen capped these questions for your viewing pleasure, but now I can’t find where I saved them so you’ll have to take my word for it. After answering ‘not at all’ to basically every religious question, I was fully expecting to get to the boot, but somehow, some way, Dr. NCW deemed me worthy of God and single men’s love, and I was admitted into Club E. Yay.

hermione

Source: www.flickr.com

Obviously, they didn’t waste any time before asking me for money:

eharmony

Jesus. First of all, the 10.95/month plan is totally reasonable, until you realize you’re making a TWO YEAR COMMITMENT. I only commit to where I’m going to live one year at a time, you fuckers. Yes, I get that business-wise it’s smart for them to incentivize people to commit for the long haul. I also get that say, one month is not enough time to give a dating site a chance and meet a good number of people. But how about 3 months? Where’s the 3 month plan, you assholes? Three months is how long it took me to realize I hated Match.com with the burning fire of a thousand suns. So you’re telling me when I inevitably confirm that I do, as predicted, loathe eHarmony, I’m saddled with it for a full calendar year? Yeah…

nope

Source: wifflegif.com

The next logical choice is 6 months. But that shit starts to get pricey. $258 for 6 months on your stupid website? Really? So, what do I get for forking over a plane ticket to somewhere awesome or a day at the spa?

eharmony2

Uhhhh, 1. what in the what is the “Book of You?” Again with the religious overtones. And 2. so what you’re saying eHarmony, is that your basic plan offers the EXACT SAME THINGS as Okcupid. How much is Okcupid again?

fo-free-o

Source: gifsoup.com

Also, unsurprisingly, upon fake signing up I was immediately bombarded with senseless emails:

eharmony hate being single

Shut your stupid mouth, eHarmony, and stop patronizing me. I don’t need your permission to be okay with saying that phrase. I’m so good at saying “I hate being single” that I literally started an entire blog so my friends and I could say it multiple times a week. So step off.

Rage aside, I’m at a crossroads, readers. I’m technically signed up, so I’m now getting messages that I can’t read from faceless dudes. This is how they rope you in! I’m telling you, it’s a mindfuck. No matter how awful a site appears to be (and believe me, eHarmony seems awful) there’s that one tiny little part of you that worries one of the guys who messaged you is your future husband, and you’re about to miss out on a lifetime of happiness and hot sex because you were too cheap to fork over $258. 

I need help deciding, dear readers. Tell me what you think I should do. I can’t promise that I’ll actually do it, but I promise to take the results into consideration. Also, if you’ve used the big E yourself, feel free to leave me a comment and tell me what you think of it. Also, if you’re reading this, Dr. Warren, I hate you.

 

Advertisements

The exclusivity talk (and other new relationship concerns)

One of the things I find to be most stressful about dating is the uncertainty. There is no one set of rules or guidelines to follow, so it’s basically the wild goddamn west out there–everyone is playing by their own rules and timelines, and you’re constantly wondering if you and another human being are on the same page. Naturally, this lends itself (at least in my case) to the following:

  • stress
  • wine drinking
  • constantly consulting one’s girlfriends on gchat
  • comical misunderstandings

Just off the top of my head, here are some timing-related questions that have come up in my few months of dating D:

  • When can you start packing an overnight bag to stay at the other person’s place? The first time I slept over at D’s I wasn’t sure if I was invited to stay the night (we had made plans to watch movies and that’s it). I didn’t want to be presumptuous, so I stuffed underwear, a toothbrush, face wash and Lord knows what else into my purse like a legit call girl. When he was all, “of course you’re invited to stay the night!” I started to pull random items out of my bag like I was Mary Poppins’ slutty niece. (I’m sure this is a proud moment for you, mom.) Of course now my overnight bag resembles something settlers would take on the Oregon Trail, complete with a full bevy of toiletries. #noshame
  • When is it cool to leave something AT the other person’s place, like a toothbrush or a hair dryer? We all (and by “we all” I mean TV loving ladies and gays in our late 20s and 30s) remember that SATC episode where Big presents Carrie with a pink toothbrush head and it might as well be a flawless 3 carat Tiffany cushion cut, it’s so significant. Also, FUN FACT: as L recently discovered, finding hair and beauty products in a guy’s apartment is a great way to spot a cheater.  

  carrie big toothrbush

  • When does the inaugural fart happen? And who farts first? (again, time to swell with pride, mom). FYI, if you just answered ‘never’, you are reading the wrong blog. I assure you. I actually have a soul crushing story about this that I’m not going to tell you all out of sheer humiliation. UGH fine, if you must know, it was me. I farted first. Super early on, too. For the record, it was IN MY SLEEP and I wouldn’t have even known about it if D hadn’t decided to fully traumatize me by telling me (In a totally teasing way, but still. FML).
  • When do you introduce your significant other to your friends and/or family?
  • When do you start referring to that person as your boyfriend/girlfriend/boo?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before many if not most of those questions can be addressed, there’s this fun little doozy:

When do you have the exclusivity talk?

If you haven’t been out in the dating world recently (you lucky bastard), you may think that after a certain stretch of time it’s just implied that you and the other person are exclusive. Let me assure you:

nope

First rule of online dating: assume nothing. We here at StuCu have learned that the hard way. For instance: don’t assume your date is single, and definitely don’t assume they’re not a serial killer until you can do a full background check. And of course, don’t assume if you’re dating someone for an extended period of time that they’re dating just you. Because if you haven’t talked about it, they’re probably not. #jaded

My experience with the ‘are we exclusive’ talk is comically limited. I’ve gotten really used to (and honestly, really comfortable with) some variation of the following:

Okc dude: Hey so, I really like you.

Me: I like you, too.

Okc dude: I just want to be completely honest: I’m not looking for anything super serious at the moment.

Me: Okay. Thanks for being honest.

Okc dude: But let’s keep seeing each other and see what happens?

Me: Sounds great.

In summary, the noncommittal dating anthem of our generation. I mean, thinking back on these conversations with guys is actually fairly depressing in hindsight. Not that there’s anything wrong with casual dating…

seinfeld

But if I’m being totally honest (with myself and you guys) on at least one occasion I definitely told myself I was cool with this arrangement when in reality I wasn’t, because I liked the person and didn’t want things to end. I know. Pathetic. But to quote a 90s goddess:

Back in January, D and I had this very talk (and by “talk” I mean the whole thing went down over text. Oh, modern dating.) As much as I’d like to say it just came up organically or I was brave and breezy enough to be direct with him over drinks, of course the reality was totally random and awkward. I wish I could screen cap the entire thing for your viewing pleasure, but my phone decided to wipe all my texts when I updated my iOs, so this is me paraphrasing. Here’s how it went down:

Random Weeknight in Early January

Me: (in the middle of how’s your day type small talk) What are you up to tonight?

D: I have a date.

Me (internally): ……….. bridesmaids-what is happening

Me (trying to be breezy while I figure out what the eff to say): Oh, really? Where is it?

D: blablabla date details.

Me: Well, uh…have fun?

D: Thanks.

After that supremely awkward exchange, I sat and stewed. Wtf was he getting at, telling me he had a date? Is that what people do now? They just go out with each other and then openly share when they’re going out with someone else? I was pissed. Not about the date (okay, maybe a little about the date), because to be fair we hadn’t had an exclusivity talk at that point. I was still active on Okc, and I too had been out with someone else recently. And I of course didn’t know this at the time, but by this point D had already found the blog and was reading all about my dating shenanigans. 

I guess I was just… insulted. Why was it necessary to tell me that instead of just saying he had dinner plans? Most people get that until you have the exclusivity talk, dating other people is basically a don’t ask/don’t tell situation. I knew, despite my instincts to not make a big deal out of things like this, that I’d have to talk to him about it.

Again, paraphrasing:

Me: So listen. I know we haven’t had any sort of talk about exclusivity, and that’s fine. You’re well within your rights to be seeing other people at this point. But could you just not tell me? I was a little taken aback when you did, and I think I’d just appreciate it if we didn’t bring it up to each other.

D: Of course. But to be fair, you asked what I was doing, and I wanted to be honest.

Me: I think this is a great example of being a little too honest. And I’m not trying to rush things. If you need time…

D: I don’t need time. I know who I like. (not gonna lie, I swooned a bit when he said this. It’s only after remembering it months later that I realized D never actually said he liked ME. He could have technically been talking about some other girl. Glad that worked out!)

D: I’m going to go on this date, because I don’t want to be rude and cancel the same day. But after that I’m done.

Me: Me too. So…we’re officially just seeing each other, then.

D: Yup.

So there you have it. Our first date was in mid-November so we had “the talk” about a month and a half into seeing each other. Now if D hadn’t created an opportunity, albeit an awkward one, for us to talk about this, I’m not sure how long I would have waited to say something. Probably another few weeks, tops.

What about you, readers? How long do you wait before having the exclusivity talk with someone? Do you just go for it or do you wait for the other person to bring it up first? Leave us a comment!

PS – this is completely unrelated to the subject of the post, but I can’t not bring it up. When I asked D about his date during our original convo, he revealed that they were going to a restaurant IN MY HOME TOWN in Jersey. The second he said that, I was positive I knew the girl (my little town is not exactly a hot date destination). Naturally, the next time I saw D I completely grilled him about his date. He was all waaaaaait, I thought you didn’t want to know about it and I was all dude, of course I do, because

crazy

I told him about my theory that I knew his date and he was all ‘Pssshhhh no way’. But you know what?

I WAS RIGHT. I TOTALLY KNOW HER. We went to high school together. Boom. I called it. Just had to gloat.

high five

God, being right is the best.